Our nephew Mandrake asked how my wife, Kate, and I managed to remain blissfully together for over two decades while many other couples wound up divorced.
“Mandrake,” I said, “even though you are only nine years old, you are mature enough to learn certain basic marriage concepts. Your aunt and I adhere to the rules of Homeopathic Psychology. Do you know what homeopathic means?”
“No,” said the lad.
“Homo means ‘the same.’ And pathic means ‘disease.’ Homeopathic medicine is the science of fighting disease by introducing the thing that causes the disease into the patient. In your case, here is how it would work: you have an allergy to ragweed, right?”
“Well, a homeopathist would drop a pinch of ragweed into a swimming pool, then he would gallop to the other end of the pool and take out a cup of water. That water would contain a minute amount of ragweed.”
“And I would drink that and then my body would build up an immunity to the ragweed, right?” asked Mandrake.
“Not so fast, my boy. Before you drank that cup of water, the homeopathist would empty it into the Pacific Ocean and then a few days later he would draw a clean cup of water from the surf a dozen miles away. That seawater would contain an infinitesimal amount of ragweed. It would be so tiny that you could not measure it, but it would be there, especially if you had faith. You would take four drops to cure your ragweed allergy — six drops for quicker results.”
“Wow,” said Mandrake. “And that would really get rid of my allergy?”
“With luck, Mandrake. And you could bottle the seawater and sell it for 10 dollars per quarter ounce.”
“Cool. Beats a paper route,” he said. “But what’s Homeopathic Psychology?”
“Just as something like ragweed upsets one’s immune system, your Aunt Kate used to become upset when we argued. Especially if she thought I was overbearing.”
“Ah, so you became a pinch overbearing in order to help Aunt Kate develop immunity to her female emotions?”
“Exactly, Mandrake. Of course, your Aunt Kate is also a student of Homeopathic Psychology. Knowing that I don’t like to be disobeyed, Aunt Kate disobeys me a pinch so I will become immune to her damned stubbornness.”
“Sounds like a wild theory,” said Mandrake.
“It’s much more than a theory. Let me give you a demonstration.” I yelled to Kate to provide me with some English Breakfast tea and Baked Alaska.
“Are you ranting at me, you twit?” she screamed back.
“Who do you think I’m talking to, you idiot?!!” I yelled back. “Now fetch me my English Breakfast tea and Baked Alaska before I call a divorce lawyer!”
“Go to hell!” she said.
“She’s not coming,” said Mandrake after a few minutes.
“Of course not,” I said. “But Aunt Kate’s level of anger is much less than it was before we practiced homeopathic therapy. In the old days, when I requested special food, she usually ran at me with a hatchet or an open pair of pinking shears.”
“She does seem to be calmer than I remember,” said Mandrake. “Gosh, Uncle Jaron, I’m impressed with your large brain.”
“Most people are,” I said. “Now you just keep listening to your old uncle and someday, you too can have a blissful marriage.”
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