David: Well, Gary, it’s a big week! We’ve got Sabir Muhammad, long-time swimming fixture and new author, here with us today.
Gary: Never heard of him.
David: Nope, you’re mistaken. I think he trained with you for two decades or something. Was it for the 1976 Olympics or the 2000 Olympics? One of them at least, anyway, I can’t quite remember that far back.
Gary: That joke is pretty played out, and lame, David. It was lame the first time you used it. It’s still lame.
Anyway, I knew a guy that vaguely fits your description, but we always knew him as Dr. Salaman.
Sabir: Spelled Solomon.
David: …Huh? Dude, what kind of hallucinogens were you guys into in South Florida?
Sabir: Not PCP. Guys, Dr. Solomon asked me to pass this along.
Dear Point? Counter Point! Readers,
It’s a pleasure. I’ve been working with Gary for many years as a member of his psych team. Believe it or not Gary had an intense fear of soap and water as a child in addition to one of the most intense cases of arachnophobia I’ve seen in my career as a board certified psychotherapist from Hofstra University.
Gary: It’s true. I’m still not good with soap.
Dr. Solomon: Before I conclude my introduction, would it be OK for me to thank my sponsors?
Gary: I think you just did.
Dr. Solomon: Thank you. I started my career working with children. That’s how I met young Gary. After approximately 20 years in child psychology and psychotherapy, I began working with athletes and celebrities. I’m the author of, Babies Don’t Cry and F.A.M.E, The Death Dealer.
My specialties are neurolingustic programming and addiction.
I’m very happy to make your acquaintance.
David: Hey man, we already introduced you and, well, we like kind of frown upon that kind of shameless commercial endorsement plug. Man.
Dr. Solomon: Thank you.
After approximately 20 years in child psychology and psychotherapy, I began working with athletes and celebrities. My specialties are neurolinguistic programming and addiction.
I’m the author of Babies Don’t Cry and F.A.M.E., The Death Dealer.
I’m very happy to make your acquaintance, David.
David: We already met. Just now.
(Ten minute staring contest…won by Dr. Solomon)
David: Maybe we should talk about swimming?
Gary (ignoring David): Dr. Solomon, do you think that if entomologists changed the name of a baby kangaroo that some people named Joey might change their name too?
David: Okay, that’s actually a pretty interesting question.
Dr. Solomon: That would constitute approximately 70% of the people in New Jersey, highly improbable considering Australians descend from prisoners.
David: Wow. Hey, guys, seeings how no one (including me) thinks this shtick is funny, maybe we could just ask (ahem) Sabir some questions about swimming?
Gary: By the ear of Beelzebub!!! If I had a hammer and an ice pick, David, I’d perform a frontal lobotomy on you right now and I’d be willing to suffer the consequences, legal and moral, whatever those consequences might be!
I’ll put you out of my misery, I swear to God! I’m dangerous and I thought I should let you know.
…Carry on, Dr. Solomon.
Dr. Solomon: What Gary is experiencing is a result of too much screen time. Myself and other doctors in my field have concluded that children, and certain adults, have severe reactions to this new digital lifestyle of ours. Gary just needs a nap.
David: Does anyone else think this is a waste? I mean, Gary, your celebrity friends come on here one time, and one time only. No one returns.
Gary: What’s your point?
David: I have things I’d like to ask Sabir, and you’re just spitting inside jokes on each other. Well, actually, I don’t think they’re inside jokes as much as nonsensical statements. But you see what I’m talking ab…
Dr. Solomon: Gary, I think David is expressing symptoms of classic antisocial personality disorder. David, have you always had trouble with not being the center of attention?
Gary: As usual, you’re correct in you assessment Doctor. But I don’t want to talk about Dave’s envy issues anymore, it just makes me bored. And sad. On to my problems. Finally.
Then I leap up on this little stage, do a little wiggle for the crowd and plunge into this swimming pool. Like one of the nicest swimming pools in the world. A Myrtha. And I go for a swim and when I’m drying off this guy comes up to me and says, “Hey Dude, you’re the Best!” and he gives me a high five and a golden medal that says, “You’re #1!”
Then the crowd starts cheering for my pecs again.
What do you think it means?
Dr. Solomon: Considering this is a column about swimming. I believe it’s pertinent for you to acknowledge Rodney King. He was an avid swimmer, and a pop culture icon for many years. He will be missed.
Gary: We do have a lot of swimmers that visit this website. What kind of sports psychology tips might you offer a swimmer as they prepare for a big swimming competition?
David: Sabir, any chance you could answer this question sincerely?
Dr. Solomon: Only if Gary wants me to. He agreed to illustrate my next children’s book, if I did this column. So no, David, I can’t. He has the pink slips to my car.
(Shaking self back into character):
Gary: Dr. Solomon, in your professional opinion, is it possible to be your best without the stress?
How can a swimmer at an important swim meet, let’s say the Olympic Trials, not feel stress?
Dr. Solomon: Hypnosis.