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In touch with my inner self

My therapist told me the best thing I could do for my problem(s) would be to get in touch with my inner self. I've never tried that before, but I thought . . . why not?

So I went to a quiet corner of our home, sat down on the floor and opened the channels of communication.

"Who's there?"

"It's me, your outer self, I've been advised to get in touch with my inner self."

"Forget it. I'm not interested."

"Not interested? You're part of me -- what's the problem?"

"We have nothing in common. You're an embarrassment to me. If I could get out of here, I'd have pulled up stakes long ago."

"I'm stunned. What is it about me that embarrasses you?"

"You don't have enough time to hear it all. But for starters, you sing off key."

"You gotta be kidding. I suppose you think you'd be better."

"Of course. I have perfect pitch."

"That's terrific. My inner self has perfect pitch but no voice, except the inner voice I'm hearing now. Why don't you sing something for me now Mr. perfect pitch inner voice."

"Don't be ridiculous. You want more -- you want more reasons why you embarrass me?"

"Bring it on."

"You're shallow, you're insecure, you're insincere, you're vain, you're a blowhard, your friends think you're a jerk, your children can't stand you and you're rude in traffic."

"Hey, you've got the wrong guy. Raquel calls me 'Mr. Wonderful.'"

"You must have a tin ear. If you can't catch the sarcasm when she says that you're not in touch with reality."

"I'm in touch with reality every week in my newspaper column. I've been writing for over 30 years."

"That column is one of my chief embarrassments. You've been writing for over 30 years now and you never get any better. You don't have 30 years of experience, you have one year of experience repeated 30 times. Why don't you turn in your computer?"

"I don't write with a computer, I write with a ball point pen."

"Oh that's right, I forgot how far behind the technology curve you are. One more reason."

"So what are you like Mr. inner self?"

"I'm just the opposite of you, my outer self, in every way. But I know you'd rather talk about yourself than me or anybody else. Have you ever heard of Willy Loman?"

"Yes of course, he was the central figure in Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman.' He was an over the hill salesman who mistakenly thought he could be great. He had outlived his friends and connections, couldn't sell any more and was a tragic figure in every way."

"Yes, exactly. You have the picture. Well, Mr. outer self, sorry to tell you, but you are Willy Loman. Your therapist could have told you, but he left it to me. The answer was inside. Goodbye Willy -- have a nice day."

The moral of the story is this: be wary of getting in touch with your inner self. He may know you better than you know yourself.