Candace sees a therapist

I wrote this to try to sell it to the humor web site McSweeney’s. They didn’t buy it, but I thought I’d share it with you here. If you don’t understand it, it’s probably because you’ve never seen one of my favorite TV shows.

“Do you have any idea why you’re here, Candace?”

“Because my mom thinks I’m crazy.”

“’Crazy’ isn’t a helpful word, Candace. Your mother is concerned about you, but we’re not here to talk about your mother.”

“It’s not fair. Every time I get ready to bust my brothers, something happens, and the evidence disappears.”

“What do you mean when you say you want to ‘bust’ your brothers?”

“Show Mom what they’re doing.”

“What do you mean? What is it they’re doing?”

“Stuff they shouldn’t be doing.”

“Like what?”

“Building a rocket … or fighting a mummy … or climbing up the Eiffel Tower.”

“Don’t you think your brothers are a little young to be building a rocket?”

“Yes … yes, they are. That’s the whole point.”
“If they’re too young to build a rocket, why do you insist on telling your mother that they’ve built a rocket?”

“Because they did build a rocket.”

“And yet, when your mother came home, there was nothing in the back yard.”

“I know.”

“So, what happened to the rocket?”

“Well, a tractor beam from that weird-shaped skyscraper downtown –”

“A tractor beam.”

“Yes! A tractor beam!”

“Candace, I know this hasn’t been an easy time for you. You’re part of a blended family. How do you feel about that?”

“I’m fine with that.”

“Does it bother you that your brother and your stepbrother have bonded so closely?”

“What do you mean? Why would that bother me?”

“Well, your mother has your stepfather. Your brother and your stepbrother are very close. Unusually close. How do you feel about that?”

“I … I don’t know.”

“Are there any pets? Do you have a pet, Candace?”

“We have a platypus.”

“A platypus? Really?”

“But he’s not really my pet. And he hides a lot. It seems like someone’s always asking where he is.”

“So, you’re not particularly close to the pet.”

“He’s kind of creepy, actually. He just chatters his teeth a lot.”

“You’re at an age when you’re starting to show some interest in boys. Things are changing.”


“It’s only natural for you to want your mother’s attention.”

“No, no, no! It’s not about me! I have to let Mom know what the boys are doing!”

“Look, Candace, your parents are very educated people, and they’re people who value intelligence and creativity. If your brothers really were accomplishing these brilliant feats of engineering, do you really think your parents would be upset about it? Don’t you think they’d actually be thrilled?”

“I … I don’t know.”

“Tell me about your friends.”

“Well, there’s my BFF, Stacy. And there’s Jeremy, this cute boy.”

“How do they feel about you trying to ‘bust’ your brothers all the time?”

“They keep telling me to relax. Stacy said there’s only 104 days of summer vacation, and we shouldn’t waste any of them.”

“Why do you think they tell you that?”

“They – they just don’t understand.”

“I’m not sure I understand either, Candace. Isn’t it true that last week, you told your mother that your brothers had ‘discovered something that doesn’t exist’?”


“Does that make sense? How can you discover something that doesn’t exist?”

“I don’t know.”

“I think you do know, Candace. I think you’ve been ‘discovering’ things that don’t exist every time you tell your mother about these crazy inventions of your brothers’.”

“I’m not making this up! They really did build a satellite tracking station on Tuesday, and they organized a music festival on Wednesday, and then yesterday –”

“… they built an anti-gravity device. Yes, your mother told me.”

“Why won’t anyone believe me?”

“Candace, I think we have a lot more to discuss, but unfortunately our time is up. I will see you next week.”

“Do I have to?”

“I think your mother will insist on it. If my next patient is in the waiting room, tell him to wait for just a minute or two. I’ll come and get him.”

“So, Carl, last week we were discussing your resentment towards your boss, Major Mono – ”

“Major pain-in-the-ass, if you ask me.”

“Now, Carl, what makes you say that?”