Susan entered the clinic through a rear door and went straight to the bathroom adjacent to her treatment room. Confronted by a full length mirror she was shocked to see the state that she was in. Even after showering she had brown stains on her hands and face, fortunately her soiled dress was soon to be replaced by a clean white tunic but despite copious amounts of deodorant the aroma of creosote was still quite strong.
Her first patient was a woman recovering from a minor shoulder injury. As Susan manipulated it her mind wandered back to her recent encounter. For a while she seemed to be working on auto-pilot until a comment from her patient jerked her back into the present. “I hope you don’t mind me mentioning it but can I smell creosote, only my partner is building a shed and we can never get rid of the smell”? Susan blushed and for a moment was lost for words. “Oh yes, I am sorry” she muttered, trying frantically to think of an explanation, “I am afraid I tripped and fell against a newly creosoted shed this morning” was the only explanation she could think of, “I hope the smell doesn’t offend you”. “Don’t worry" responded her patient.
As she continued with the treatment Susan began to fantasize about this new shed but was suddenly interrupted by a remark from her patient. “Is it supposed to hurt”? Susan realised that her manipulation had become rather more vigorous than was necessary. “Sorry” she said again, this time realising that she must pull herself together. “So tell me about this shed” said Susan. “You know what they are like, men and sheds” responded her patient, “they always want a bigger one than their mates”. Yes replied Susan “bigger is always best”. “You sound like you are almost interested” said her patient, “most of us women a bored stiff by all this shed talk”.
When the treatment was completed and her patient was about to leave Susan realised that she might lose the opportunity to see a new shed and in panic blurted out “could I come and see the shed” but realising this remark needed some qualification she continued, “I am thinking of building a shed for my garden and it would be useful if I could get some ideas”. “Yes I suppose so, why don’t you give my partner Julian a call, I’m sure that he would be happy to show you around” and with that her patient jotted down the phone number and left.