Shrinks are Neither Smart nor Funny

I received a call on Wednesday from a woman with a blocked phone number.

“Hello, Dr. Dobrenski? This is ________ from (major publishing house). I’d like to say that our editors have read your book and we here couldn’t be happier with it. We’d love to publish it and are ready to offer you a significant advance.”

Given my cursory knowledge of how the publishing industry works, immediate and intense skepticism set in. However, I feigned excitement just in case my suspicions were false. I’m so pathetic I’ll even entertain a bogus call.

“Really? That’s…that’s just amazing. Thank you! How much of an advance are you considering?”

“Oh, significant,” she said. “At least one million dollars.”

“Of course, a writer of my fame and stature should command such a figure. Please tell me more.”

“Well, would you be willing to include one of your colleagues as a co-author? We’ve been very impressed with Dr. John’s abilities as a Psychologist, and we think you could sell many more books with his name attached to it.”

It crossed my mind that Pete was the prankster, but that would have required him not only speaking to, but actually befriending a woman, to make this call for him.

“Anything at all,” I said. “If you want John on there, consider it done.”

At that point John took the phone from whom I’m guessing was his office assistant. “Gotcha, Dobrenski! April Fool’s!”

“You’re an idiot.”

“What? Why?”

“First, my book isn’t even being considered at that publishing house, because they don’t print psychology books. Second, offers aren’t made directly to the writer, at least not in this case. That’s what agents are for. And that advance was ludicrous.”

“Oh, I guess I should have called your agent.”

“I’m pretty sure he knows the people he talks books with, so please don’t bother him.”

“Fair point. Well anyway, Happy April Fool’s Day, Sunshine.”

“That’s tomorrow, you moron.”

He paused and then starting pushing buttons on his phone, probably pulling up his calendar.

“Damnit!” he said. “I’ve got a male stripper on his way to Pete’s right now! Gotta go.” Click.

So close to fulfilling my dream of being published, yet so far.

The morale of this brief anecdote: for April Fool’s Day, know your victim and the environment in which you are playing your prank. And consider actually completing your joke on April 1st. That always helps.

Related Post (I actually tricked some of you with this a few years back): A Shrink’s Worst Possible Nightmare

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12 Responses to “Shrinks are Neither Smart nor Funny”

  1. BL1Y says:

    A few years ago my mom called to tell me she was pregnant.

    Worst April Fool’s prank ever.

  2. Chater says:

    April Fools sucks. Most pranks can be seen coming from a mile away. Definitely sucks to get your hopes even a fraction up.

  3. Rob Dobrenski says:

    April Fool’s Day was much better when I was a kid. You didn’t have the internet, Twitter and such giving you so much warning. Everyone is too prepared now. I usually work from the assumption that either Pete or John (or both) will either screw up the date or come up with something so outlandish that it’s not worth giving much thought to.

    In college I got my mom to believe that I had failed out of school. That was a great day.

  4. David says:

    Where do you find these friends of yours? 🙂

  5. Wayland says:

    Good times.

  6. […] Rob, As funny as Dr. John is, we all know that he has issues. Other than sexual relations, though, what constitutes a […]

  7. […] other mental health professionals. Between Steve’s narcissism and John’s incessant April Fool’s Day phone calls, I simply don’t need any more neuroticism in my life. And given that I’ve been what my […]

  8. Ma says:

    Great blog! You have an interesting friend there

  9. Online Guy says:

    Great blog!I added it to my bookmark so we could visit it yet again. Love Shrinks are Neither Smart nor Funny, but Why Marriages Fall is my favorite…

  10. […] shared this question with Dr. John and he immediately asked for your email. He also wanted your age and measurements, then proceeded […]

  11. Impressive post,Maybe I might sign up to your rss.

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