Hamburger Helper Hand lay sprawled on the floor, sweating from his exertions. "What's going on here, doc?" he asked, staring up past Dr. Flister's underwear and pants bunched around his bony ankles. "I thought you were trying to cure me of my sex addiction and here I am giving you hand jobs every Thursday. Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Relax," the now flaccid Flister said, wiping himself with his cravat. "You can't overcome your addictions without facing them first. And that takes first hand experience, no pun intended, on my part to understand the motivations behind your addiction. It's the only way for you and I to work through them together. Don't think of it as a hand job. Think of it as a helping hand on the road to recovery."
"Well, that's all well and good," Hamburger Helper hand squeaked, "but it seems to me it's my hand that's doing all the work and now I've got to hightail it uptown to go finger bang your wife. How's that part of my therapy? Between the two of you I'm like a sexual yo-yo, up and down, back and forth, around the world and by around the world I don't mean the yo-yo trick. I'm talking all the dirty parts and all the dirtier parts in between. Jeez, I'm exhausted before lunch plus I think I'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome from all this therapy. And to think I'm paying you for this!"
"Yes, but are you enjoying it?"
"Well then, I think we're curing your addiction. I'd say a few more months and we should have you all cleared up. Now can you just give me a hand with my pants. You're closer to them than me."
"Yeah, sure, okay. By the way, what's up with all that ten-pound rainbow trout and fishing pole stuff?"
"I thought you liked naughty fishing talk?"
"Jeez no, doc. I'm strictly a meat and potatoes hand."
"I'll remember that for our next session. Now I think you better get a move on. I believe you have an appointment uptown and you wouldn't want to keep the lovely lady waiting. I've had your limousine called around to the front. Until next week."
In the back of the limo Hamburger Helper Hand poured himself a Scotch and sprawled out on the plush leather seat, breathing a sigh, not of relief, but of the anticipation of the sordid work still awaiting him uptown. Glancing up he could see the limo driver giving him the once-over in the rear view mirror.
"Yeah, whadd'ya looking at?" Hamburger Helper Hand asked.
"Sorry sir," the driver replied. "Didn't mean to bother you but I just wanted to say if it wasn't for you me and the little lady would be divorced by now. I just wanted to thank you for saving our marriage."
"Really?" Hamburger Helper Hand cheeped.
"Yesirree. For years the wife and I haven't been happy and our two kids, Plixy and Voltron have been suffering because of it since, as you know, the kids are the ones to sense trouble first. Kind'a like with this whole global warming business and the scientists saying if you want to know if there's a problem just take a good look at the frogs and amphibians 'cause they're the ones to show the effects first and are kind'a the initial warning signs of bad things to come. Well, the kids are sort'a like that, like the frogs and amphibians I mean, y'know, picking up the warning signs and drinking it in through their rubbery porous skins and getting the poisons all in their bodies and well, that was really our home life. But then the wife got some of that Hamburger Helper and started cooking up some delicious and nutritious meals and that was really what was missing from our family. I just wasn't eating good enough but once I got all those noodles and cheeses and seasonings mixed with up the burger meat, whipped up in the skillet, well honestly, my wife could've made this stuff blindfolded and naked except for a pair of pee-stained Depends and it still would've tasted great and the kids were loving it too and we were getting fewer calls from the school to meet with the principal on account of Voltron beating up his classmates and Plixy running a makeshift brothel behind the gym. Also, and I don't mean to sound crude, but it makes even my farts smell like a fancy meal and when I let one rip in the bedroom the first thing my wife says to me is 'Is that a fart or did you just hide a Cordon Bleu-trained chef under the covers?' Swear on my mother's grave that's true."
"Your wife suffers from incontinence problems?"
"No, no, just a figure of speech."
"And your gas really smells like expensive French cheese?"
"It's like you died and went to Paris. And not only cheese. I'm talking a whole goddamn bouillabaisse in my underwear."
"I can't tell you how much that pleases me to hear," Hamburger Helper Hand said and then he shut his tiny eyes, hoping to catch a few winks on the twenty minute ride uptown to his psychiatrist's penthouse apartment where Gerta, the psychiatrist's wife awaited him eagerly in a negligee hand-sewn by a Viennese accountant with an Oedipus Complex and a seventeen-pastry-a-day addiction that he was trying to cure by licking the bowls of Meerschaum pipes as advocated by her husband, Dr. Flister, as treatment.
"By the way, sir," the chauffeur added. "I think you may have a little bit of semen on your index finger. There's some Kleenex next to the mini-bar." But Hamburger Helper Hand had already fallen asleep, the semen drying on his finger into the shape of a tiny Smurf hat.
Sometimes it's hard to shake the effects of a particular dream that somehow, after awakening, leaves a person hanging in the balance between the unconscious and reality, blurring the lines until they feel one and the same and that's exactly how Hamburger Helper Hand felt as he tried to extract his middle finger from Gerta's vagina as it gripped the tip of his digit like the sucking gums of a toothless baby. For a dream he had while slumbering in the back of the limousine still hung with him, affecting his finger-banging efforts and Gerta, an astute and perceptive gal in her own right, could sense the lack of commitment and waning energy in Hamburger Helper Hands' exertions. Nevertheless her vagina held tight as he pulled his finger from it with a sucking pop and her disappointment was almost as palpable as the amorous and heavily-scented secretions their little rendezvous had created.
