Chip waited until his participants had noshed on cookies and punch for a bit before calling the support group back to order. “That was a nice break, wasn’t it? Mary-Anne, why don’t you go next?”
“Hi, my name is Mary-Anne.”
“It’s been ten years since I gave up on career advancement, starting a family, and all other ambitions in favor of cats,” Mary-Anne said. She patted her handbag to quiet a soft yowling. “I have 227 at home at the present time.”
“27? That’s quite a few,” Chip said.
“227,” Mary-Anne corrected.
“Okay!” Chip said brightly. “Next is Erich. Erich?”
“Hi, my name is Erich.”
“It’s been about five years since I started tightening every nut and/or bolt I come across,” Erich said. It was sometimes hard to hear him, as he was busily engaged in adjusting screws on his chair. “It’s to the point now where I carry a toolbox and universal adaptor set with me at all times and it takes an hour to leave my house.”
“What do you do for a living, Erich?” asked Chip.
“Fantastic! I think you’re last, Al.”
“Hi, my name is Al.”
“It’s been about two years since I started hearing sinister voices,” Al said. “They are always urging me to do things, even if I don’t want to.”
“What sort of things?”
“Buy detergent, mostly.”
“All right then, that’s everybody!” Chip said, beaming. “A great start for our first support group for people without support groups, wouldn’t you say?”