DEAR DOCTOR MARY
With offices in Schuylerville, Can-tuck-ee and Out the Northern Sallyport. Special Clinic in Albany, where your wounded can walk to!
Prefers fee in silver, but will settle for brandy. No record of the days of your father will be accepted at this time. All health plans accepted, except HMOs (Huron Maintenance Organizations).
She will give your request all due attention at her earliest convenience.
The Courier is pleased to introduce the newest member of our staff, the prima donna of pain and psychosis, Doctor Mary. In addition to a busy schedule at her new Mohicanland offices, Doctor Mary will answer readers' letters in the Courier. If you're down, depressed, lonely, or nuts, tell it to the Doctor. She promises to offer helpful solutions and unique advice.
Dear Doctor Mary,
Hi, dear. Remember me? Your mother? Well, I must say, you seem to have made quite the name for yourself! After all these years of searching ... no word, no news, not so much as a by your leave! And I finally learn of your whereabouts through that sleazy, rag of a newspaper "The Courier"!!! You should be ashamed of yourself, dear. You've turned into a two-bit, hustling, in your face, quack of a doc! What shame you have brought down upon your family! Disgusting.
So, do you plan on returning the $80,000 you stole now that you've achieved world wide fame? We really could use the money and your father said he'll forgive you if you tack on 20 years worth of interest.
Everyone's well. Your older sister still hates your guts, but, well, that's just her. Your kitten got older and died (about 15 years ago) and we gave your room to a boarder. At least he pays in cold hard cash.
Anyway, gotta go! Stay well and do drop us a line! Hope to receive your check soon. And dear, do try to find a bit of dignity, would you?
PS: You really ought to go easy on those loonies. People like that can be very unstable. Could you live with yourself if anything bad happened?
I see you have access to e-mail in the pen -- say, don't you come up for parole in a couple of years? Sorry about Sis -- I guess working all those Shriner Conventions tends to make her a little crabby. Thanks for telling me about Fluffy -- you forgot to mention he was already dead when you gave him to me. Remember? You kept telling me he was just sleeping. You'll be glad to know I finally escaped from the orphanage -- remember that? You told me you were sending me and Fluffy to Lake Gotchahangin for Summer Camp. Hah! As far as the $80,000 check you sent me, I'm sure it was an oversight on your part, but I must break it to you that Confederate bonds haven't been worth much since 1864. Well Mom, I wandered the world for many years drooling and mumbling to myself, until I came upon a little cabin hacked out of the wilderness inhabited by a pair of weirdos who took me in and gave me an outlet to express my intense need to counsel other tortured souls like myself. Thanks to them, I have achieved the worldwide fame that I so richly deserve. What suckers! Anyway, Mom...must dash. You caught me right in the middle of a rerun of "Petticoat Junction." I believe Bobbie Jo just caught a certain body part of hers in the wringer washer, and Uncle Joe is helping her remove it! Yuk! Yuk! Catch you later...like maybe the next millennium.
Dear Doctor M,
Hiya! I've been reading your column nearly all my literate life. I have enjoyed so much the way you cut through the bull and tear right into the heart of those mental cases with unparalleled butchery (figuratively speaking)! I love it!
In case you haven't heard, Miss Anne T (you remember the mealy mouthed whiner?) was found dead last week. The obit was in our paper 'cause the spindly spinster was a long time resident. In fact, she was the founder of "The Humane Society For Mentally Disturbed Persons of Huronia." Anyways, doc, they say she killed herself after being rejected and humiliated by a pseudo psychiatrist to whom she had desperately turned to help. Now, that wouldn't have been you, would it? Ha! Ha! You're a riot!
Okay, one last thing. I really wanted to tell you that I'm in love with you. A burning love, as I call it. I think it was the way you called Cora in Can-tuc-kee a "concave chested, short fingered little tramp" that first stirred my heart. I am an older gent but I'm filthy rich. So, if you're interested, let me know!
With undying fondness and admiration,
The Huron Sachem
PS: Is the doctor ... in? Ha! Ha!
