THE ENTREPRENEUR'S TALE

A MODERN ADAPTATION OF THE SUMMONER'S TALE FROM CHAUCER'S CANTERBURY TALES

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THE ENTREPRENEUR'S PROLOGUE

The entrepreneur glared at the therapist,
Making very clear that he was pissed,
Shaking like a leaf with rage, and said,
"Dear host, I beg you: Let me go ahead
Of who is next, that I might have my say!
That woman there should not just get away
With slandering an honorable profession,
Without which we would be in a depression,
Starving, without goods of any kind,
While all she does is masturbate the mind,
A fraud, a parasite, and even worse!
Why can't she get a real job, like a nurse,
Or clean houses, or do something that's useful?"

The bartender replied, "Well, to be truthful,
You're next anyway, so go ahead.
But just a tale, please. Enough's been said
About both therapists and entrepreneurs.
We're neither critics nor well-trained connoisseurs,
But we can tell a tale from a rant!
So please, now, just a tale. If you can't,
Then pass, and let another take your place,
To tell one without rancor and with grace.
Yes? What is your pleasure?" The entrepreneur
Was silent, as though determined to ignore
The bartender's request, but then agreed.

"I'll tell a tale," he said, "as all may read
Themselves of how most Freudians are frauds,
Not to speak of Jungians, and the hordes
Who call themselves Adlerians, and such,
Seducing patients, robbing them -- not much
Has not been documented. My former wife
Went to one, who ruined our lovely life,
Probably sleeping with her, but anyway
Remaking her, so one delightful day
She told me she was leaving me --" "The tale!"
The bartender reminded him. "The tale?"
The entrepreneur, distracted, said. "Oh, yes!
But who do you think it's about? I'll let you guess!"

THE ENTREPRENEUR'S TALE

There once was a therapist, a Freudian,
Who played her patients like an accordion,
Beautiful music for her bank account,
Never professing interest in the amount
Of interest, though she knew it to the penny.

She kept her patients dependent through the many
Years, decades even, that she saw them --
Two, three times a week. How she bore them
Was to do her mental calculations while
They lay in front of her, spewing vile
Accusations on all of those they loved --
Their spouses, friends, associates, but above
All their parents, those twin devils of the hell
Known as childhood -- they knew it well!

They were this or that, perhaps the other,
Because they never got love from their mother
Or their father, as the case may be,
And neither one their anguish cared to see,
Nor would they have themselves, except for her,
When in exquisite detail, at so much per --
"This is no tale!" the therapist complained.
"A tale is coming!" the entrepreneur maintained.
"Patience, please, and let me have my say!
You had yours!" "We haven't got all day,"
The bartender said, "or night, as it may be.
Please! The tale! While we are still at sea!"
The entrepreneur nodded and resumed:

The point is that they found themselves consumed
With rage at those they blamed for who they were,
In which they were encouraged well by her,
Never coming to a termination
Unless it was with great determination.

One day, however, a patient at the end
Of his insurance decided to pretend
That next time he would pay himself, for he
Was enslaved to her. Whenever she
Was on vacation he drowned in his despair.
He couldn't even imagine her not there,
The loving witness of his inner life,
More dependable than friend or wife,
A paid, professional, long-term companion,
Sort of a mental whore, a brazen, wanton
Ego booster, who would have even Hitler
Rid of guilt and shame -- you get the picture!

He felt the anger of a rejected suitor,
Ready with a payment that would suit her.
She asked for it right off, and so he said
He'd pay her by and by, but now, instead,
He had a riddle for her. "What is that?"
She asked, annoyed. He answered, "It is what
You cannot help but share alike with all,
Yet cannot split in any way. You'd call
It an expression of your inmost feelings."

"I'm a professional," she said. "My dealings
Are purely for some ready quid pro quo."
"Oh, this is that, quite certainly." "You know,"
She said, "that love can be no substitute
For money." He answered, "It's neither love nor loot,
But something one can't possibly divide,
That says precisely what I feel inside."

"I don't like guessing games," she said. "The session
Is already underway. My impression
Is that you want to have it from me free.
But you must pay if you would be with me."

"I'll pay you, then," he said, and turned around,
Pulling his pants and undies to the ground,
And, jutting out his ass to the right place,
Took a breath and farted in her face.

She said nothing, made no move at all,
As he pulled up his pants and stood up tall,
Smiling like a maniac, and said,
"I hope you will accept such pay instead
Of money. My insurance is all gone,
And no one will approve me for a loan."

She stared at him a while, and finally
She said, "You obviously need more therapy.
I'll refer you to a clinic where
They charge much less but still give you good care."

Crushed, the patient saw he was defeated,
And, standing while his tormentor was seated,
Looked down at her, helpless as a baby,
As she wrote down a phone number. "Maybe
Someday you'll be able to come back,
If you have the funds that you now lack,
And we can then resume our long, hard work."

"I know that you must think that I'm a jerk --"
He started to say. But she looked at her watch.
"You're looking for free time," she said. "Don't botch
The exit. Please, just go!" And so he went,
Thinking, as he into the woodwork blent,
Of this one tiny bit of saving grace:
That at least he'd farted in her face!

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