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Psyche 1001 Case Study #49

Copyright 1983 by Bruce Jaeger. All rights reserved.   Published in Inside Bluegrass, November 1983
(Apparently Bluegrass Unlimited's reader was sober when I submitted this one, as they rejected it.)


(NOTE TO STUDENTS: This is yet another case from the notebooks of the famous Iron Range Psychiatrist, Dr. Sigurd Freudson. The patient came into Dr. Freudson's office voluntarily one bright Minnesota morning in the fall of 1983.)

Patient: Excuse me. I'm looking for Doctor Freudson.

Doctor Freudson: At your service. Please have a seat, er, couch.

Patient: Thank you.

Doctor: And your name is . . .?

Patient: I'd really rather not say.

Doctor: Come now! I'm your doctor!

Patient: Maybe later.

Doctor: All right, I'll call you Arnold, for now. Tell me, Arnold, outside of some terribly traumatic childhood experience that makes you afraid to give me your name, what seems to be your problem?

Patient: My name isn't Arnold.

Doctor: All right, all right! Now, what kind of problem brings you here?

Patient: Well, I'm a musician...

Doctor: That's a start.

Patient: I'm a bluegrass musician...

Doctor: Even more serious.

Patient: I play the Dobro Brand Resonophonic Slide Guitar.

Doctor: Oh dear! You haven't come to me a moment too soon!

Patient: No, Doctor! The instrument isn't the problem!

Doctor: Oh? You should hear what the other musicians tell me!

Patient: Hmmph! Jealousy, no doubt. Actually, Doctor, I'm tired of being the star all the time.

Doctor: What!? Rewind a bit, and play that by me at a slower speed.

Patient: It's true, Doc! The Dobro Grand Resonophonic Slide Guitar is such a fascinating, wonderful instrument that the audiences can't get enough of it. . . or me! And it sort of goes to my head. I go running around the stage, cutting up like crazy, getting all kinds of laughs and applause, and when I take a break, why, it's practically like a Stones concert, the way the people storm the stage! It's driving me crazy!

Doctor: So is this interview. Look, Mr. Dobro Brand Resonophonic Slide Guitar Player, does the phrase "Delusions of Grandeur" mean anything to you?

Patient: Sure, but what does that have to do with anything?

Doctor: I hate to break it to you like this, but the shock may have some therapeutic value. The instrument you play is commonly referred to as the "Duckbill Platypus" of instruments; the "Bluegrass Flub-a-Dub"; the "Musical Cigarette Tray"; the "Result of breeding a guitar with a 1958 Studebaker"; the...

Patient: NOW HOLD ON!

Doctor: Ah! Now we're getting somewhere!

Patient: What do you mean by that?

Doctor: I mean that you're tired of being picked on! You, too, want to play the "Orange Blossom Special!" but the band won't stand for it. You, too, want to play "That Song from "Bonnie & Clyde," but the audience won't stand for it! Nobody ever asks you to play "Dueling Dobros!"

Patient: That's right, doggone it! And I'm getting sick and tired of them saying "We don't want a Dobro Brand Resonophonic Slide Guitar break on 'Great Balls of Fire!’" I don't get no respect!

Doctor: Hmmm. . . That last gives me an idea. Henny Youngman uses a fiddle, like Jack Benny ...Steve Martin plays banjo...Martin Mull uses a guitar... Say, I've got it!

Patient: What?

Doctor: We'll get those guys together with you, and have a smash musical comedy act that'll absolutely knock 'em dead! I'll get my brother-in-law in New York to be your manager, and we'll get you on the "Tonight Show" and...

Patient: Forget it! A comedy act! Brother! (The Patient leaves dramatically)


(DOCTOR'S NOTE: As many generals have found out to their chagrin, sometimes the best way to strengthen someone's defenses is to attack them. Still, I don't think it was that bad of an idea...)


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