This Is My 250th Story! (Thank You, Dr. R. U. Forereel, For Making It Happen)

As usual, you’re late!” my psychiatrist, Dr. R. U. Forereel, correctly and forcefully noted. “Neil, your chronic tardiness is a sign of, of, of . . . of what? Oh, who knows, who cares? Have a seat, Neil. Let’s get started. I’m waiting with baited breath to hear what comes out of your mouth during this session. Or not.”

Gingerly I settled into the large chair that, from a distance of ten feet, faced its twin, upon which Dr. Forereel sat. This being the Age Of Coronavirus, we both were masked. “Doctor, I’m sorry,” I said. “I try my hardest to arrive at your office on time, but something always seems to come up. Today it was a freak accident. Here’s what happened: When I got into my car to drive over here I very forcefully attempted to push the seatbelt buckle into place. But somehow I misjudged what I was doing and ended up stabbing my private parts real good. Holy crap, Doctor, that hurt! I managed to stagger out of the car and back into my house, holding the damaged goods as discreetly as I could. I hope none of the neighbors saw me. Anyway, the boys and the mighty sword are all bandaged up nicely now. I’m good to go! Actually, I lie. If I have sex before the year is out, it’ll be a miracle. In any event, it’s truly amazing that I’m only 20 minutes late.”

“Your privates will be in my prayers tonight,” said my psychiatrist almost sympathetically. “They deserve better, I’m sure. Now Neil, tell me what has been weighing on your mind since our last monthly session. Don’t tell me everything, of course. My eyes will have no trouble doing their glazing-over thing if you do. So, let’s stick to a highlight or two.”

You see? That’s why I like Dr. Forereel so much: she doesn’t feed me bullshit, she’s more or less honest with her feelings, and she cuts to the chase.

“Okay, Doctor. Yes, something has been bothering me quite a lot. It has to do with my blog. You know about my blog, right?”

She shook her head in disbelief. “Of course I know about your blog. You bring it up in one context or another at almost every session! Neil, listen to me. Even though your blog is dear to your heart, I’ve tried to show you that you actually are in conflict with your writerly side. Writing puts tremendous strains upon you, and they are without a doubt unhealthy. I’m talking about the anxiety that you feel in trying to develop story ideas, and the mental and emotional exhaustion that leave you as limp as your once-mighty sword after you complete each article.”

“Neil, in my professional opinion you should change direction and not look back! Take up some other activities in writing’s place. Knitting would suit you just fine, for instance. It’s comforting, it’s creative, it’s a form of meditation, you know. And maybe it will improve your manual dexterity, so that you don’t stab yourself in your genitals ever again. What’s more, nobody in a million years would miss the trifling essays and attempts at humor that you fill your website with. Cyberspace is overflowing unmercifully with content. You should do your civic duty and help to declutter it. Stop writing, in other words!”

“Doctor, I tend to agree with you. I’m pretty well spent, but I can’t halt just yet,” I said. “You see, my next story will be my 250th. Shit, Doctor, I can’t not publish number 250. Pardon my French, by the way. Two hundred and fifty articles is a big milestone. I’d be tremendously disappointed in myself if I stopped at 249.”

“You’re kidding, Neil, right?” she asked. “There would be nothing for you to to be ashamed of were you to hang up your spurs right now. If you did, you would be demonstrating excellent sense and judgment. And 249 strikes me as such an ideally oddball number. In that sense it suits you perfectly!”

“Points taken, Doctor. But getting back to what’s been bothering me: I’ve been racking my brain to try and come up with a story idea for my 250th piece, but no luck. My mind has gone desert-like. What should I do, Doctor Forereel? Can you help?”

She looked at me long and hard, and took a few seconds before responding. Then she said this: “Neil, I doubt that I’m equipped to help you discover story ideas, unless you’re interested in writing about the deep underpinnings of your psyche that we’ve uncovered at our sessions. But they’re awfully boring, truthfully speaking, aren’t they? Nobody would want to read about them, I’m sure. Let me say, though, that part of your problem, without question, has to do with aging. Let’s face it, Neil, you’re an old f*ck — pardon my French — and writing doesn’t become easier as one’s hourglass empties and empties. That’s true for just about everything, right? Knitting excepted, of course.”

Those final comments brought me up short. Though I didn’t want to be, I was reminded that life is fleeting, no matter how long you live. My jaw sank. My eyes dropped. But my mind awakened. “Dr. Forereel,” I said, “believe it or not, you’ve just presented a fine idea to me. My 250th story will be about the preciousness of life, about how we should appreciate what we have, and that we should do our best to live joyfully. Thank you, Doctor, thank you.”

“Neil, I am delighted to have been of service. And a quick glance at the clock on the wall tells me that our time is up once again. Don’t bump your accessories into anything on your way out. They’ve suffered enough for one day. I’ll see you a month from now. And don’t be late next time!”

(Please don’t be shy about adding your comments. Dr. Forereel and I would appreciate it.)

