I have named a new disease just for old me

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel

I have a completely new disease

I read an interesting think piece yesterday on Huffington Post.

Yes, I readily admit to reading Huffington Post because it’s one of the few news agencies that still tells a story from the perspective of what it means to the people reading it and not what it means to the political analyst telling the story.

I don’t listen to much television news. MSNBC is lopsided in one direction, and anytime I steel my guts long enough to turn on FOX News, I can virtually listen to the entire day in the span of 10 minutes.

The first talking head that appears on FOX might say something that, taken all together, sounds like “That stupid elitist who currently occupies the oval office….blah…blah…blah bad, ignorant.”

I hear the same thing from a different talking head hours later, to be repeated by the same talking heads ad infinitum into the wee hours of the morning.

I don’t call that news. I call that propaganda.

And what really draws my eye most of the time anyway is the offbeat stories, from any venue, that try to shed some light on the inane in our world.

Thus was I drawn to a think piece about the new definition of normal, as in a normal human being.

The writer had some off-the-beaten-path ideas about why abnormal is the new normal, but one of the things he wrote caught my fancy.

He opined that one of the reasons everyone seems to have an abnormal condition is that we’ve reached the point in medical technology where anything can be labeled if it doesn’t pertain to everyone.

Now I’ve never been one that anyone could call normal. I detest the tag. Normal means just like everybody else, and if all of us were just like everybody else there would be no fun in the world.

But there is fun and it comes with all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, ethnic backgrounds and moral orientation.

I have written here before about my increasing inability to remember things I used to take for granted. I forget where I put my wallet even though I’ve put it in the same place for years. I forget where I parked in the lot, which is why I drive an easily identifiable car. I forget to lift the covers at night for the dog to crawl under. I forget where I put any tool seconds after I’ve used it and minutes after I need it again.

Now this might be labeled by the medical community as an early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, which is a debilitating disease that is progressive and always leads to death. I don’t remember why.

For the more colloquial among us, it is a creeping case of CRS (Can’t Remember Shit), or for the more severe cases CRSAA (At All).

For the youngsters among us, this particular affliction is usually used in conjunction with older folks when we’ve forgotten something they routinely remember, and they say we’re suffering from creeping senility, or for the severe cases, galloping senility.

But all of these labels simply make me as normal as many others in our population.

And I don’t like normal. Normal is boring.

Weather can be normal. Bright, sunny, warm but not hot. But abnormal weather, rain and blistering heat or freezing cold is much more fun. You can talk about it with anyone, you can gripe about it ad nauseum, or you can use it as an excuse for almost anything.

Can you imagine how boring life at a singles bar would be if no one could ever use the opening line, “Really nasty weather we’ve been having.”

So since I detest normal, I have decided to come up with my own named affliction for my increasing inability to remember things I know I should.

I spent three hours, all while doing something else at the same time—after all multi-tasking is the new normal—mulling my affliction over in my mind, trying to find the perfect combination of words that would describe my particular sufferance to anyone who cared to listen, and make me still seem, well, not so normal.

I tossed around a hundred combinations. None of them grabbed me.

And then a distant memory came flooding into my challenged mind. I have for years made fun of people who suffer from cranial/rectal inversion, otherwise known as hedupyerassitis.

So, that gave me the perfect starting point for this new affliction with which I will label myself.

The next time someone says to me, “What’s wrong, can’t you remember anything anymore?”

I’m going to answer something like this.

“Yes, I can remember some things. But as time goes on I will be able to remember less and less of the unimportant stuff, which will then spill over into the more important stuff, which will then spill over to the really important stuff.”

“I,” I will say, “am suffering from a little known disease that affects the memory functions.”

It will be little known because only I will have it. It will never have been heard of by anyone else, and will never be heard of again until someone makes the mistake of asking the same question again.

I will tell them that I am suffering from ACD, but it’s in a very early stage of progression. In it’s second stage, it’s also know as ACD, and in the final, debilitating stages, it’s also know as ACD.

You see, the only way to remember the joke the same way is to use the KISS principle. Having every stage carry the same acronym is about as simple as I can make it.

And what, you might ask, is ACD.

“ACD,” says I, “is Advancing Cerebral Deterioration, which as it gets more severe is known as Advanced Cerebral Deterioration, and when it reaches the final stage is called Acute Cerebral Deterioration.”

That will make me one of a kind in a sea of abnormality.

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