“Hello. I am Doctor Spring. I am here to help.”“Sir, please do not pick the ants from the peonies.”“Yes. Thank you, sir. Please remain calm and keep your hands at your sides. There, that’s perfect. Sir, I have been reviewing your file and it is clear to me – obvious, really – that you are experiencing Pervasive Peony Picking disorder. You see, sir, you cannot resist picking the ants from the peonies.”“SIR! Do not touch the ants! Remove your hands from the plant. There, now. Thank you, sir. My good man, we can cure this ailment but I need your cooperation. What? It bothers you that the ants crawl upon the peonies?”
“Well, now, sir. That is entirely understandable. Your sense of what is right and proper dictates to you that the ants should stay away from the peonies. But I’m afraid, sir, that we must allow the ants to crawl at will. Why? You ask? Well, now, because it is nature’s way, sir. The ants have been crawling upon the peonies as long as there have been peonies, sir. What? I’m sorry, sir. I cannot explain WHY from a detailed scientific perspective. I am here to help YOU, not explain away the mysteries of the universe.”
Doctor Spring slaps the man’s hand as he reaches out to pick another ant from the peony.
“Hmmm” Doctor Spring thinks to himself. “This dude is troubled. I must distract him. Hmmm….. how about Ox-Eye Daisy Therapy?”
“Sir,” says the doctor with a broad, engaging smile, “I would like to show you something. Look over here.”“See the pretty daisies?”“Beautiful, aren’t they? Step close. Reach out and touch one.”The man rubs the daisy, appears utterly disengaged and turns back towards the peonies.
“Oh no, sir. Not that way. Here. This way. Behold the rhododendron.”“And look upon the lucky clover.”“Yes sir. Now allow yourself to be dazzled by the dame’s rocket.”“Come close.”“Step right in amidst the flowers.”“There now sir. See? No ants on the dame’s rocket. Yes, it’s nice.”
Doctor Spring is on a roll. One more distraction, then some rest. That will do it.
“Oh sir. Look at this! Look into the east woods.”“The woods are in full bloom! Yes, it’s nice. Come, I see a sunny glade.”Doctor Spring feels the patient relax – feels his attention become fully engaged with the forest floor.