Just read. Yes. Right then. --Gwen

A Dialogue:

Scene: A patient sits nervously in a dingy little hovel of a doctor's office, waiting anxiously for the doctor to return with a diagnosis. He gets up and starts peering into jars. Just as he lifts the lid of one labelled "Biohazard," the doctor returns and favours his patient with an evil look.

Doctor: Sit down.

The patient complies.

Patient: Well, what is it? Do-do you know? Is it serious?

D (gravely): I'm afraid I have established a conclusion. You are addicted to air.

P: Gasp!

D: Yes, that's correct, air is a gas.

P: B-b-but..I can't be! No! What will everyone think? I-I only use air recreationally!

D: Let me ask you this. Do you feel as if you need oxygen to survive?

P: Well, yes, but, it's always been this way.

D: Did your mother use air?

P: I suppose she must have, really.

D: Tsk, tsk. That's it then. It exerted a hold upon you from the very womb. Sad that there's not more awareness of air abuse in this country. (mutters) bloody Labour.

P: I-I-I-

D: Do you often get a sudden urge to, em, "breathe" I believe they call it, in the midst of night?

P (evasively): Maybe.

D (beady-eyed stare): Hmmmm..

P (breaking down): Oh yes! YES! I admit it! I cannot live without its oxygeny goodness! GIVE ME AIR!!!!!

D: Now, now, there's no need for hysteria. Move away from the syringes.

P: I'm sorry.I-I don't know what came over me.

D: It's all right. These are perfectly normal feelings.

P: I've tried to quit, really I have. But then my lungs burn and I get all woozy and it's awful!

D: Well, it shan't be easy. But I should think we can deal with this.

P: Oh please! You don't know how much it's affected my family life, me constantly breathing. I mean, it's taken over my world and I hate myself and ah aha ahah I WANT MY MUMMY!!!

D: Just let it all out.

Patient runs maniacally about the room, slamming into walls, tearing down charts, tossing medical supplies without the window, generally destroying the office. This continues for several minutes.

D: I'm terribly sorry, but could you manage not to eat my aspidistra?

Patient has been chewing on plant in corner. He guiltily wipes chlorophyll stains from mouth and returns to seat.

P: So..er.., what now?

D (resignedly): Well, it appears as if we shall have to deal with this in the time-honoured medical manner.

P: How?

D: By drugging you into oblivion.

P: Brilliant!

(Glances awkwardly about room, examines fingernails.)

P: So may I have some of those little white pills? My Aunt Edna takes them; she says the monkeys dance her to sleep at night.

D: Indeed. Just remove yourself from my clinic with haste. My soaps are on.