Wind Eggs
Published in

Wind Eggs

The story’s title says it better than I can

Physician, shrink thyself

Career Week

Boy feeds family photo to shredder
Source image by Freepik Ingram

DR. ATTICUS ROLLINS commanded five hundred an hour, double booked sessions, didn’t take insurance. He didn’t even attend the sessions; he had assistants for that. As long as he popped his head into the room for three seconds every half-dozen sessions, shook the parents’ hands and told them how well their child was doing, clients would fill his schedule until he retired in 2043. A date marked on his calendar.

What drew rich suckers to his office for vague platitudes from Ph.D assistants making seventy K a year? The Rollins Method, his three-tiered formula for success:

  1. Write one bestselling book a year (or at least hire a ghost writer)
  2. Hire a staff to promote his “posts” on social media
  3. Hire a publicist to land at least two on-air interviews a day

Most of all, stay on message, which was “there are no bad children, only bad parents.” A message that insured his clients would empty their bank accounts to prove they were wonderful parents. There was no better marketing tool than guilt to motivate parents who would rather spend money than time on their kids.

As long as Atticus popped his head into the room for three seconds every half-dozen sessions, shook the parents’ hands and told them how well their child was doing, clients would fill his schedule until he retired in 2043.

The intercom buzzed. His receptionist, who insisted his ex-wife wouldn’t wait. He didn’t need to ask which ex-wife. The complaint was always the same. Only the details changed.

He set the phone to speaker. “I’m in a session.”

“Do you know what Gracie did this time?” This would be his third wife, Brie. “She slashed the tires and painted ‘pig’ on the police chief’s limo. And I just checked Harmony into rehab.”

Yes, Atticus Rollins also knew the formula for child-rearing, one he never shared with his readers and clients — file for divorce before the kids realize their problem isn’t their mother.

Find my books

Wry noir author Phillip T. Stephens wrote Cigerets, Guns & Beer, Raising Hell, the Indie Book Award winning Seeing Jesus, and the children’s book parody Furious George. Follow him at Phillip T Stephens.

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Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T Stephens

Living metaphor. Follow me @stephens_pt.

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