The Teacher Who Feared Students

"Just sit down on the chaise-longue," said Dr. Fraud in his most fatherly tone of voice. He gave his Notebook a shake to wake it up from the screensaver, and relaxed in his chair.

Sitting firmly upright on the chaise-longue with his knees pressed together and both feet on the floor was a young man wearing a cheap suit and clutching a leather satchel to his chest. Dr. Fraud's secretary had told him the young man's name, but Dr. Fraud had been playing with the Newton's Cradle next to his Father Time egg-timer and hadn't been listening.

"So," he began, "you were flirting with my secretary, Mr....?"

"I wasn't!"

"It's fine, it's fine. She's in denial too, Mr....?"

"I was told you can help me. I'm scared of my students, and I think they can tell! I need hypnosis. You have to hypnotise me, Dr. Fraud!"

"Yes, well, maybe," said Dr. Fraud looking at Father Time and realising that he probably couldn't keep spinning this out for another fifty-eight minutes. "I never liked students much either when I was a teacher back at the Academy in Vienna."

"Oh I like them, Doctor, I'm just scared of them. When I meet one in the corridor I start shaking, and when I think about having to see many of them together I just go to pieces." Sweat had broken out on the young man's forehead and his left eye was twitching erratically.

"Well, you should try to make them less intimidating. Try picturing them wearing only their underwear, it's very hard to be scared of people who look defenceless."

"They're aged between 11 and 16!" said the young man, a look of horror mingling poorly with the sweat and twitch.

"And that's a problem?" said Dr. Fraud. The Notebook beeped, and looking down he saw that Windows was running a self-diagnostic program which would take thirty-four minutes to complete.

"Of course it's a problem," shouted the young man. His foot started tapping on the floor.

"But really, naked children aren't at all scary."

"They're illegal! I'm a teacher for God's sake! If anyone finds out I'm thinking about my students naked I'll get the sack!"

"You're sounding very distressed," said Dr. Fraud, "I think perhaps you have some deep rooted issues here that we should try to uncover. Have you ever had sex with your mother?"

Both of the young man's feet were now tapping the floor, syncopating with each other, and the twitch in his eye had spread to his whole face and turned into a spasm. "I... what?" he said, choking on the words.

The Notebook beeped again: Windows had discovered that Clippy the paperclip had multiple personality disorder and was recommending euthanasia. Dr. Fraud tapped OK on the dialogue box.

"The sex you have with your mother," said Dr. Fraud, and was cut short by the young man falling forwards off the couch and fitting on the floor. "Ah," he said, and reached for his prescription pad, sure now that the young man's time would run out before the fit finished.

The End

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