Here is an excerpt from an iChat conversation I had yesterday with this man.
FAUSTUS: I want to do something nice for E.S. to celebrate the end of the medicine part of his residency and the start of the psychiatry part. So I decided to arrange for us to go camping. But here’s my question: how do you go camping?
DAVID: I don’t know. Don’t you have to have a tent or something?
FAUSTUS: I just spoke with my brother. He doesn’t know how to go camping either, but he has a friend who does.
DAVID: I think you’re supposed to go to the Catskills.
FAUSTUS: I know you’re supposed to do things in nature.
DAVID: You didn’t say anything about nature.
FAUSTUS: That was the point. E.S. wants us to go to nature. But if I arrange it, I can ensure that any contact with actual nature is minimized. Then we never have to do it again. Whereas if he does it, he’ll want to, you know, use a compass or something.
DAVID: How would you get to nature? Isn’t it far away?
FAUSTUS: I’m looking that up now. Oh, here’s a place that has “tent camping” and a “pick your own” farm nearby.
DAVID: Pick your own takeout Chinese food?
FAUSTUS: Pick your own falafel, maybe.
DAVID: Isn’t nature cold these days?
FAUSTUS: I could wear a sweater.
DAVID: I wore a sweater today. It was stunning.
FAUSTUS: Oooh, what kind?
DAVID: A new wool cardigan with argyle. You should wear the sweater you knit yourself. I’m sure everyone else who’s camping will comment on how it flatters your coloring. It really does.
FAUSTUS: Why, thank you. Oh, here’s one near a lake. But I think E.S. wants us to be in a forest.
DAVID: What on earth would he do in a forest?
FAUSTUS: I think he would walk around and look at trees.
DAVID: Faustus, you’re being ridiculous. No one in his right mind would walk around and look at trees. And if someone REALLY needs to look at trees, he can go to the Barnes and Noble and buy a calendar with pictures on it. I think I saw one with trees once. “Tree a Day” or something.
FAUSTUS: I really think E.S. wants to go look at actual, physical trees. Perhaps he’s been lying to me this whole time. Perhaps he’s not actually a psychiatrist, but a psychiatric patient.
DAVID: That would explain an awful lot.
FAUSTUS: He might even want to touch them.
DAVID: Really! I can’t think of anything less pleasant.
FAUSTUS: I should thank my lucky stars I’m not planning this in summer. He’d probably want us to put bug spray on.
DAVID: True. But I suppose that’s better than the alternative. If a bug touched me, I don’t know what I’d do. I really don’t.