Dr. V’s New Patient

by Rolli

“My main trouble, doctor,” said the man on the sofa, “is that ….”

“Go on.” Dr. V’s legs had been crossed right over left; now he gave the reverse a whirl.

“Is that whenever I see a – bottom,” not wanting to say ass to a medical man (though he didn’t hesitate to make a vulgar, cupping gesture with his hands) – “I want to slap it.”

The doctor leaned back, suppressing a grin. It had been a trying day. How he’d gotten through a morning of wrestling his pens and paperweights away from Mrs. Owen, of talking Mr. Silverman through his delusions (“I can think of at least three reasons why you’re not Adolph Hitler”), without tipping back the flask in his bottom drawer, reserved for pure murder days, was a mystery. And then, midway through lunch, he’d been called to the hospital to deal with a young man who’d ambled in, wanting his testicles cut off “cuz they got them buzz buzz satellites in them,” insisting the doctor put his ear to his groin, to listen. After all that, dealing with this style of patient would be … well, it would be refreshing, for the moment. Already, his suspicion – and his suspicions were generally bulls-eyes – was that the man was an incurable hypochondriac, and there would be months of endless nonsense about moles and germs and palpitations to look forward to. But for the moment, at least, he was amused.

“And this bothers you?” the doctor asked the man, tilting his chair back.

“Not particularly,” said the man, grinning.  “It bothers other people, I’ll bet.”

“So you follow through with your – desire?”

The man thought a while, then answered. “About a third of the time, yes. But it gets harder all the time – to resist. I used to only once in a while. Now, it seems, I can’t get through the day without doing it at least once. Like an ass junkie. But I really don’t see the harm in it,” looking up at the ceiling. “I don’t slap hard. Just enough to startle a person, get their blood running. Would you like to feel?”

“No,” said Dr. V, chuckling. He had a policy against laughing at patients (while they were in the room); but psychiatrists, for the most part, are only human, and it felt good to laugh.

You laugh,” said the man, “but most don’t have a sense of humour about it. I’ve never understood why people always look so cross afterwards. It’s probably the most exciting thing that’ll happen to ’em all week.”

“Mmm hmm.” The mmm hmm trick was something the doctor had learned in college – one of those special little titbits of professorial advice passed on, not during a lecture, but afterwards, in confidence, to a pet student. “It has the effect,” Dr. Singh had told him, years ago, “of suggesting that you care, or understand, or are sympathetic – or just about anything you can think of. Use it wisely.” In this case, not wanting to encourage the man, he used it as a substitute for further laughter.

“Mmm hmm,” Dr. V repeated. “And do you – how do I put this,” not wanting to use the term sexual orientation with the patient – “do you slap the bottoms of women, only, or men?”

“Oh, I slap all of ’em,” said the man, brightly. “Women, men, boys, girls, the elderly. Midgets, sometimes. When I see a bottom, I just can’t help myself. I go to it.”

“You go to it,” looking over his glasses.

“I go to it.”

Dr. V eyed the man quizzically, then said, “Tell me about your childhood. Was it – ”

“Very happy – if you’ll pardon the interruption. That’s what you were getting at?”

“Essentially, yes. No trauma of any kind? No abuse?”

“No. Certainly not. Pretty idyllic, really.”

“And your relationship with your parents?”

“What about it?”

“Have you always been close, and on good terms?”

“Close, yes. Good terms? Generally. Pretty much, I think. I was always a handful growing up. We’re on good terms these days, I’d say.”

“You were never prone to – slapping, back then?”

“No. No, I don’t think so. No more than anyone.”

“And how about your parents? Did they use,” searching for the expression, “corporal punishment?”

“Do you mean spanking?”

The doctor nodded.

“Well … maybe once or twice. But not on a regular basis, no. Is it alright if I tell you something – I mean, in confidence.”

“Go ahead,” said Dr. V, going back to a right over left leg cross.

“I think that – I don’t mean to create the impression that I go around spanking everyone in sight. I’m discriminating about it. It’s a certain type of bottom. Flat ones don’t interest me in the least. They have to be – ” the same vulgar gesture – “big, meaty apple-bottoms. Like in the Renaissance – those paintings, you know? So when I smack one I can see the ripples fly from one end to the other,” laughing.

“I see,” said the doctor, laughing himself (he couldn’t help it). “And how do people react?”

“Well,” said the man, “it depends entirely on the person. Women are generally outraged. Some of them slap back – I mean, on the face – but most just swear and scream. Always a few purse whompers. And as far as men go, I’ve had my share of shiners, you can imagine.”

“No doubt,” said Dr. V, taking a few notes. When he finished, he clasped his hands together (to look thoughtful) and said, “Why do it, then? What makes it worthwhile?”

The man took a deep breath, and said, “I really can’t say. It’s not like I get any huge rush from it. It’s amusing, that’s all. I just …”

“Go on.”

“I just see a bottom ….”


“And I want to smack it. Ha!”

