I Can’t Sign An Authorization For You, Dr Erickson Said …
A Dr Erickson Metaphor
Dr Erickson was known to tell stories, and every story had a purpose, a reason. That’s because Erickson’s stories were metaphors.
Below is one of my favorites.
A Dr Erickson Story…
Bert was nineteen and living in Michigan. We were living in Phoenix. He wrote and said, “I want to buy a car, and I’ve got to get documents signed because I’m a minor.”
I wrote back, “Honestly, Bert, I can’t really sign an authorization for you to get a car because I can’t take the responsibility. I’m living in Arizona and you’re in Michigan. Now, Michigan has a good population. Surely you can find some businessman with a good reputation who will sign it for you.”
He wrote later that he walked into a certain man’s office and said, “I’m only nineteen. I want to buy a car. My father is in Arizona; he can’t sign an authorization. I’d like to have you sign for me”
The man said, “Are you out of your mind?” …
Bert said, “No, sir. You can think the matter over. You will know that I am very much in my mind.”
The man said, “That’s right, you are. Give me that paper.”
Why He Had Athority
He was the chief of police in Ann Arbor!
Bert knew he couldn’t park his car one-half inch out of the way or drive one-half mile per hour over the speed limit.
The first time he drove into Detroit a traffic officer waved him to a stop, came over, and said, “So you are Bert Erickson. I recognized your car immediately and I am delighted to see what Bert Erickson looks like.”
Then he was driving in northern Michigan with some friends. A siren sounded behind him. A motorcycle patrolman had sounded the siren, so Bert pulled over to the side of the road and his friend said, “What do you suppose has gone wrong?” Bert said, “Nothing.”
A patrolman came alongside of the car and said, “So you are Bert Erickson. I recognized your car immediately and wanted to see what that one looked like who asked the police chief to sign for him.”