BIFFIELD:           Don’t let them get me!

 

THERAPIST:         You’re perfectly safe, Mr Biffield. Lie back on my couch and                            relax.

 

BIFFIELD:           I’m NOT safe.

 

THERAPIST:         My receptionist will bring you a cup of green tea.

 

BIFFIELD:          Keep that woman away. She’ll be one of them!

 

 

THERAPIST:         Okay. Just the two of us, then.

 

BIFFIELD:          Lock the door. Please!

 

THERAPIST:        That really isn’t necessary. You’re suffering from some kind                           of persecution complex. Why don’t we talk it through quietly?

 

BIFFIELD:          There’s no escaping them. Dark glasses don’t help. A beanie                          hat fools nobody.  Maybe I should try a false beard.

 

THERAPIST:        WHO do you imagine is after you, Mr Biffield? The Russians?                          MI6? Aliens?

 

BIFFIELD:          The bastards look SO innocent. Bin men.   Double glazing                                 salesmen. Pizza delivery guys. Yummy Mummies. It’s a                                     massive conspiracy.

 

THERAPIST:       But why on earth would these people be after you?

 

BIFFIELD:         Because…  Oh, God. I can’t take any more. Even my wife…

 

THERAPIST:        Your wife?

 

BIFFIELD:          My EX-WIFE. The evidence was on her computer. She’d been                           plotting in secret. I never even suspected. NEVER!

 

THERAPIST:         You’re having a panic attack. Try deep breaths…

 

BIFFIELD:          Discovering she was like all the rest. (SOBS) That was what                            finally broke me.

 

THERAPIST:         But who ARE these people?

 

BIFFIELD:          WRITERS, man! Aspiring bloody WRITERS! They HOUND me.                                      Night and day.

 

THERAPIST:         Writers HOUND you… You don’t mean you’re…

 

BIFFIELD:           A literary agent? YES!

 

THERAPIST:         Wow. Now I understand.

 

BIFFIELD:             At the beginning of my career I enjoyed work. Didn’t mind                            envelopes rammed through my letterbox at midnight,                            exploding reams of paper on the doormat. Unpaginated,                            of course. Manuscripts, handwritten in purple ink and secured                            with knicker elastic, delivered to my office by the sackful.                            Book proposals thrust at my poor cleaning lady. But now…

 

THERAPIST:         I feel your pain Mr Biffield. The quest for another                           Harry Potter must be hard.

 

BIFFIELD:             …NOW switching on my computer unleashes a TSUNAMI.                            Synopses that are GIBBERISH! Chapters HEAVING with                            ADVERBS and SPLIT INFINITIVES! Letters insisting                            ABSOLUTE DRIVEL will make millions!

 

THERAPIST:         You must have suffered terribly. Fortunately, I have your cure                            in my desk drawer.

 

BIFFIELD:          Happy pills? I’ve tried them. Useless.

 

THERAPIST:         Better than that. A 950,000-word trilogy about a voluptuous                            female vampire, desperately in love with her handsome                            psychiatrist. My mother swears it’s a masterpiece…

 

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