The Shrink Who Shrank When Dotty Shrunk His Shirt


Once upon a time Dotty had to see a psychiatrist. She can’t remember his name but she can remember his tie, a purple and orange strip of silk with a small knot that could have been made much smaller if someone (not Dotty) had decided to give it a substantial tug. She also remembers his shirt. It was green like a lime, also made of silk. People had made Dotty go to see him, she wasn’t that keen to be honest.

Oh stop it. Stop-stop-stop. Writing about myself in the third person is insane. It’s all right doing it when I’m giving instructions or advice or tips or orders, but when I’m writing a serious post for my blog it’s just silly – it makes me look like I’m a Multiple Personality Hermit when I’m not, (there’s only the two of us and I haven’t heard from the other one for a while, she’ll be watching the Eastenders omnibus again – she idolises Jean Slater). Okay, back to what I was writing and this time do it properly, Dotty.

His office was in a flat above a laundrette. The stairwell was dark and I had to hold onto the railings so I wouldn’t fall, (this is not a metaphor, there was no bulb in the landing light). His office had once been a bedroom, I could tell by the tatty Magic Roundabout wallpaper. It was faded and peeling. Zebedee-boing was torn off at the waist, his spring was missing; Ermintrude’s flower was gone too. The room smelled foisty and damp – the smell rose up from the carpet, a cloying scent of the despair of the mentals who had trodden there, a miasma of every single one of their fallen tears gone rotten. Or it could have been the wet washing hanging up downstairs.

As soon as I set eyes on him I knew. I just knew. I was proved right when he stuck out his hand for me to shake: what sort of shrink does that? Didn’t he know what a handshake would do to a hermit? Of course he did, he knew very well. I counted how long he stood there trying to psych me out with his sadistic, fat hand. Forty-eight horrendous seconds. The fingers were like … no, I won’t think of them as being like sausages or my dinner will be spoiled. They were like huge, slithery white slugs. He got the message that I wasn’t going to touch him and slinked his hand into his pocket then introduced himself (still can’t remember his name) and asked me if I wanted to sit or lie on the couch in the corner of the room. His politeness was fake like his big white teeth (they looked American) that appeared whenever he smiled which was whenever he wasn’t talking. I needed a lie down by then so I got on the couch and curled up on my right side for a sleep.

My face was turned to the wall but I could feel him watching me and I couldn’t doze off. His eyes were lasering into the back of my head, I could feel the burning. The longer it went on the more I realised that the pasty-faced creep had me pinned, mentally, to the couch. I couldn’t move. I sensed him behind me, slobbering at the thought of the juicy black secrets he knew he could psychiat out of me, (yes, that is a real word, I decided it is), wheedle, wheedle, wheedle, prise, prise, prise. I knew I had to do something or he’d make me talk but the bit of wall I was looking at was yellow and yellow always makes me feel sick. Really sick. Really, really sick. (Yes, it really does, but this IS a metaphor and I’m not afraid to use it). I felt so sick I had to close my eyes against the yellow. I couldn’t speak. And because I couldn’t speak and he could, he kept on and on and on, his voice dinning through me like a barrage of machine-gun fire. I concentrated, not on his words, just his voice, ratta-tatta-ratta-tatta-ratta-tatta and it did work, it calmed the yellow-sickness enough for me to think ‘What would Harry Hill do, Dotty? What would Harry Hill do?’ and it came to me right away, like a kiss from Baby Jesus or from a rose, this is what Harry Hill would do —





Who wins?

There’s only one way to decide …




Of course I knew I couldn’t hit him or I’d have been arrested again, but that didn’t stop me wanting to stuff my elbow down his throat and leave it there for the remaining 55 minutes. If I couldn’t twat him one, I was going to have to beat him with my sausage-sharp mind. He still wouldn’t stop staring and yakking, but I gathered all my powers and KAPOW!! I sprang off that couch like a wild sheep off a standing stone and jumped in front of him, but as I did so I felt overwhelmingly yellow-sick again and — well, what happened next wasn’t nice. His tie and his shirt got it. All of it. The shock was too much for him, he stopped talking mid-jabber with his mouth still half open on a word. His American teeth slipped slightly in his mouth, settling back at an odd angle so he looked like a picture of The Godfather by Picasso. 

I shouted, ‘I’ve won, you weirdy fuck-arse, I’ve won. And you’re not getting paid’.

And then I legged it, down the dark stairs (I didn’t fall), through the laundry, into the waiting car, and home, where it took me three weeks to recover enough to speak to anyone again.


Moral of the story — There isn’t one. I don’t know why I wrote that.



Leave a comment


  1. dedgekko

     /  March 9, 2012

    I absolutely love this this!!!! I feel like I was a fly on the wall and so many times I’ve been in just this situation but I didn’t get sick. You just took my thoughts out of my mind, that’s all…..LOL!!!

    • Dear dedgekko,
      Thank you. Being sick comes naturally to me now even at the thought of yellow, but also at the thought of headshrinkers who wear yellow. And those who don’t. It’s a funny old world, isn’t it?
      Love Dotty xxx

  2. Foisty? Is that a real word?
    And you know I love a story that involves projectile vomiting. Even when it is mine, at hits me in my own face.
    And if you would like, I will psychiat you for free. What could it hurt.

  3. my wife got sent to the priory’s alcoholic department by accident once – she said it was frightening, her stories were rubbish compared to everyone else’s – she refused to say, “hi, my name is a, and i’m an alcoholic,” she saved that for the introductory session of her first ante-natal class…….no-one laughed…..very odd

    • Dear sacha,

      People have no sense of humour nowadays, they’re thick. Maybe she should have taken a bottle of gin to the ante-natal class to give them word/vision association when she stood up to speak.

      Love Dotty xxx


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