View from the Hill
LOS ANGELES—I can’t keep up with all the new illnesses, conditions and diseases out there. Something that used to require just a good swift kick in the butt now calls for medication and a support group. Issues previously attributed to laziness and faulty upbringing are now much more complicated, and adding fiber to our diets won’t make one bit of difference.
The other day I heard about something called Alternative Schedule Disorder. This affects people who work the graveyard shift, the doorway at your favorite neighborhood watering hole or the pole at your local strip club. These incredibly hard laborers work all night and have trouble sleeping during the day. Apparently they get cranky.
When I was in high school, my mom worked nights as a nurse. Back then we didn’t have a name for whatever it was that made her disregard a social life, take care of three children by herself and threaten bodily harm if we didn’t keep our voices down while she tried to sleep.
Who knew all she needed was the Internet?
Some might argue that these newfound conditions are just an excuse to sell prescription drugs and prevention plans. Others might rejoice in a society that is more aware of what’s going on with our bodies and the benefits of early diagnosis.
But in the end, who really cares? I want in.
Sufferers are overwhelmingly intelligent, female and in their late 30s or early 40s. This disorder comes on quickly after certain qualifying events, such as a sick household combined with a missed hair appointment, followed by one of the kids remembering the night before that he signed you up to bake three dozen cupcakes for the "Welcome to Camp" party.
How can you tell if you suffer from "Lack of Sleep and Ready to Kill Someone Disorder"? Some common symptoms include:
Answering 10 knocks to the bathroom door with, “Go away!”
Laughing inappropriately because tears bring everyone down.
Inability to hear yourself think.
Holding a grudge against whoever invented the magnifying mirror and whoever thought it would make a good Mother’s Day gift.
Contempt for everyone.
Absolutely refusing to care about what every other mommy is doing.
Lip-synching to M.I.A. at red lights.
Happy hour on a Tuesday.
Arguing against a shopping spree because those love handles don’t deserve it.
Inability to find humor in a magic marker fight between two 10-year-olds.
Full-blown panic attacks when the household unexpectedly runs out of milk, butter and vodka.
Responding to lines such as, “If you guess a number from 1-10, I’ll let you kiss me” with “84?”
For "Alternative Schedule Disorder," experts recommend soothing music, powerful window shades and a back massage so the patient will become accustomed to sleeping during the day.
What’s the cure for my new disease?
Allow the afflicted woman one phone call every day where she doesn’t have to hang up and dial 9-1-1 because the toddler’s hand got stuck in the toilet.
Oh, let’s face it. An aspirin or two is quicker and more effective.
I hoped to make money off this new condition and maybe score some gigs on all the talk shows as an expert consultant. But then I did a Google search and wouldn’t you know it? "Lack of Sleep and Ready to Kill Someone Disorder" already exists.
It’s called motherhood, and there is no cure.
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