Dr Troppo Responds


Good evening. After another hectic Sunday experimenting on my rats and persuading undergraduates to deliver painful electric shocks to each other I checked my virtual waiting room and found it full of Troppo readers with fascinating problems. Let’s begin.

Yobbo asks "There’s a girl I have a crush on, but her father has threatened to bash me with a ‘billy club’ if I attempt to even meet her. What is a billy club and what would be the best way to get the angry father out of the picture?"

Even to a layperson it is obvious that Mr Yobbo’s problem is a work of fiction. However, as with dreams and jokes, made-up problems can reveal unconscious beliefs and desires — even when they are addressed to fictional internet personalities like myself.

Most of you will have correctly understood that the ‘billy club‘ in Mr Yobbo’s question represents a male authority figure’s penis. However, you may not have attended to the second layer of meaning attached to the father’s ‘billy club’. Mr Yobbo is fantasizing about being dominated by a powerful man. His desire for passivity in the face of this domination is represented by the figure of the ‘girl.’

Mr Yobbo, I suggest that you confront the implications of this fantasy more directly while you relate to your own ‘billy club’. I think you will enjoy it.

Confused and anxious of Port Melbourne says that he "recently met a philosopher at an art gallery. He was a very nice fellow, a good bit younger than me and far more successful – having published two good popular books on the philosophy of love and the philosophy of aesthetics (respectively)." The philosopher refuses to use the internet and ‘Confused and anxious’ worries why he himself has not "shown similar discipline".

Unlike Mr Yobbo’s richly symbolic fantasy, C&A’s problem is disappointingly apparent from a literal reading. C&A is an older man who has not obtained the professional recognition he hoped for. He realizes — as most of us do — that he is just another insecure internet identity who blogs in the hope that he will see his brilliance reflected in the comments of others. Alas, like the mirror-interrogating Queen in the tale of Snow White, the truth given in reflection is not always what the questioner hopes.

Confused and anxious, I suggest that you concentrate on writing papers for academic journals. The abysmally slow turnaround time for these publications will allow far more time for you to fantasize about the fame and adulation you are to receive in the future. If your paper is rejected you can choose to interpret this as the result of professional jealousy in the face of your brilliance.

If, however, your anxiety persists I suggest you try readingAyn Rand novels. Many people with your problem find these helpful.

Saint in a straitjacket asks "People call me a god-botherer. Why is god bothered by me? And what can I do to stop?"

Clearly you are not a ‘God-botherer’. If you were you would have used upper case for the ‘G’ in God.

I suggest you contact these people if you require further assistance.

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Nicholas Gruen
18 years ago

It’s a fair cop.

Confused and anxious,

Port Melbourne

The Receptionist
The Receptionist
18 years ago

Excuse me doctor, I think you may have left one of the undergraduates plugged in.

Dr Troppo
Dr Troppo
18 years ago

Oh dear… yes, I think I have. Please excuse me Dr Gruen, if I don’t unplug this poor student the electricity bill is going to be phenomenal.

18 years ago

Gawd, the undergrads I know don’t need persuading…unless it’s persuading them to stop.

The Real Joker
The Real Joker
18 years ago

Dr Troppo
I would appreciate a prompt response to my expression of ennui in your earlier thread. You see, I may need to go into hiding, err, seclusion for a while after engineering an escape, err, respite from my stay at Dr Arkham’s abode ..

The Receptionist
The Receptionist
18 years ago

Mr Joker, Dr Troppo has given some thought to your first problem. He will provide you with a response when it is convenient for him to do so.

Your living arrangements are of no concern to him.

Jozef Imrich
18 years ago

The moment one learns English, complications set in.


[…] Every Sunday evening I take time out of my busy schedule to help readers with their problems. As this is the internet, many of my most troubled readers are sock puppets and characters from fiction. This week a character from Batman escapes from the canon to ask my help while Ms Winter from LP wants to know whether I think the government should protect from ‘creepy‘ fan fiction based on tv personalities. And no Ms Winter, no government can protect you from your own emotions. […]