Something’s been going around for the past week or so, and it’s not the flu. After interviewing several afflicted friends, we were able to ascertain only that succumbing to the malady has no correlation with gender, high school GPA, or history of lactose intolerance. Determined to learn more we sent our crack investigative reporter to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta where, after presenting her credentials to a senior staffer in the Grounds & Maintenance Department, she was granted exclusive access to a strategically located waste receptacle. Following a painstaking analysis of the raw data acquired therefrom, we determined that, while the affliction hasn’t yet been given a clinical name, enough cases have been isolated to warrant publication of the following description and treatment guidelines:
- General malaise and a sense of foreboding.
- An ever-present feeling of nausea.
- Elevated blood pressure.
- Random bouts of uncontrolled weeping.
- Cloudy thinking accompanied by an inability to make meaningful decisions, like whether or not to stick your head in the oven.
- (Less common) Acute abdominal pain, resembling that associated with childbirth without anesthesia or being T-boned in the huevos by a charging rhino.
For Short-Term Relief
- Change the speed dial on your cable box from CNN to HGTV.
- Turn off all push notices on your smart phone. Better yet, dig out that old clamshell.
- Discard all alarm clocks. Allow yourself a few more hours of sleep each morning (if this interferes with work, quit your job).
- Subscribe to Netflix, but stick to comedies and wildlife documentaries (as long as they don’t feature orangutans).
- Avoid conversations with others afflicted with the disorder. Such encounters may bring temporary comfort but are typically followed by a worsening of symptoms.
For Long Term Relief
- Though unpopular, a pre-frontal lobotomy seems to help. This procedure is currently being offered as elective surgery in university hospitals throughout Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
- Affect a permanent change in political affiliation and ideology (this may require a pre-frontal lobotomy—see above).
- Move to a destination with a less hostile political environment (most nations within Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America are to be avoided in this regard. Canada, Costa Rica and New Zealand remain provisionally acceptable pending imposition of anticipated bans on the immigration of U.S. refugees).
- Mount dartboards in prominent locations throughout your home, office, and place of worship, featuring 8×10 glossies of the President-elect and/or members of his proposed cabinet and staff. Aim and deliver virtual poison-tipped darts to these photos liberally and with great fervor. Haitian voodoo dolls and needles may be substituted for photos and darts (these are currently on back-order at Amazon but are available as premiums from a select number of public radio stations during pledge week).
The Best Remedy, However, Is to Just to Close Your Eyes, Empty Your Mind, and Get Your Smooth On
© 2016 Ron Dulaney