That’s Representative Hackbarth. [under his breath] At least for now.
[checking his notes] Ach, ya! Zo zorry. Anyvay, just recline zere and make yourzelf comfortable.
[Siggy’s patient lies back on the couch; as he does so, a pistol falls out of his pocket and clatters to the floor.]
Zut alors! Vut za hell is zat?
I’m sorry Dr. Siggy; I’ve been trying to conceal it better, but it doesn’t stay put in my pocket as well as it did in the holster. And say, I thought you were German.
I have za continental education; I can swear in zeveral languages. Anyway, put zat ting away; on zecond thought, I’ll put it aside. You can have it back vhen you leave.
[Siggy arranges himself on a chair next to his reclining patient.]
Zo, iss za gun za problem here, zon? A little compensation, maybe?
[Hackbarth blinks, unsure of what the question is, and then it dawns on him.]
Absolutely not! I’ll show you if . . .
No, no; zat von’t be necessary! Zen vhy are you here?
I have relationship problems.
No shit! I mean, continue, please.
Well, I’m getting a divorce, and it’s painful.
Vhy, of course it iss! Tell me about your vife. Does she remind you of your Mutti?
That’s not za — now you have me doing it, too — relationship that’s a problem, Doc.
It’s my new girlfriend.
You’re still married, but you have za new girlfriend? Getting a little ahead of ourselves, aren’t ve, Hogwarts?
Ya, ya. Don’t change the subject.
Well maybe, but I really need some companionship; I’m a pretty lonely guy.
Vhy to you tink zat iss, Hackbush?
HACKBARTH. I don’t know why. People just seem to shy away from me.
Vell, zhen, let’s talk about za girlfriend, maybe ve’ll learn some tings! How long have you been zeeing zis woman?
We’ve had two dates now, but we really hit it off; I’m sure we did.
Did she say zat, too?
Well, no, but I’m sure she felt that way. That’s why I was so hurt when she went out with somebody else.
Did she tell you zat?
No, but I just sensed it. There was a pulling away. I asked her out again, and she said she was getting together with one of her women friends and couldn’t see me. I mean, how lame is that? She obviously was going out with another man.
Did you talk to zis woman and ask her vhy she vas “pulling away,” to use your vords?
I couldn’t; I don’t have her telephone number. I met her through an on-line dating service.
Vell, haff you been in contact with zis woman since zat night?
I’ve tried, but she doesn’t reply.
Vhy do you tink zat iss, Hacksaw?
I give up; call me what you want. It might be because word got out that I was out looking for her that night. And that I was carrying my friend that fell on the floor a little while ago. She seemed like such a sympathetic soul, too. It’s so unfair to judge a person by one little incident.
Maybe being stalked by an armed man vas, how to say it, offputting?
It seems like I’ve been the victim of stereotypes all my life, Doc.
I’m starting to zee zat.
To be continued . . .
Graphic by Tild