“Just relax, Mr. Johnson, and tell me about your problem.”

“It’s concert tickets, Doctor.”

“Tickets? You mean, like tickets for Sting or Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band?”

“That’s right, Doctor. I can’t stop buying them.”


“No matter which show, or where it’s taking place, I can’t resist buying tickets. In the past 48 hours I’ve bought tickets for Insane Clown Posse, Neil Diamond and Helmet.”

“I see. You must love concerts, Mr. Johnson.”

“No. Not really.”

“But you keep buying tickets.”

“That’s right. I never go to the shows, but I keep buying tickets. Like last week when I bought a pair of lawn seats for Sting. Or the day before when I bought seats in the nosebleed section for Van Halen, Bette Midler and Hilary Duff. I’m telling you, Doctor, I see an advertisement for Heart or Jimmy Buffett, and before I know it, I’m hopping onto the Net and buying tickets.”

You never go to the shows which you buy tickets for?”

“Never, Doctor. I hate crowds and I hate traffic. In fact, I don’t even like music that much.”

“But you love buying tickets?”

“To the max, Doctor. Already this week I’ve bought the last seats in the last row for Metallica, standing room only seats for Celine Dion and side-stage, obstructed view seats for Gloria Estefan. I just can’t stop buying concert tickets.”

“Hmmm… I see.”

“Can you help me, Doctor? Can you? Please?”

“Your situation isn’t all that unusual, Mr. Johnson. I once had a patient who couldn’t stop buying concert paraphernalia. He had a T-shirt for every day of the week. On Mondays he wore his Jimmy Cliff T-shirt and on Tuesdays he wore his Gene Simmons tongue-tie. Then on Wednesdays -“

“I think I get the picture, Doctor. What happened?”

“Well, it took months of therapy, including electro-water-shock treatments and extreme oxygen deprivation treatments.”

“But you cured him, right, Doctor?”

“Yes, I cured him. Now he’s a functioning member of society. And if I can cure him, I can cure you of this compulsion to buy concert tickets.”

“Huh? But, Doctor, I don’t want to stop buying tickets.”

“What? What about all those tickets you buy, even though you never go to the shows? What about those nosebleed seats for Van Halen? Or those obstructed view seats for Gloria Estefan? What about your problem, Mr. Johnson?”

“But that is my problem, Doctor.”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand. I don’t understand what you want from me.”

“It’s simple, Doctor. I want you to tell me how I can get better seats.”