142 thoughts on “This Is My 250th Story! (Thank You, Dr. R. U. Forereel, For Making It Happen)

  1. ckennedy August 31, 2020 / 10:17 am

    Congratulations on the 250th post! You could always try a knitting blog–or a 251st post about knitting. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. cath September 1, 2020 / 3:44 am

    Thanks for providing me with more, valuable smiles, Neil. I hope you’ll continue to knit words, in preference to wool, and congratulations on a brilliant 250th post.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. tanjabrittonwriter September 2, 2020 / 6:18 pm

    Congratulations, Neil, that is an impressive milestone! And an apropos reminder to appreciate life to the fullest.
    Here is to the next 250! 🥂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. melissabluefineart September 5, 2020 / 8:34 am

    I’ve been moping around thinking how unhappy I am…a virus on a rampant killing spree, an orange president (it’s just not my favorite color) aching everything…but yes. Life is precious, and I’m grateful for the reminder. Now mind your particulars!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 5, 2020 / 10:41 am

      Hi, Melissa. What a world. 2021 had better be better than 2020. A Biden victory will help greatly.


      • melissabluefineart September 6, 2020 / 10:11 am

        Yes I hope so although I fear what the far right will do in response if he does win.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yeah, Another Blogger September 6, 2020 / 11:00 am

          I agree. The good ol’ USA is loaded with dangerous, repressive people.


          • melissabluefineart September 6, 2020 / 11:52 pm

            How I wish I could go back to being blissfully unaware of the seething fascism hiding beneath the façade of our democracy!

            Liked by 2 people

  5. LTodd September 10, 2020 / 6:32 pm

    Congrats! 🎊 lokking forward you many

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fran Johns September 16, 2020 / 11:24 am

    We need every drop of joyful living we can get these days. Not to mention forreel psychiatrists to evoke good suggestions. Write on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 16, 2020 / 3:04 pm

      Hello there, Fran. Things automatically will be better once Trump is out of office.


  7. carolinehelbig September 18, 2020 / 4:31 pm

    A masterpiece Neil! I needed a good laugh today. Congratulations! So true that writing these posts can leave one exhausted, but at the same time so satisfied.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 18, 2020 / 5:43 pm

      Right, it’s a good feeling when the writing process goes well. I guess that’s why we keep plugging away.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Mr. Ohh's Sideways View September 24, 2020 / 2:17 pm

    Happy 250 and screw knitting Macramé is so much better. Besides the best blogs come out when I have no idea what is going to come out. Idiocy Rules

    Laugh Well

    Liked by 1 person

  9. stargazer September 28, 2020 / 6:20 pm

    Congrats with the 250th post! That was hilarious. I’m assuming you haven’t taken up knitting yet? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Deborah Miller October 1, 2020 / 9:26 am

    I truly enjoyed your 250th story. I am also a glutton for punishment. I labor over posts that I write about female blues singers and beat myself up for not being a better and more prolific writer. Recently, I made the mistake of telling an artist when the post I was writing about them would be completed. Consequently, I had created my own much-dreaded deadline. I suffer from an excessive amount of anxiety which doesn’t fair well with deadlines, so the panic set in, but was shortly replaced with much-needed tunnel vision. Setting all other interests aside and losing myself in a fine-tuned focus on my subject’s career is how I work best. It is exhausting but, there is something exhilarating about completing a project. I truly think that writers experience getting into “the zone”, and the resulting adrenaline rush is why we keep going back for more punishment. By the way, I don’t think anyone in my family even reads my blog, but I just can’t stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 1, 2020 / 3:11 pm

      Hi Deborah. You know, some writers are fortunate, in that the words seem to flow easily for them. For instance, Joyce Carol Oates has written SO many books. She’s a marvel.


  11. jeanleesworld October 1, 2020 / 10:43 pm

    250! What a milestone, my friend. I’m so happy to see you and the good doctor explore other creative endeavors, too. I have to admit, I’d love to see a knitting endeavor from you! Heaven knows it can’t be worse than any of the trapezoidal blankets I’ve crocheted in the past, lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. North Liza Lane October 19, 2020 / 8:24 pm

    Oooh, ha ha I enjoyed this very much… it gave me the best chuckle! Very cheeky! You could a terrific script writer as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Helene Brennan October 1, 2022 / 3:35 pm

    Well, if I may say so I always find your writing very entertaining – and your posts are just the right length for people like me who spend far too little time reading. You know what it’s like when you see the scroll bar never reaching the end – that’s when I give up! Never mind Dr. Notreal (sorry – Forereel🤣). I always believed in encouragement and confidence building.

    Mind you – knitting might not be so bad for some men, I often think it’s time men took up the hobby, especially those who spend long hours in pubs drinking and talking sport with their pals – imagine how many sweaters and baby boots they could knit while they’re at it! Imagine them exchanging knitting patterns and techniques and ideas… Hey, I’m not joking.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.