Therapist: Welcome to the therapy support group for (Barely) Functional, Fictional Jacks. Our first order of business is that we’re a non-smoking building, so Jack Be Nimble, please put out your candlestick.
Jack Be Nimble: I’ll be quick, Ma’am.
Therapist: Thank you Jack. And Little Jack Horner, please join the group, we have a chair for you right here in our circle.
Jack Horner: Sitting in the corner is just fine, Mrs. Jackson.
Therapist: You boys feel free to call me Jacqueline. But Mr. Horner, I do insist you join us. We’ll work on that social anxiety of yours later on, but our focus of the day is on eating disorders, over-exercising, and body dysmorphia.
Jack Spratt: Nobody here deals with any of that crap.
Therapist: Oh, don’t they now? When was the last time you allowed yourself to eat a little fat?
Jack Spratt: Well I . . . um. . . well you know. I don’t trust our entire Fat system. They claim there are now considered good and bad fats. I figure better play it safe and eat NO fat.
Therapist: Oh nuts! Slice up an avocado, Jack. Eat salmon. You’re wasting away. And your wife, that little heffer, she isn’t helping matters by eating no lean.
Jack Horner: I brought some Christmas Pie to share. I’ll just go get it. It’s in the corner.
Therapist: What a good boy are you!
Jack Horner: What a good boy am I!
Therapist: Yes, Mr. Horner that’s what I just said. But what’s that on your thumb?
Jack Horner: I was born like this. It’s a terrible, hideous swollen purple defect.
Therapist: Oh, it most certainly is not! That’s your body dysmorphia talking, Little Jack Horner. There’s nothing at all wrong with your thumb. You just stuck it into a plum one time too many.
Jack (John Cougar Mellencamp): Little ditty about Jack & Dianne. Two American kids growing up in the heartland.
Therapist: Now is not the time to introduce your girlfriend to us, Jack. I’d like to concentrate on the Jacks who feel they must chronically burn off calories. Jack and his companion Jill are forever going up hills. Jack and the Beanstalk is, well he’s climbing up and down that tall vine so much it would make a golden goose’s head spin. And Jack Be Nimble hasn’t met a candlestick he can’t jump over. It’s textbook ADHD combined with compulsive exercise.
Jack (John Cougar Mellencamp): Jackie gonna be a football star. Diane debutante backseat of Jackie’s car.
Therapist: Ahhh, I see you also suffer from delusions of grandeur, eh? You probably think you’ve got a hit song on your hands.
Jack (John Cougar Mellencamp): Oh yeah…. Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.
Therapist: And some situational depression too.
Jack & The Beanstalk: May I interject something? There’s a grotesque monstrous giant chasing after me because I stole his golden harp. Would that make me a kleptomaniac?
Therapist: Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, has anyone ever given you a paranoid schizophrenic diagnosis, Jack Old Chum?
Jack Spratt: Can we get back to my relationship with my heffer wife? I think we balance each other out nicely in the kitchen — between us both we lick the platter clean.
Jack Horner: Ewwwww, gross!
Jack & Jill: I don’t suppose you could analyze why every time I take a fall, Jill comes tumbling after?
Therapist: Because she’s co-dependent, Jack. Choose better next time. Now I’m sorry but our time is up for this week. When we meet next we’ll discuss the common unhealthy dynamics in your childhoods since you all shared the same maternal influence.
All Jacks: She did the best she could under the circumstances. We forgive you, Mother Goose.
Receptionist: Excuse me, but your next patients are here.
Therapist: Yes, please tell the Brothers Grimm I will be right with them. And all their Little Princesses as well.
Dear Readers: I would love your comments on this piece or the last few in the series I’ve written (Fictional Characters On the Therapy Couch)