So Anne T. croaked, eh? Oh well. One less old poot breathin' my air, as I always say. As for your expression of admiration for me, Dr. Mary is most flattered and pleased. In fact, she believes you possess all the sterling qualifications she looks for in choosing a possible Life Partner ... loaded and one foot in the grave! Right now I must confess that Dr. Mary is currently involved with another gentleman in his Sunset Years, but she has doubts about the future of this particular connection. He's kind of gloomy and keeps muttering about joining the council fires of his people. I'm planning on a nice trip to Table Rock to cheer him up...just the two of us...and I think matters will be settled in a permanent sort of way after that, and I will be free to pursue other, more profitable relationships. Now there is the matter of his adopted son moving in with us...he's a cheerful, willing, sturdy little lad, and I'm sure you'll find him no trouble at all. He does insist on sleeping with me -- he does love his "Auntie Mar-wy" so! Ha! Ha! Do let me hear from you... can't wait to meet "The Great Sachem" in person! (wink! wink!)
Kiss kiss, sweetie!
I was recently at a Gathering of Mohicanites. We all got together in Mohicanland for a weekend of what was SUPPOSED to be fun. Well, what a bunch of bitchy dames that group is! I was clawed, pushed, tripped, bitten, smacked, and starved. And that was only the first day! Needless to say, I have some vendettas to carry out.
Here's the problem though. Everybody is pretending that the gathering was just swell. No one is willing to speak out and tell the real story. If I am the lone dissenting voice, no one will believe me and I'll be tried for sedition. Yet, I can not allow this facade to continue. It was hell! Treachery, deceit, malice, hate, and vices you wouldn't believe! That was the theme for the weekend. Do I risk it all and come forward? Or do I suffer silently, knowing that some poor unfortunate souls will be enticed to sign on for the next one, not knowing they are merely to be victims of sickos?
I can't keep this inside. Should I enter a government witness program and change my identity?
Help me please.
Dear Anne T:
"Treachery, deceit, malice, hate and vices?" And Doctor Mary wasn't there to enjoy it?????!!!! HELL AND DAMNATION!!!! I dunno, Anne T. -- you sound like a mealy-mouth spineless wimpoid to me. How you escaped being given a swirly in the bunkhouse is beyond me. Are you sure you weren't one of those kids with coke-bottle glasses who used to go to camp and eat the paste during Craft Time? I would say the Witness Protection Program would be the best thing for you at this point. I understand the names "Francois" and "Bill" are available.
Dearest Doctor Mary,
Let me be up front with you. I am what is commonly referred to as a camp follower. Am I proud? No, but I have to make a living. I've tried other occupations like seamstress, laundress, teacher, wife, etc.... but none of them offer wages to survive on. So, I sell my wares? At least I know I'll always find work. Here's the thing that bothers me. Everywhere I go, I am treated like a second class citizen. What gives?
Why am I seen as an outcast? How do I empower myself so this no longer upsets me? Should I attend more tea parties? Or wear less rouge? Do you think I should cease marketing my business while in mixed company? I mean, everybody else is wooing new clients at social functions, but for some reason, when I do it, the reaction is hostile. Is there a problem with my approach?
What would you advise this working girl do? Please don't recommend a new line of work. My expertise is specialized.
With fondest appreciation,
PS Do you have any male friends?
Dear Happy Camper:
Girl, I have no problem with your professional status....we are all talented in our own way, as Mr. Rogers used to tell us. Now, networking at social functions needs a bit of je ne said quois, I'll admit. I mean, do you hoist yourself on a banquet table and holler, "OK Fellas!!!"? If so, a tad more subtlety in your initial approach might be in order. I might also suggest looking into a more mutually exclusive relationship with an older patron...easier on the arches, you might say. There's a nice gray-haired colonel at the fort that might need a little TLC. Last I saw, he was pinned underneath a dead horse.
PS Stay away from the tall black-haired guy with the big nose and the wampum belt, or I'll have to rearrange your face.