"What's the matter my little meat masseuse, did my husband wear you out?" Gerta inquired, the sarcasm in her voice about as disguised as a plague of locusts descending on the Prairies.
"I'm sorry," Hamburger Helper Hand said. "It's just...it's this dream I just had." As a psychiatrist's wife Gerta was no stranger to the world of dream life but her anticipation and subsequent anxiety and lack of fulfillment at the hand of Hamburger Helper Hand left her less sympathetic than usual.
"Tell me all about it," she sighed, lighting up a Hav-A-Tampa Jewel and blowing the smoke into Hamburger Helper Hands' sweaty little face.
"Well, you see, I dreamed I was strangling somebody. The room was dark and I couldn't see who it was, man woman, Doberman Pinscher, honestly it could've been anyone. But then they gasped out as my fingers circled their throat, "Ich bin dein Zwillingsbruder," but I didn't understand what they meant. Then my mother came running into the room and yelled, "Didn't you hear what he just said? That's your twin brother. Why are you strangling him to death?" Oddly, she was strangling a chicken while she said this. After that I released my grip and immediately found myself in a nunnery weeping into a tub of ground beef. A mynah bird in a cage overhead and wearing a pair of tiny galoshes on his feet kept screeching over and over again, "Vat you doing, vat you doing?" and then a nun entered the room and she and the mynah bird began French kissing. Instantly I began to vomit but instead of food coming up I threw up score cards from a par 64 executive golf course. The next thing I knew I was on the 10th hole green and churning butter for a group of morose midgets wearing petticoats. With each plunge they kept taunting me with the phrase, "Hey, what side is your bread buttered on, stinky-pants?" and this threw me into great despair. I began to wrench out big tufts of my own hair and once I was completely bald I started pulling out my own teeth. I dropped each tooth into a plastic kid's beach pail and as they landed they began to transform into earthworms. The worms then slithered out of the bucket and formed a living, writhing toupee that I then placed on my bald head to replace the hair I'd just torn out. Then the midgets pulled up their petticoats and they all had sex with me. That's when I woke up. I don't know what it all means but it's left me in a very disturbed state."
"Well," Gerta began as she took a huge hit off her Hav-A-Tampa Jewel, her lungs demonstrating their still-to-be-reckoned with power from her early years as a competitive yodeler for the Austrian National Olympic Yodeling Team. "As the wife of a psychiatrist I do have an insight into dreams and their meanings. The worms and your baldness are obviously an indication of a fear of lack of masculinity and a worry about a tiny penis size and by then wearing the worms on your head as a toupee you're proclaiming your weakness even though you think you're helping your case. That's why the midgets had sex with you in the first place. They sensed your fear and had their way with you and you obviously are afraid of people that are evidently smaller than your penis penetrating you. That they were wearing petticoats signifies that your anxiety extends to both genders. Vomiting the scorecards from a par 64 executive golf course is obviously a deep-seated neurosis about the way your career turned out and how hopeless you feel as a disembodied hand massaging hamburger meat and pandering to an American Dream that was dead before it ever hit the frying pan. The mynah bird just emphasizes this thought because it's a bird that simply repeats what it's been told, an apt metaphor for your life and lack of control over your own destiny. As for your mother strangling a chicken, well you can work that one out for yourself along with choking your fictional twin brother who might really represent your father so there might be an Oedipus Complex in the works so really you should talk to the guy who made my negligee because he's got a complex as big as the Matterhorn and obviously the nun French kissing the mynah bird represents your new found celibacy as you foresee an end to your sex addiction that has haunted you since you made it big in the commercial world where millions of adoring housewives were ready to throw themselves at your feet, or fingers in your case. You have issues, kiddo, that goes without saying but I always say when life's problems get you down and your mental health is at stake it's best to put your nose to the grindstone and immerse yourself in your work. The grindstone in this case being my clitoris of course and I think you should put your big, red nose to it right now and start getting down and dirty with the old nasal cavities. I promise you'll feel invigorated and hell, at least it'll give your fingers a break."
Later, after three showers and then relaxing before a crackling fire in the library of his brownstone, Hamburger Helper Hand still didn't feel any better about himself or the people that were supposed to be helping him for that matter. From the stereo Frank Sinatra was crooning, Send In The Clowns, and Hamburger Helper Hand let the tears flow down the palm of his face. He felt like strangling himself but he knew that was impossible. For some reason he thought of that Zen koan that asked, "What is the sound of one hand clapping," maybe because that too was an impossibility. Well, he may not know that one but he certainly knew the sound of one hand slapping around a pound of ground beef and really, wasn't that the only sound one needed to hear to stay happy in this life. Hamburger Helper Hand let his tears dry, sat back in his chair and smiled. "Y'know kid," he whispered to himself, "I think you're gonna be alright after all."