How many times have you gone to a shrink or a counselor and found him/her totally insensitive and totally unaware of how to help, react to, or listen to a person with a disability?

What we need are more shrinks and counselors with disabilities or, at least, more shrinks or counselors with an awareness of the impact of a disability on men and women.

Could Dr. Happy be the answer? Hmmmm...


By Robert Mauro

(c) 1995 by Robert A. Mauro All Rights Reserved

Setting: A typical shrinks office. Well, almost. No couch, but plenty of books by Freud, Adler, Jung, Philip Roth, Erica Jong Ruth.
There are tattered, well-used copies of National Lampoon and MAD Magazine everywhere.
On the wall over DR. HAPPY's desk is a dark and terrifying painting by Hieronymus Bosch.
DR. HAPPY has impishly pasted little yellow Smile faces on all the heads of all the tormented and damned souls in Bosch's horrific depiction of Hell.
Loud laughter and uncontrolled giggling can be heard coming from DR. HAPPY's waiting room, where the comedy cable channel plays continuously.

Costumes: DR. HAPPY wears jeans, a bright red blazer with a yellow Smile face over left breast pocket.
Funny glasses with eye-balls on springs are optional.
YOU are dressed casually, with tissues hanging out of each pocket.

At Curtain Rise:

YOU (a disabled person) enter, pull a tissue from your pocket, and blow your nose very loudly and then dry your tears.

It is your first time here. As usual, you are miserable.

DR. HAPPY (Making funny faces): SOooo...has your disability got you down?

YOU (Blubbering): Yes.

DR. HAPPY: Well, what do you expect? Hmmmm?

YOU (Surprised at DR. HAPPY's empathy): Huh?

DR. HAPPY: I mean, who wouldn't be miserable? People stare at you, put barriers in your way, won't have sex with you, make you deal with idiotic bureaucrats.
And then there are all those insensitive, right-wing Republicans! Is it any wonder you are miserable?

YOU (Pounding your fists on DR. HAPPY's desk): Yes! Yes! Doc, you are right!

DR. HAPPY: Of course, I'm right! I didn't spend years studying at City College, Harvard, the Sorbonne, and hours watching and listening to Dr. Ruth on TV and the radio for nothing!

YOU (Beginning to actually smile): And here I thought I was the crazy one!

DR. HAPPY: Nonsense! You are perfectly sane! Everyone else is nuts!

YOU: So I don't need any drugs? A lobotomy? Shock therapy?

DR. HAPPY (Waving his hand in the air as if to say, "No, no!"):
You are one of the lucky ones. You came to me before your misery got the best of you. However, there is something we do have to do to end your pain.

YOU: Will it hurt?

DR. HAPPY: Not at all! The solution to your problem is really quite simple.

YOU: Simple?

DR. HAPPY: And painless.

YOU: Painless?

DR. HAPPY: Absolutely!

YOU: What is it? (Skeptical)
Oh, I get it. You're going to get away from it all. Is that it? Take a vacation? Go on a cruise?

DR. HAPPY: No, no! My goodness! Nothing that drastic! Or expensive!

YOU: So...what do we do to end my misery?

DR. HAPPY: As we both know, you are not the problem.
It is this insensitive world.
Have you noticed how everyone is obsessively concerned with things like a good tan, the right hair style, or just which piece of exercise equipment to buy?

YOU: Well...not exactly.

DR. HAPPY: Aha! There you see!

YOU: See? What?

DR. HAPPY: I guess that is why I am the Dr. Happy, and you are the Mr. [or Ms.] Miserable.

YOU: I guess.

DR. HAPPY: Ya. Well, there you go.
Now on to the root of your problem. Your utter misery.
(Possibly adjusting his glasses)
You see, not very many people who are miserable have noticed this plague of insensitivity and self-centeredness that is raging out there.
Creeping Republicanism, I like to call it.
But that is but the tip of the iceberg.
Total insensitivity and utter selfishness is the real kicker. Ya!
These are what is eating away at everyone's mental stability.

YOU: So what can I do about it, Doc?

DR. HAPPY: Nothing! That is my job! You just relax.

YOU: But shouldn't I accept blame for my misery?

DR. HAPPY (Standing up in shock):
What?! Why?! Did you create your misery?
(Sitting down)

YOU: Er...well...I don't know. I'm sort of confused. That's why I'm here, I guess.

DR. HAPPY: Bingo! But never fear. You've come to the right place.

YOU: I going to get well? Feel happy again? Less miserable?

DR. HAPPY: Absolutely!

YOU: Are you going to give me a lobotomy?

DR. HAPPY: No, no, no! We are going to give everyone else a lobotomy!
(Laughing somewhat eccentrically)
They are the crazy ones! You are just some poor schumck who has been abused by their selfishness. Their insensitivity! YOU are not the problem. So how do you feel now? Hmmmm?

YOU (Looking around, thinking):
Er...well...a bit better.
(Standing or straightening up, happier)
I feel a lot less guilty.
(Looking DR. HAPPY in the face)
Actually, Doc, I feel a whole lot less guilty. In fact, I'm beginning to feel pretty darn terrific!
(Sitting down, taking out wallet, check book, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security Cards and attempting to hand them to DR. HAPPY)
Doc, what do I owe ya?

DR. HAPPY (Waving everything away):
Forget it! This one's on me.

YOU: Hey, great! Thanks, Doc!
(Putting everything away)

DR. HAPPY: Don't mention it. It's my treat.

YOU (Getting up or preparing to leave):
So, can I call you if I get down in the dumps again?

DR. HAPPY (Standing, patting YOU lovingly on back):
Any time! Any day! I'm always here. But I want you to take this.
(Handing YOU a copy of MAD Magazine)
This will really crack you up! Oooops! Just kidding!
(As the CURTAIN FALLS, YOU exit blowing your nose loudly and drying your tears...of laughter and happiness)



From: TEAMWORK Owner ..jthayden@PINN.NET..

Subject: Re: a challenge

To: Multiple recipients of list SJUOWNER SJUOWNER@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU>

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 01:55:42 -0500

I found this and really got a great laugh out of this one. If you want to respond to this, please make sure you use Bob's address.



Page created July 13, 2012. Anne Pemberton. Updated: Fri, Jul 13, 2012. AP.