The most fantastic thing in the universe! Circulation: 177,588,188 Issue: 185 | 8th day of Eating, Y7
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Dr. Yotaria, ISP

by extreme_fj0rd






     I smiled and finished off my cup of tea, lifting it daintily with one colorfully-patterned hoof. Don't ask me how; us Kaus don't have any more idea how it works than you do. I folded our family's copy of the Neopian Times, creasing it so the advertisement I had placed in that day's newspaper was clearly visible. Then I stood up and made sure the collar on the trenchcoat I was wearing-borrowed from my sister... brother... well, my sibling McCandry- was--

      "Lyrian!" I called. My sketch Kiko brother, after a moment, floated down the stairs of our Neohome-which just happened to be 131611 Chia Close, Neopia Central. Weird coincidence, I agree.

      "What?" he asked. I dug out a large sketchbook and an assortment of coloured pens and pencils.

      "Signs!" I said gleefully, flipping open the sketchbook. "You see," I explained as we settled in, "Since Fj0rd doesn't give us much allowance, I've decided that I'll serve as a psychologist to Neopia's famous to earn some extra Neopoints. Famous people are always eccentric, you know," I added confidentially.

      Lyrian nodded. "Sure, I'll help," he said. "What do you want me to do, Yotaria?"

      I grinned. This was going great.

      We finished the signs and set them in the right places. A sign declaring "Sikowlogest" (Lyrian's doing) and the hours was placed in the front window of our Neohome. In the room that was to serve as the office, we framed and hung a few 'certificates' authenticating my claim to psychologist...ness. By another odd coincidence, if you sat on the patient's chair the certificates were just far enough away that one couldn't read them.

      "Right then," I said, brushing off my hands. I put an important-looking form on top of the desk, and set a notebook next to it. I also placed an Air Faerie Pen on the desk, for taking notes with.

      Then I sat back to wait, tapping my hooves impatiently on the desk. It took a while, so to pass the time I played NeoQuest II. I had just reached Faerieland and was about to defeat the Fallen Angel when someone rang the doorbell.

      "Lyrian-" I called.

      "Got it, 'Taria!"

      The door opened, and a few moments later Lyrian bobbed in. A cloaked and hooded figure followed him. Lyrian closed the door firmly, but I had no doubt that he-and probably all my other pets as well-were sitting behind it to listen.

      "Good morning," I said cheerfully. "Issues, problems, other disorders of the mind? Anything that's wrong, we can help you-oh."

      My incognito visitor had just removed his hood, revealing himself to be King Skarl. I jumped up to bow to him (well, royalty can be insulted if one doesn't do these things, and insulted royalty has a tendency to send armies after the insulting individual), but he waved for me to sit down. I gestured to the patient's chair, and he sat. Only then did I sit, and surreptitiously slide my notebook and pen under the desk to take notes with.

      "Yes, well. Anyway-" I cast a glance around the room for inspiration, and then looked back at Skarl. "What seems to be the problem? ...Your majesty," I added.

      He sighed. "Well," he admitted, "I have a bit of a... weight problem."

      "No kidd-" I restrained myself and didn't even mention the fact that the chair would probably collapse if he sat in it for more than five minutes, or got up too quickly. I scribbled down a quick note to tell Fj0rd that it was absolutely not my fault. "When did this-er, this weight problem-become an issue?"

      "About, oh, a year and a half ago. I mean, I've always liked eating, but when Kass and Skarl kept invading my kingdom, it became so tedious, and-"

      I nodded sympathetically, putting a hoof to my chin and leaning forward to listen more intently.

      "Well, anyway whenever I felt stressed, I would eat. And then it became that I was eating pretty much all of the time, and my kitchens couldn't keep up. So I started eating only when someone approached me to sign a legal document, and that helped a bit; but after a little while I went back to eating when I was stressed."

      I nodded again and made a note of that. "So how does that make you feel?" I asked, that being almost the only thing I knew about psychologistness.

      "How does what make me feel?"

      "Erm..." I cast around for an answer. "The eating disorder, the weight problem, any of it really. I just... want to help you... realize what you're doing wrong."

      He nodded. "I see," he said sadly. "Eating makes me feel happy."

      My pen paused over the paper. I looked up. "...Happy?" I said faintly.

      "Yes, happy. When I'm eating, it's like I'm a child again, with my parents and all this good food and I'm warm and fuzzy inside-"

      Too much description. I really did not need to know that. But then again I guess I'm a psychologist. We're supposed to, I don't know, revel in that sort of stuff.

      "I see," I said sagely, scribbling down 'Food makes him happy'.

      "But when I think about sad things, like Kass and Darigan invading, then I get sad." Two large, plump tears rolled down his cheeks. "And when I get sad-"

      "Then you eat more to make you feel happy?" I guessed.

      "Yes! How did you know?"

      "Oh, I'm just psycho," I said airily. Or was that psychic? There were way too many words like that, I decided. Psychic, psycho, psychotic...

      Skarl tilted his head. "Are you sure that's the right word for that?" he asked. I nodded quickly. "Oh, all right then," he said. "What were we talking about, again?"

      "Food?" I suggested.

      "That's right, food." He paused. I got ready to write quickly.

      "When I was a child," he began wistfully, "my parents demanded a lot of food. They gave me only the best of it. My childhood years were happy ones. So were my first few years as king; the land was fruitful, the people were happy. Then Darigan started sending his soldiers in, and it all went downhill from there.

      "Then you add in a bit of rivalry with my brother, King Hagan. He rules Brightvale, you've probably heard of him. He's always lording it over me, that he got the better kingdom."

      "Ah," I said wisely. "And er-how does that make you feel?"

      He wasn't listening. The king of Meridell was staring up at my faked certificates of graduation. "'Neopian Academy,'" he read off.

      "Sweet Fyora," I muttered, sinking lower into my chair and putting my Disco-patterned hooves over my face, "he can read them."

      "Signed by Dr. Imaweirdo?" He frowned. "'Meridell School of Psychologistness. Huh, never heard of that. Must be a new one, eh?"

      I nodded helplessly, sure that he was going to summon guards and have them arrest me for pretensions of psychologistness.

      "Or maybe one of those ones where they try to pretend that they're somewhere else, like a Mystery Island Cooking School in Tyrannia?" Skarl guessed.

      "Er, yes," I managed to say without choking, coughing, or saying anything incriminating.

      "How interesting." He stood up, and I nearly flew up to shake his hand. "Well, you've been quite helpful. You have my thanks.

      "I'll be sending a Skeith Guard over in the next few days with your pay," he added as he turned to leave. He turned back, and I nodded, a hoof clasped over my mouth to keep myself from laughing.

      "Thank you... too.." I said breathlessly.

     "Oh, and-who should the payment be given to?"

     "Er..." I managed to subdue my laughter enough to answer. "Dr. Yotaria, ISP, is fine," I said.


     "Insane Sikowlogist Person," I said. "Have a nice day, King Skarl."

     And I'll be sure to tell Fj0rd just where her best armchair went, too, I added mentally as I watched King Skarl depart with grace, dignity, aplomb, and a chair still stuck to his bottom.

The End

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