Bill Gates visits his therapist


Thank you for seeing me, doctor. Right here on the couch, turned away from you? I read that doctors do that to eliminate the burden of eye contact. Ha, or in case they don't like your face, good one. Actually I don't like my face much either. That's what I'm here about.

The problem first started when Jennifer — my daughter, she's 12 — made a lipstick print on the bathroom mirror. I was plucking my eyebrows and the lipstick was where my mouth was, and I realized I look like Cher. Not young Cher, now Cher. A reanimated corpse.

Lately I'd felt...unrelatable. You know the uncanny valley? How people respond poorly to something that looks almost human, but not enough, like Frankenstein or zombies or Polar Express? That's how I feel.

Whom do I want to feel like? Well, until recently I thought being me was okay. But last week was Job Day at Rory's school, and the night before, Rory comes up to me and says "Dad, I want the other kids to think you're cool. So can you tell them you're Fake Steve Jobs?"

Well that's sort of rude. No, not your iPhone, just that you answered it in the middle of our session.

Is that an Xbox over there? What's your Halo name? Ha, Headshot, no that's funny. My son used to have an Xbox. Well I caught him trying to hack it, so I called the cops.

Yes, I guess my kids are one of my biggest stress creators. But who in my life isn't? Steve Ballmer? Ha! You've seen the videos of him screaming? You should see him when Warren Buffett calls shotgun. And then he kicks the back of my seat the whole ride to Seattle. He's the reason Richard Branson put barriers between all the seats on his planes. Virgin America is all Ballmer.

Yes, Warren's more relaxing to hang out with, but he's no fun since he's such a cheapskate. That DNA test he got with Jimmy Buffett to see if they're related — guess which one paid for that? It makes it aggravating to go out with him. He won't even supersize so he always eats half my fries too. Then there's the whole death thing again. I wanted to get into chess in my old age, but it's always bridge. At the old folks' home. And between you and me, Buffett looks kind of nerdy.

I thought retirement would be soothing. Lounge around at home, walls playing some nice music, table reading me a story, kitchen making a snack. Instead Bono keeps dropping in, telling me about this rad party at Clinton's or Steve's or some other hippie pad, and bugging me to read his poetry. Honestly I thought the guy died in a skiiing accident years ago.

Oh, already? All right, see you next week. Should I pay at the front desk? Jeez, that much?

Couldn't I just help defrag your hard drive?