Freud’s Worst Patient

“Tell me about your dreams,” Freud asked his patient, Herr Shreuder. Herr Wolfgang Shreuder lay reclined on Freud’s office couch. Herr Shreuder was Freud’s least favorite patient. This was something Freud told only his wife, Martha, because, Herr Shreuder was a powerful businessman in Vienna and referred several high paying clients.

More than the money, Freud liked hearing about the filthy problems of the filthy rich. Herr Shreuder’s problem was that he was boring and both the psychiatrist and patient knew it. Though the psychiatrist tried to get the patient to act on his problem, it was like dragging a dead horse to water.

“I know, I am boring, I bore myself endlessly, Dr. Freud, but, there is nothing I can do, I can’t think of anything else to do or think.”

“We both know you’re boring, so, for once do something not boring, and tell me an interesting dream you had.”

“I once dreamed I was the Queen of England, and I spent the entire dream speaking Urdu to pack of monkeys dressed in the clothes of my ex gardiner, who I fired in the dream for planting tulips in my ass, does this mean anything? I’d appreciate it if you didn’t giggle at my dream, Doctor Freud.”

“It is a natural response to such a story.”

“I don’t think giggling’s very professional, or, very manly.”

“Hey! Who’s lying on whose couch? Let’s not lose sight of who the patient is here!” The doctor never lost sight of knowing the reason he got and kept so many rich clients, was because he made them feel cheap. These royalty and aristocracy loved playing master and servant; Freud was the only one in town who realised, sometimes, they liked playing servant, too. “Now, shut up and tell me more of the dream. We left off, you had some tulips planted in your ass.”

“Yes, I’m afraid of what that could mean.”

“What do you think it could mean?”

“I don’t know, but, I’m afraid.”

“Do you hear yourself? You’re afraid but you don’t know what you’re afraid of.”

“Yes.” Herr Shreuder was laying there on his back, sucking his thumb.

And there was the problem, he was so boring, he couldn’t imagine ever doing anything exciting. Freud had given up on Herr Shreuder sessions before. Freud milked him for dreams, because, though the man’s life was dry like toast, his dreams were fantastic, so fantastic, that even Herr Shreuder’s dulled speech, couldn’t completely beat the dream completely senseless. They were often hilarious.   

“Tell me another dream.”

“You promise not to laugh?” Herr Shreuder begged.

Freud snorted cocaine. “Just tell me a fucking joke,” he said between snorts.

“What is that?”

“It’s something that gets me through these sessions with you. Now, let’s go, let’s hear a dream.”

“Not if you’re going to laugh. It’s hard enough without you-”

“Stop your belly-aching and tell me a goddamn dream!” The cocaine always made Freud feel more powerful, more abusive. His genius got more arrogant, and he shouted at his patients. Some quit, some doubled their sessions.

“Ok! So, there I am with the tulips in my ass-”

“What were the tulips doing?”

“They were just there, in between my buttcheeks.”

“What color were they?”

“Is that important?”


“They were yellow.”

“Ok, and?” Freud was getting impatient with the color.

“And, so this door hinge flies up to ask if it can sniff my butt and polinate me, and I think that sounds disgusting, so I start running, but as I’m running, the tulips sprout and grow into a gigantic forest that I go through riding my first year accounting professor who wants to teach me accounting through counting all the stars in the sky and dividing them by constellations resembling dogs, multiplied by Jupiter’s rings from the bottom of a coffee cup, which I jump into looking for my lost jar of happiness, knowing, if I lose it, I’ll be forced to fertilize myself and become a match, good for one life, burn, and turn into a used match-stick. Could this mean anything Doctor?”

The mad Doctor Freud was disappointed with this latest dream installment. It was obvious and predictable. The cocaine snap crackle popping in his body gave him the power to get through the hearing of it.

“Hey, I got an idea. Come over and try some of this.”

“What?” Herr Shreuder lay on the couch, his arms across his chest like he was dead.

“Get up and get over here. Try some of this.”

“What is it?”

“It’s something that will make you not so boring. Put some life into you. Get over here.”

Herr Shreuder rose from the couch and approached his psychiatrist, who was looking up at him with one blood shot eye. Freud had a streak of white powder running down his chin. “Try this,” the Doctor prescribed.

“How? What is it?”

“It’ll help you be less boring. Just bend down take that spoonful and snort it up your nose.”

“My nose? I’ve never taken drugs up my nose. Are you sure that’s how you do cocaine?”

“Positive. Just bend right over there and snort as much of that you can up your nose, let’s go.”

The patient did as his doctor prescribed. No sooner had the cocaine hit every nerve in Herr Shreuder’s body, did he know he had the greatest psychiatrist in the world, and he’d be coming back tomorrow at noon, two, four, six, eight and ten thirty.


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