The incredible event occurred during my third visit to Gustav Von Seyfertitz, my foreign
I should have guessed at the strange explosion before it came.
After all, my alienist,
alien, had the coincidental name, Von Seyfertitz, of the
tall, lean, aquiline, menacing, and therefore beautiful actor who played the high priest in
the wondrous villain waved his skeleton fingers, hurled insults, summoned
sulfured flames, destroyed slaves, and knocked the world into earthquakes.
After that, "At Liberty," he could be seen riding the Hollywood Boulevard trolley cars
as calm as a mummy, as quiet as an unwired telephone pole.
Where was I? Ah, yes!
It was my
visit to my psychiatrist. He h~' called that day and cried, "Douglas,
you stupid goddamn son of a bitch, it's time for beddy-bye!
Beddy-bye was, of course, his couch of pain and humiliation where I lay writhing in
agonies of assumed Jewish guilt and Northern Baptist stress as he from time to time
muttered, "A fruitcake remark!" or "Dumb!" or "If you ever do
again, I'll kill you!"
As you can see, Gustav Von Seyfertitz was a most unusual
specialist. Mine? Yes.
Our problems are land mines in our heads.
on them! Shock-troop therapy, he once
called it, searching for words. "Blitzkrieg?" I offered.
He grinned his shark grin. "That's it!"
Again, this was my third visit to his strange, metallic-looking room with a most odd
series of locks on a roundish door. Suddenly, as I was maundering and treading dark
waters, I heard his spine stiffen behind me. He gasped a great death rattle, sucked air, and
blew it out in a yell that curled and bleached my hair:
Thinking that the room might be struck by a titanic iceberg, I fell, to scuttle beneath
the lion-claw-footed couch.
"Dive!" cried the old man.