Thursday, November 13, 2008

America's Greatest New Inventions: All New Sorts of Crazy

On Good Morning America today, they ran a feature about a mental condition called Foreign Accent Syndrome. Apparently, people who have suffered previous brain trauma--a stroke, skull fracture, etc.--can wake up one day and speak with a foreign accent without even noticing a difference. It's as if they have had the accent all along. The lady featured was a southern woman who woke up one day speaking some sort of Eastern European accent. And it's lasted ever since. (Weird thing is she actually kind of looks Eastern European.)

There are people who literally go to bed saying "good night, honey" and wake up saying, "'top o' da' mornin' to ya' dear." They may wake up sounding Russian, English, French, Italian or whatever accent that sticks. They could go from saying, "You want spaghetti for dinner?" to saying "You-a wanna a me to a-make-a you a-da' pasta?"

I am not making this up. Don't believe me. Type "Foreign Accent Syndrome" in your Google bar and watch the results flow in. This is a real thing.

But it got me thinking. One thing Americans have always been known for is the ability to produce great inventors. We created the airplane, the telephone, the light bulb and the computer. But in the last couple of decades, it seems like the thing we create most is new forms of crazy.

Don't get me wrong. I can sympathize--and sometimes empathize--with people who suffer from mental illness. It is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. What I'm referring to is these rare and questionable conditions that make you wonder. Like people who are terrified of bread. Or people who cry if they hear somebody sneeze. Do those sound made up? It's because they are. I just pulled them out of my head. But I wouldn't be surprised to do a google search and find a network of people suffering from breadfear syndrome or SSC--Sneeze Sadness Condition.

I'm sure these types of conditions have always existed and exist all over the world. But we're the only country that seems obsessed on creating a label for them. You fall asleep whenever you wear linen? You suffer from Linen Drowse Syndrome. Maybe you giggle every time you see cottage cheese. We have a label for that too: curdle cackles condition. Ah, yes. The dreaded CCC. I wonder if the volume of your laugh is equally proportionate to the size of the cottage cheese curd? Small curd gets a chuckle. Large curd causes a side-splitting laugh.

Perhaps we obsess over our own little neuroses so much that the only way to quell the flame of that obsession is to have a label for the neurotic behavior. Maybe that makes us feel less alone. Like if we know that somebody else out there urinates whenever they hear the Bee Gees, that it's not so weird.

News Flash from the Obvious Department: we all have something that's a little crazy in all of us. What's my weird little bit of crazy? I'll tell you. Whenever I see somebody ring out a wet rag--on television or in person--it makes me cringe. I can't tell you why. But I can tell you that I don't care if it has a label or not. It's just part of who I am.

Share your bit of craziness by responding to this posting. Air it out. No one will judge you--unless they're suffering from Judgemental Jerk Disorder.


Anonymous said...

Of the many extremely goofy things about me, I think the strangest one is my ACC - Annoying Commercial Complex. Mainly, this condition is related to those Free Credit commercials. You know, those goofy commercials that have some weird, rhyming jingle about getting your credit report. They literally send me into fits. If I hear one note of any of them, I have to cover my ears and sing the 'na-na-na-na' song like I am 5 years old not wanting to listen to my annoying sibling until I can either change the channel or mute the tv. It can be quite embarassing when people are around. What happens if I do hear part of it? The whole song is stuck in my head for days. Gotta hand it to marketing departments that make commercials that literally send their intended audience into psycho-fits. Good work, thumbs up. I have even written Free Credit and told them about this.

Schmagurty said...

Haha, I must admit I may suffer from that one too. There was a radio commercial for JR Robinson jewelers with a premise of a lady that complained her husband bought her garden tools for her anniversary. The commercial drove me so mad I too contacted JR Robinson and told them I'd never buy a thing from them until they get rid of that annoying commercial.