“And you’re completely unable to restrain the impulse?”

“Almost, yes. It’s very difficult.”

“Do you think that trying harder – I can show you some tactics – would help you with the problem?”

“Oh, I’ve already tried it all. Hypnotism, meditation, self-flagellation. Nothing works.”

“About the flagellation – ”

“Look, there! ” said the man, pointing excitedly out the window. “That’s just the type. Excuse me a moment?”

“Ummm … what?”

But before he could stop the man, he’d raced from the room. A short while later, he reappeared outside, tiptoing carefully down the sidewalk after a woman with a gigantic peach-like behind. He turned a moment to the window, gave a conspicuous thumbs up to Dr. V, then – smack.

“Good god,” muttered the doctor. “Guess that’s what he’d call a whomper.” If he hadn’t known better, he’d have thought, by the way she swore and swung her purse, that the woman had been caught in a bee swarm. But it was a wasted effort; the man was far too quick for her. In a matter of seconds, he was back on the sofa, huffing, looking thoroughly pleased with himself.

“Okay,” panting. “Where were we?”

“You really shouldn’t have done that, Mr. – ”

“Oh, I know.” Then, “Did you see it? Wasn’t it great? And the look on her face! Ha!”

“Mmm hmm,” said Dr. V, pen flying. He was quiet for a while, then: “I think I can help you.”

“Really?” said the man, sitting up.

“There’s a new kind of medication, one that, I think, should help curb this obsessive thinking.”

“You mean I won’t do it anymore?”

“That’s correct.”

“Oh. No thank-you. I enjoy it,” lying back down.

“But do you think that people enjoy it?”

The man thought a while, then answered, “They ought to. It’s not my fault if they don’t know how to appreciate things. And I like it, besides.”

“If that were true you wouldn’t have come here.”

The man squinted at the ceiling, then said, “Right. I hadn’t thought of that.” Sitting up,

“You’re a very good doctor.”

“Thank-you,” said Dr. V, smiling. Praise was such a rarity in his professional life that he took whatever compliments he could get. He prolonged the moment by pretending to write something down, then went on. “Now, as for the medication. As I said, it’s brand new. I’ve used it myself – with patients – with great success. Liproxoalizine X is the name. It’s available in 10, 20, and 30 mg tablets – very small, and easy to swallow.”

The man looked a little anxious, so the doctor continued:

“Don’t be frightened by the name. It’s safe, effective; very few side effects. In fact, I used it recently in the case of a gentleman, about your age, who – ” realizing too late that he could have picked a dozen better examples, or at least more appetizing ones.

Who?” said the man, waiting.

“Who – well, it might sound shocking to say, but … the man was …overly concerned with his – excrement.”

“Poop, you mean?”

Blushing, “Precisely. And after trying Liproxoalizine X – ”

“What do you mean, exactly,” said the man, squinting, “by concerned?”

“It’s strange,” chuckling nervously, “why I thought of that case in particular, but,” another chuckle, “he would … capture his bowel movements in plastic wrap, then mould them into various shapes – animals, for instance – and … freeze them, as a … as a method of preservation.”

“That’s disgusting,” said the man, wriggling his nose.

“I won’t argue with you there,” laughed the doctor, embarrassed. “But the point is, that once he tried – let’s call it LX for short – he gave up the practice, more or less.”

“More or less?” The man raised his eyebrows.

“Well,” still wondering why in god’s name he’d used that example – “you see, there’s a very fine line between an obsession and a hobby. With this gentleman, he’d been at this moulding business for so long – since childhood – that, while I was able to rid him of any morbid concern with excrement, I wasn’t able to eliminate, completely, his enjoyment of the process as a – well, as a form of recreation. So he still does it, now and then – on special occasions, chiefly. But the practice no longer dominates his life. And had he come to me earlier, I’m confident he’d be completely cured today.”

“Do you think there’s still hope for me?” asked the man, a little sadly.

The doctor smiled. “I promise.”

“I’m relieved to hear it, doctor. Cuz I’ve had this an awful long time, too.”

“I understand.”

“And I do hope to be normal, some day.”

“And I intend to help you. But first thing’s first – the Liproxoalizine X. I’ll start you on a 10 mg sample,” rising to retrieve it from the locked bottom drawer of his filing cabinet. “Do you have any allergies?” Rummaging through the drawer.

“No. Not that I know of,” replied the man.

“You aren’t on any other medications?” Wondering where the hell it could be.


“And … here it is,” closing the drawer. “Now – ”


Dr. V whirled around, horrified. “Sir!” he gasped.

But the man was already stumbling, laughingly, out the door, down the hall, out the building, where the doctor saw him, still holding his stomach, stagger across the street.

Dr. V stood there, stunned, sample in hand. He stood there a very long time. Finally, he walked back to his desk, opened another drawer, and popping several of the tablets into his mouth, swallowed them with a swig from a silver flask. He leaned back in his chair for a while, then pressed the buzzer on his intercom.

Next,” he said.

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