Dear Doctor Mary,
I have been troubled by a recurring dream. In my dream, I am hiking along the cliff trails, minding my own business, imagining that Uncas is not really dead. Then ... just as I reach the spot where he was so ruthlessly tossed by Magua, Uncas appears! He is desperately clinging to the ledge, trying to get over the top ... to safety. He reaches out to me with a bloody hand, grasping for dear life with the other. He looks at me and whispers, .... "Help me." I rush to him, grab his hand, start to pull ...... then, he pulls me down and pushes me to my death!!!! He laughs and leaps to safety. He simply disappears after that.
I have tried everything, Doctor Mary, to rid myself of this haunting scene. I've gone without sleep for days. I've tried hypnosis. I've even turned to drink. What does this dream mean and how can I rid myself of its torture?
Please, Doc! You've got to help me. I don't want to die! But he's driving me over the edge!!!!! I always thought he was so nice but now I see he's a treacherous one, that Uncas.
Dear Disillusioned Dreamer:
Whoa! You are one sick puppy, I can tell you! Thank God you got to me in time. Now, Dr. Mary's been away for awhile, so she has to get back into her Therapeutic Thang here. Let's see... what did they tell me to say in Wacko School? Oh yeah. "Zee mutter. Ve must alvays look to zee mutter as zee root cause of zee problems." You cured yet? No? Ok....how's this? It is my feeling that your Inner Papoose is telling you to beware of good-looking muscular guys who are...how shall I put this?...somewhat intellectually low-key. I mean, figure it out! How long would you be content with a guy who only mumbles "clothes...tools...mirrors..." no matter what you say to him? (After the first week or so, I mean!) Face it, DD --- after awhile they all turn into Teepee Potatoes, ya know? What are you gonna do when he puts on 50 pounds and does nothing but burp and ask for the pemmican chips? Your psyche is warning you that this would be Death to your Womanly Spirit...hence the dream. Damn, when ya got it, ya got it!!! NEXT!!!
Dear Dr. Mary:
Thank you for the advice you gave my fianc� Magua. He is just so sensitive to my needs. Every man should be so understanding! But there will be no question of whether or not I go to the Gathering. I have heard a rumor that that two timing hussy, Magua's first wife, who couldn't wait to jump into the wigwam of another, just might show up. I wouldn't miss that for the world. She'd better come in full battle dress. Hope everyone will enjoy Huron Hussy stew for dinner!
Magua's Moll, Ros
Dear Magua Moll:
Dr. Mary is glad she could bring a little sunshine into the dark corners of your twisted relationship with Mr. M. I have always had the opinion that he just needed the love of a good woman -- preferably one with cannibalistic and psychotic tendencies -- and you, dear woman, seem to fit the bill admirably. After the Gathering, perhaps you and your beloved might consider dropping in on the Donner Party -- always a fun group!!
I understand you are a Yangeese medicine woman. It took a lot of self control to write to one with such bad blood, but I think your English background may be of some use.
I have recently become engaged to a Huron Harpie named Ros. She is devoted, madly in love with me, and enjoys torturing Yangeese whenever the opportunity presents itself. She is a perfect match and suitable for my wigwam. However, though she is loyal, Ros is planning to romp and cavort with some strange Yangeese in Mohicanland during the moon of the long day. This has angered me. How can she be loyal to me and still want to play with the grey hair's people? If I tell her not to go, she will be too sad. If I let her decide for herself, this betrayal may haunt our relationship forever. What should I do?
I have thought of taking a war party to Mohicanland to kill or capture the Yangeese, but I don't want Ros to feel I am too pushy. I also suffer from a superstitious fear that the grey hair's spirit will roam Mohicanland in search of vengeance.
If your medicine is strong, then tell me what I should do. If you fail, I will sell you to the Ottawa.
Magua, Chief of the Hurons
PS I hope you can read wampum.
