“I don’t think I fart as much as other people” announced the man standing in front of the small group sitting in a circle. Until recently he had been seated as well, awaiting his turn to speak.
“Maybe you don’t eat enough fiber” someone offered.
“Not farting isn’t such a bad thing” someone else piped up.
On the plus side of group therapy, it was much less expensive. The major downside was the lack of individual counseling.
The man tasked with running this session was engrossed in his Sudoku.
Sudoku was a Japanese game invented by a Swiss mathematician. The therapist felt that this meant something, exactly what he couldn’t say.
After some additional thoughts about farting the man sat down and another stood. It went on like this for almost an hour.
The therapist also worked with a group of former professional wrestlers in much the same way. The most significant difference being that they all sat cross-legged on the floor. He found that if he provided them folding chairs that they tended to hit each other over the heads with them at some point in the session.
His ‘Women Addicted to Reality Television’ group (WART… which is why they called themselves ‘the hogs’… well, that and their physical appearance) also had this issue.
Filling in the 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 subgrids that compose the grid contain all of the digits from 1 to 9 took focus and he couldn’t allow such shenanigans to break his concentration.
Another man spoke; “I read about this fungus that infects ants and turns them into zombies. What if that happened to humans?”
“That would be terrifying.”
“That would be awesome.”
All three comments came from the same guy.
The next man to stand and speak was known to be a short-order cook, so when he began to talk about eggs everyone listened. “I’ve obviously seen hundreds of thousands of eggs… but as soon as I cracked this one open I knew it was different. Not only was it the largest yolk I’d ever seen pop out of an AA but there was just something about it. I somehow knew that this chicken could have been a difference-maker. This was going to be the chicken to change it all.” When tears began to well up another man stood and put his arm around him. Eventually they both sat back down.
The man to their right then stood up. “When everybody keeps saying that we end up becoming our parents, why don’t they take a good look at where this message might be coming from? I say that plastic surgeons are playing a tune and we’re just dancing to it.” He was hoping to get a few heads nodding in agreement but this outcome did not materialize. “Damn sheep can’t see what’s right in front of them” the man thought to himself.
Finally the last man stood up to address the group. What he wanted to discuss was his inability to achieve intimacy with his new girlfriend but he’d found that the only thing that would get the therapist to look up from his Sudoku was mentioning Sudoku.
“Some people think Sudoku is just luck, but I’ve found that it is a game of skill. The more experience you have with it, the easier it becomes.”
The therapist looked up.
Both men smiled.