“Yes Ms Kant, please sit down. Good evening, by the way.” The good doctor held up an important-looking, five-page-long report.
In reply, Gloria Kant smoothed her silk skirt as though it were a baby’s face.
“Alright Ms Kant. Let’s go through your options. I’ve got three medicines for you, but you only need choose one. For the sake of simplicity and to remove bias I’ll (and you can) call them A, B and C.
A is, of course, the most promising of the bunch. Very effective, almost no side effects and not too expensive. Standard daily dosing. Problem is, the stock is limited so I can only supply you with a month’s worth. Subsequent orders have to be made specially and via overseas suppliers. Of course, I’ll renew your prescription whenever required. ”
“Don’t I need to go on therapy for at least seven years?” Kant still had a sense of time and practicability.
“Yes, yes, calm down. That’s what B is for. It’s just become available for clinical trial, so cost is covered entirely by the manufacturer. Good things come in pairs too – this one only needs to be taken when required, as it has a rapid onset of action. This choice of dose would also be due to its embarrassing side effects that include hot flushes and involuntary sexual arousal. A caution though – it cannot be taken concurrently with any other medication and supplements, including antibiotics.”
“Why, that’s preposterous, doctor!” Undoubtedly, she had also preserved her dignity.
“Well, not much of a bother if you simply stop for the duration of the new medications. In that case, I would just have to recommend the final choice – C. It’s been around for the longest time, and the track record shows it to be effective and really cheap (the generics, especially). It has a twice-a-day dosing, and the main side effects include drowsiness and a lack in enthusiasm for life. On the bright side, most patients who are on it report a general sense of well-being…”
“But… but… Whatever am I suffering from, doctor? You haven’t even told me that!” Kant was just shy of being appropriately hysterical.
“Why, Loneliness, of course.”