So one Friday, I find myself on the couch in my therapist’s office, free associating about a dream I had the night before. I knew it was significant because I’d had it many times before, and you know what they say about recurring dreams.
Once again, I’d dreamt of the elusive Lagavulin 21.
“So where are you in the dream?”
“Under a down blanket in front of a campfire. Black swan down. Blackhawk Down.”
“Please don’t start shouting for cover fire again.”
“Right. Ahem. Cherry flavored iodine. A deep red peach whipped into a buttery balm. A peach fuzzy balm. A nuzzly balm. Martha Nussbaum.”
“Classic Lagavulin nose. Faint smell of fish. A bucket of fresh trout still alive in the bucket. One pound fish. One pound fish. Very very good, very very cheap–”
“–Oh no, you don’t! I told you not to do that again in here.”
“Right, right. Really iodiney. Iodiney Granger. Wingardium leviosa. Sherry and samosas. One pound fish–”
“Just kidding! Just kidding!”
“Then move on.”
“Right, to the mouth. Hot, hot, hot! Not smooth–HOT! Drinking magma from horn spoons for caviar. Magna Carta. Summa Magna Cum Laude.”
“Yeah, please don’t go on from that one.”
“Good call. On the finish, more heat, then deer skin gloves.”
“Deer skin gloves?”
“Reindeer mittens? Oh, okay, moving on… Charcoal used as sandpaper on a redheaded baby’s head.”
“Wow. Well, with imagery like that, you should keep me in business for a while all on your own. Is that all?”
“No! Add water, and fruit comes out on the nose. Carmen Miranda on the nose.”
“Carmen Miranda on the brain, apparently.”
“Really? That often?”
“Every frickin’ session.”
“Hmm. Add lots of water, and it gets mankier and a bit off. (Note: do not add lots of water.) Compared to what I’d expect, it’s still hotter. Harry Potter. Fly swatter.”
“Yeah, we’re done here.”
“Ice water! Welcome back, Kotter!”
–On the scale of more helpful therapy sessions–
The Lagavulin 21 is the one where the patient thinks everything is a phallus, to which Dr. Freud responds, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”–Artfully done without ever seeming to attack the patient–and without directly challenging his view of the world–it’s so good, he probably never said it in therapy at all.
*–Therapist’s Little Helper
Our thanks to Leah Eagel, Alex Conway and Diageo for the sample!