Well, aren't you the whiney one! Dr. Mary has a good mind to whack your miserable Huron hiney with a two-by-four. Ros sounds like the perfect woman to me, buster! I would let her go romp and cavort all she wants. Maybe she'll bring you back a nice captive to torment...have you ever thought of that? Ponder well the following saying, which has been handed down over the generations of my father's people (who all happen to be Appalachian hill folk): "If you love someone, set them free. If they return, rejoice in your heart. If they don't, go after 'em with a pack of dawgs and a twelve-gauge."
Yeah, yeah. Sell me to the Ottawa. Throw in deux Francais and you've got a deal.
Dear Doctor Mary,
I wrote to you awhile back about my boredom, husband, frontier drudgery and so forth. Do you remember me? Confused Cora in Can-Tuc-kee? You damn well better remember me! I'm not confused anymore, Doc. I think I'm getting the picture loud and clear, you lousy, no-good, husband snatching, man crazed charlatan! Where's Nathaniel?!!! You send him back to me this minute, you hear?!!!
Whatever needed readjusting must be readjusted by now. Do you have any idea what I've been going through out here in this God forsaken Can-Tuc-kee cabin? Invite the Hurons over for a barbecue, huh? Well, stupid little Cora did what the doctor advised, and guess what?!!! They're not friendly at all! All they're interested in is food and brandy. They haven't even tried to take advantage of me! At least that would have been something.
I can't take it! Send Nathaniel back! If you don't I'll make you curse the day you ever heard my name, you old wench! Go to Hades!
Crazed Cora in Can-Tuc-kee
Cora! Cora! Dr. Mary senses so much latent hostility here. Luckily she is a big person and will overlook your vile, baseless accusations, you short-fingered concave-chested little tramp. Obviously, you have confused Dr. Mary's special patented healing massage therapy with some of the cheap floozoid techniques as practiced by some of Dr. Mary's jealous, less-talented competitors. Perhaps you've mistaken me for that Florida harlot known as MamaMarcia, who offers her black arts through that special 1-900 Courier Service. I mean, pul-eeze. Give me some credit. I assure you, dearest Cora, my interest in your husband...("Nathaniel" is it? Hmmmmm. I thought it was "Oh Baby Oh Baby Yes!" Never mind) ... is strictly professional in nature. He is deeply disturbed and I wouldn't dream of sending him back to you until he poses no further threat to you or society at large. Unfortunately this involves almost hourly interactions, night and day, and poor Dr. Mary is about worn to a frazzle, but she will soldier on...won't she, my snoogly-woogly? What a bad boy you are! You want to play the "Captain John Smith and Naughty Pocahontas" game again? Oops! Sorry Cora! Must dash! I sense a real breakthrough here. Be patient! Don't call us...we'll call you!
Dear Doctor Mary,
I have an acquaintance who is ill and in need of help, and I have no idea how to go about helping her. She has apparently been duped by her husband who was conducting criminal activities behind her back. Now she is trying to project her problems into my life. She is convinced that my dear housemate has been also conducting these criminal activities behind my back and is sure that I am "hurting". I know for a fact that my housemate has not been involved in anything of the sort.
I am most worried because she thought I wanted help in planning some revenge. This leads me to believe that she may actually be plotting revenge against her husband.
How can I help this friend face her pain at this deception by someone she trusted and see that revenge will not solve her problems? My heart goes out to her.
We apologize for Doctor Mary's snub, but she refuses to answer hearsay letters from secondary sources, or what she likes to call "second hand smoke". The doctor is of the opinion that you should mind your own business. If your friend is planning to kill her husband, what business is it of yours? I mean, like, are you going to have to foot the burial costs or something?
In the meantime, O'Wara, get a grip! Your friend knows exactly what she is doing and if it is murder, so what! If everyone was to write panicky letters everytime there was a domestic violence incident we'd soon have no forests left. Incidentally, isn't your housemate in a lock-up facility?
Please feel free to write again when you've spent adequate time wallowing in your own pathos.
