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A Surefire Treatment for Dizzy Spells

"Sit down, sit down," Algrin said to the client. A youngster, really just a boy. "I don't think I've seen you in here before, have I?"
"No, no," the young man said. He wouldn't make eye contact. Well, that wasn't unusual.
"Have a seat. Why don't you tell me the problem?" Algrin said.
The boy sat on the edge of the chair. "It's just that--you know, I'm having some trouble."
"Hmm. Can you describe the problem?" Algrin stepped over to the examination table and opened his bag. He began laying out some of the instruments--diagnostic, and treatment--on the table. He'd found that many of his clients were more open if he didn't stare at them, didn't force them to meet his eyes. Laying out the instruments was a plausible way for him to avert his gaze while the client unburdened himself. Also, he might well need some of the tools.
"Well, like, I've been affected by--you know, just for instance, by dizzy spells."
Algrin turned around. The kid was blushing.
"Dizzy spells, huh?" Algrin stroked his beard. He didn't really feel a need to stroke his beard, but people seemed to expect it, seemed to derive some kind of comfort from it. "Very bad?"
"Yeah, sometimes. I mean, I have to sit down before I fall. I have to lie down on the floor until they pass."
"I see." Algrin gestured, flinging a hand out with the palm open to the sky. Something else they seemed to expect from someone in his line of work. "Any other issues?"
"I guess fainting spells. And, uh"--his voice dropped low--"farting. Farting spells."
The basic starter set. Probably all the kid knew. It'd been the same in his own day; kids never change.
"Huh. And is this what you've been using?"
"Yes. It's never given me any trouble before."
"I tell you what. Just show me. Don't say the words, but show me how you hold it."
The kid shrugged, but did as asked.
"OK, I think I see the trouble," Algrin said, stroking his beard again. He pretended to put some more thought to the issue. He snapped his fingers. "Yes, I think I see. You've been holding it wrong."
"What do you mean, I'm 'holding it wrong'?"
"You're holding it at the wrong end. See?"
"So I should be holding it, what--like this?"
"Exactly."
The young man licked his lips, blushing even harder. "Man. This is pretty embarrassing."
"Think nothing of it," Algrin said. "I get cases like this all the time."
"Really? People often come in with this trouble? It's not that strange?"
"Oh, yeah. All the time. Not unusual at all." Algrin smiled. "Especially with younger people, people with less... experience."
The kid managed a nod.
"Some people put a little dab of paint on the tip, so they'll remember," Algrin said. "Some just use a spot of nail polish or something. Tie a ribbon, maybe. And none of those will affect performance, so don't worry about that."
"Well, thank you," the boy said.
"Good luck," Algrin said. "Oh, and you can pay Jilly, the receptionist, on your way out."
When the kid finally left the shop, Algrin wandered out of his office and into the reception room.
"Just a token amount, right?" he asked Jilly. "You got to feel bad for the kid."
Jilly was giggling. "The idiot didn't even know how to hold his wand!" she said. "Can you believe it?"
Algrin grimaced. "Oh, come on," he said. "It's not really that strange. He actually isn't the first case of this that I've seen."
"Really?" Jilly asked. "That must have been before I came to work here, then! Who was it?"
Algrin turned his face away. "I don't want to talk about it," he said.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

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