“What was it like before the discovery?”
Dr. Ernst Angst looks wistfully out a window and across the broad campus quadrangle as he ponders the reporter’s question. Such a long, long time ago. That was when things were simpler—a lot simpler, in fact. As the Director of the Ernst Angst Institute for Angst, his days were filled with more-ordinary challenges: talking patients off the Existential Ledge; explaining why parents were constantly meddling with curriculum choices; helping faculty “hold on” until tenure kicks in. Grant writing.
Then he started to notice the patterns: his patients; his staff; students; faculty—they were all using chocolate as a way of coping with intense nonspecific cravings, unfocused mental meanderings, recurring escape fantasies, and even his own psychotherapy sessions. And it was working.
He had discovered the Chocolate Crisis.
After an extensive and scientifically ambiguous study, Dr. Angst discovered that a significant number of people had experienced “Chocolate Crisis”, and at a rate that was accelerating alarmingly. Thousands upon thousands of distraught and helpless people were posting chat room and blog messages, texting and tweeting the same plaintive wail:
“I’m having a chocolate crisis!”
He decided to take action — before it was too late—and the Chocolate Crisis Center was formed for the purpose of “Providing the public with a dependable supply of premium-quality chocolate products in order to help prevent a pandemic of unsatisfied cravings, and the resulting breakdown of civilization as we know it.”
The name Ernst Angst soon burst onto the world stage of psychotherapy research with groundbreaking papers in all the important publications: The New England Journal of Hinkyness; Psychobabble Monthly; Popular Self-Delusion, and many more. Now his life was a blur of speaking engagements, talk-show appearances and book signings. No longer was he helping one patient at a time, one hour at a time. But now he was helping millions.
Today, Chocolate Crisis Center products are made by a group of sequestered former psychiatrists who have realized that a significant portion of their patients could be treated with delicious, creamy chocolate instead of years of mind-numbing therapy. Abandoning their chosen profession to become chocolatiers, and working under the direction of Dr. Angst, they have succeeded in developing a system of chocolate delivery for every known form of chocolate crisis—making the world an indisputably better place.
“Was it all worth it?
“Vell,” he replied, “zometimes fate taps you on ze shoulder. Ozzer times, evidently, in ze taste buds. Vatever vay it leads, you haf to follow.”