The Courier Editors
Dear Doctor Mary,
I am writing to you because I am desperate. I really don't know who else to turn to. I am an invalid schoolgirl looking for adventure. I will be traveling shortly from Fort Edward to Fort William Henry where I will see Pa-pa`. The trouble is my big sister. She's always telling me what to do, what to wear, when to sleep, and so on. I know she probably means well but I just want to slap the bitch sometimes. And then there's the romance thing. I may be crazy, insecure, paranoid, suicidal, silly, delusional, dependent, fragile, pale, sickly, and suffer from anorexia, but isn't that normal for a girl my age? Why am I sooooo overlooked? I want excitement and adventure just as much as my sister, but everything is alwaaaaays Cora! Cora this, Cora that. She gets the good clothes, the breast lifts with instant cleavage makers, the fine horse, the pearl earrings, the striped skirt, the pistol, a murder attempt, and everything else resembling fun. What do I get? Chaperones, advice, hand me down petticoats, anxiety, and fainting spells. Even dear, sweet Duncan has been saved for Cora. Everyone thinks they know best.... my father, cousin Eugenie, Cora. I can't take it much longer! I always give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.... Please help me, Doctor Mary, before I jump off a cliff!
Adventurous, Anemic Alice
Dear Adventurous, Anemic Alice:
Dr. Mary, along with all her other dark talents, is something of a prognosticator of the future, so she checked out the old crystal ball for you and HOO! HAH! I think I can say with all confidence that your life is about to undergo a BIG change of pace! I see two...yes, two muscular native loin-clothed men grappling and sweating and grunting ...over YOU! Gives the phrase "Have you seen the red man" a whole new meaning, don't it? Wooooo! (Excuse me -- Dr. Mary had to go fan herself rapidly with her ostrich feather fan and dab her heaving cleavage with a ice cube.) As for dealing with Cora, Dr. Mary had to deal with an obnoxious older sister whilst in her formative years, and she can tell you that sheer treachery is always a good option when trying to resolve these conflicts. Steal her bustier pads and leave them on Dr. Phelps desk. Run and tell your dad whenever she tries to sneak out to the battlements with that hairy guy. Tell Ongewascone she is really, really hot for him. Use your imagination! And cheer up! Guys really go for that slack-lipped, dull, vacuous look, and honey -- you have a lock on that! Dr. Mary's spirit guide, Hunkaburninluv, has just whispered the phrase "Calvin Klein underwear model" in her ear, so I hope this has meaning for you.
PS I would stay off of anything higher than a step stool for the next couple of weeks if I were you. Kiss! Kiss!
Dear Doctor Mary,
Look. I don't really want to be doing this. I'm a man. Men don't ask for help... or directions. They're supposed to suck it up and be strong. Find their own way. But, well..... I have this problem and I don't know who else to talk to.
A while back, I found myself obliged to rescue some idiots who had allowed themselves to walk smack into a Mingo ambush. I hesitated at first, being that I was a bit busy gutting an elk. But, my man responsibilities compelled me and my pals to jump in, do a few Ramboesque moves, and guide the idiots to safety. To make a long story tolerable, there was a woman in this group who sort of liked me. Doc! There ain't been no women around the frontier for some time, so I guess I started thinking "it ain't so bad." Anyway, her father got offed in a massacre, her sister splattered herself on some really neat rocks, and her stuffy ex-beau was roasted by the Hurons. At the same time, my red brother Uncas, son of Chingachgook, of whom I am the adopted son of, got butchered by that Mingo Magua. I was lonely, scared, confused, and depressed. Thought I would always feel that way. She was alone, and looking for a good time. So I let her tag along for two nights and a bit. But to be honest, she talks too much, has a bad temper, is prone to violent mood swings, doesn't know the first thing about the art of woodcraft, and is as exciting as that singing master. I don't know what I was thinking, but Doc, I got to get rid of her. I know my sense of honor tells me I can't simply dump her off in the forest, but I can't bear the sight of her anymore. And my father, Ching, has threatened to shut her up if she doesn't stop chatting during the hunts.
Is there a kind, merciful way to lose the broad? Be careful with my ego please.
