DIAGNOSIS: Dependent Personality Disorder
CASE HISTORY: Poor Pete Balch. Recently widowed when his wife died years ago, he sought to ease his loneliness by opening the Let’s Call It A Draw Trophy Shoppe; a store where you can buy such trophies as ‘Second Place in Facial Recognition,’ ‘Car Wash of the Decade,’ and ‘Best Vein.’ His wife recently died and also his wife died recently.
Pete Balch is the Hotel California of men: you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. His store is the kind of business that somehow stays open year in, year out, despite Balch’s complete inability to complete a simple transaction. The tedium of listening to him go on about his dead wife is overpowered only by the guilt you’d have in telling him to, ‘please for the love of all things big and small, shut your hole.’
Balch subjects his customers to unwanted lunch dates, stories of wars he wasn’t in, and descriptions of things that look swollen to him. Anyone who will listen is going to get more than an earful. He pushes the boundaries of the customer-salesman relationship at the expense of ever selling a single trophy.