Hen-pecked, Harangued, Huron Hating Hawk
Dear Hawk Boy:
Obviously you are suffering from that great malaise of the Frontier... Loincloth Lugubriousness. Now, normally Dr, Mary would prescribe going off in the woods with a group of guys and beating a drum and yelling, but since this is what you do in your everyday life, this would not be helpful. HAHAHAHAHA! (Sorry. Dr. Mary just amuses the poop out of herself sometimes.)
Well, obviously you need to drop this broad like a bad habit. Can't you just like hit her over the head with a rock or sell her to the Abenakis or something? I believe you need the advice and counsel of a somewhat older, professional woman...one more attuned to your...er...needs, shall we say. I think you need to make an appointment with Dr. Mary ASAP to address these complex issues in depth. I have found that intense deep muscle massage followed by hot tub therapy to be very helpful in cases such as yours.
Dr. Mary also has some ideas for your Career Advancement as well. I believe that a great future awaits you in the Romance Cover BoyToy department. Start practicing the phrase, "Come, let me crush you to my massive chest muscles, you wanton little vixen!" We'll discuss it with Dr. Mary's agent, Sidney of Schuylerville, when you arrive.
Until then, my little Buckskin Bauble.
Dear Dr. Mary,
I am an elderly spinster who has always believed in kindness to others. Never was I known to enjoy violence in any form. Recently, after spending some time in Mohicanland, I found myself secretly enjoying the various blood sports that erupted. In particular, I have found the nasty cat fight between Mary and Marcia exciting. I am ashamed to admit this but I think I am addicted to their violent battles. I find myself rooting for Mary, shouting ugly threats at "the bunny killer", and using foul language casually. My mother did not raise me this way and I feel very guilty about this side of my character. What should I do?
- Confused and ashamed Anne T.
Dear Annie T:
Fear not. You suffer from what is known in the Wacko Racket as "Postal Granny Syndrome", so don't get your Depends in a knot. This syndrome is most commonly observed in supermarkets on double-coupon days, when the Grey Hairs run over your ankles with a shopping cart while screaming, "Do ya feel lucky, punk????" The feeling you are experiencing is simply your "Inner Magua" coming to the fore. Nurture it...honor it...stay away from sharp objects while you have it. Face it...you're going to be on the Landfill of Life before you know it, so you might as well make everyone's life around you a living hell!
Dear Dr. Mary,
I am a newlywed. Before our recent marriage, my husband and I experienced excitement and adventure in the wilderness. We had fun and were madly in love. I thought it would always be that way. After our marriage, we settled on a nice homestead along the frontier. My husband and I built a comfortable cabin in Can-tuc-kee and began our new life here. Now, though I do think of myself as a goodwife, I'm beginning to feel very bored. This domestic drudgery is getting to me. I am beginning to feel resentment towards my dear husband. I'm sick of doing wash, sick of his bloody carcasses, sick of cooking, and sick of his smelly friends. Nathaniel is a good man but I don't know if I can take this hellish life any longer. I am considering leaving him and returning to Boston. What should I do? Is it wrong of me to want fine clothes and servants? I am beside myself with boredom.
-Confused, Cheated Cora in Can-Tuck-ee
Dear Confused Cora in Can-Tuck-ee:
Wake up and smell the java, Cora! Your marriage is doomed! The buzzards are circling over its rotting carcass! I did get the oil painting of Nathaniel that you enclosed with your letter (Damme! I hope they invent polaroids soon -- I must speak to Colonel Eastman.) I have examined this portrait verrrry carefully, and it may be that he can be a candidate for Dr. Mary's special 12 Step Husband Adjustment Program. You just stay put in your cabin and send that bad boy to my Walking Wounded Clinic in Albany. Dr. Mary will sweat and strain unceasingly, day after day, night after night after night to try to bring matters to a satisfactory climax. No...no... don't thank me now. And pay no attention to those silly threats of Huron uprisings in your neighborhood. The media always exaggerates these things. Invite the Hurons to your cabin for a nice barbecue while Nathaniel is away. Remember ... a stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet!
For More Advanced Therapeutic Techniques, See DOCTOR MARY'S THERAPY ROOM