I worked more billable hours today than I actually was in the office. No, no, I guarantee you it’s not only true, it’s possible; no matter how few minutes we spend on a project, the minimum we can bill is fifteen minutes, and I had so many individual projects, some of which took only 7-10 minutes, that I had to bill the full fifteen for, that, at the end of the day (in which I worked eight and a half hours, with only a very unsatisfying half-hour lunch break in which everything I brought for lunch completely turned my stomach, thank you very much, I know, right? I totally deserve a medal or at least a nap or how about for this effing stomach flu to STOP IT ALREADY) I ended up with more billable hours than worked hours. So I kind of broke the space-time continuum today. Like a total spaceman. Or maybe Leo Spaceman.
Also, just a thing to know: so, I was out for a day and a half? And aw, my office SAVED ALL MY WORK FOR ME. I mean, they didn’t even give it to anyone else to do? Isn’t that SO SO NICE. I mean, seriously! I couldn’t even feel more loved right now if you bludgeoned me over the head with a whiffle bat.
Anyway, this is going to blow your minds with how brief it is, because I want to get it done and posted so I don’t have to think about it when I get home tonight and collapse on the couch like a comatose kitten.
Oh, first, I totally went to the theater last night, we picked our next season, and it is rockin’, I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but I can’t until February because until then it’s top-secret. BUT NEXT MONTH ZOMG. I will tell you ALL ABOUT IT. Very exciting! Something for everyone! Bring your whole family! Two of my favorite playwrights! THAT IS ALL I’M IN A CONE OF SILENCE MMPPH.
So The Crucible is happening in New York! It’s totally witchhunting times, you guys!
OK, well, it’s The Crucible without the witchhunting. So, it’s really just the teens being insane. OR IS IT DUN DUN DUNNNN.
OK, first, you totally know about The Crucible, right? Well, if you don’t, you know about the Salem Witch Trials? The Crucible is an Arthur Miller play (married to Marilyn Monroe? no? HEATHENS) based on the Salem Witch Trials. Which was written during, and tied into, McCarthyism. Also, it’s awesome, and if you ever get a chance to see it, you should, because if done well, it’s extremely affecting. I’d advise against the movie version with Winona Ryder. She didn’t bring the correct gravitas to the table. Although Daniel Day-Lewis is always delectable. Sorry, Winona.
Anyway, in a nutshell – these teens all suffer from a crazy mass-hysteria, led by one teen who’s suffering from being a woman scorned, and they start Tourettesing all over the place, which is annoying enough, but then they start saying the devil made ‘em do it, and the devil was called down by their friends and neighbors, and oh, no one was savvy enough to notice that the friends and neighbors they were accusing were people that had done the lead teen or the people she cared about most wrong, hmmm, suspect at all? Nope nope nope.
And then people were put to death, because, you know, Salem Witch Trials. Anyway, you all know this. I don’t need to recap something from American history that’s actually interesting, right? I mean, you could totally Wikipedia it today, it’s no longer down for SOPA or anything.
So, SO! There are twelve girls in LeRoy, New York who are suffering “facial tics and verbal outbursts” that some are saying are a type of mass hysteria and some are saying are a group Tourettes and some are saying is something called “conversion disorder” and I totally find this FASCINATING because I love shit like this like you can’t even IMAGINE.
LeRoy, New York is on the other side of the state from me. Near Rochester. Interesting fact? BIRTHPLACE OF JELLO. More interesting fact? A friend posted on Facebook her mom was stuck in a Jello-related celebratory parade in LeRoy once. How pissy would that make you if you were in a hurry? “What the hell is this effing…JELLO? I’m stuck in a JELLO parade? I have SHIT to DO and you’re CELEBRATING frigging CHILLED FRUIT DESSERT?”
Also, they make rat poison there. Which I think would make a good local murder mystery, if you combine the two, right? SOMEONE GET ON THAT. I nominate Jim, he’s got these amazing ideas for fiction even if he refuses to write them.
So, “conversion disorder,” or “mass psychogenic illness.” Seriously, I’m reading up on this, it’s totally mass hysteria. It’s stress-related, it happens when people are in close quarters and affected by the people around them, and all the girls have been tested for environmental and medical factors. MASS HYSTERIA SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS. In 2012. THIS IS TOTALLY EXCITING.
Also, this article says these girls have been exhibiting the symptoms since LAST FALL. That’s like FOUR MONTHS or something. Holy HELL.
And this article says one girl fell asleep one day, then woke up all tic-y and shouty. There’s totally a video that might show me the tics but I can’t watch videos at work. Dammit. I’d like to see tics.
But the kids and the moms and dads are all NO NO NO the doctors are totally LETTING US DOWN it CAN’T be mass hysteria NOT OUR BABIES. What the hell?
LISTEN SIDE NOTE. I totally went to college with someone who had Tourettes? And maybe it was Tourettes but then it went away so I always wondered if he was making it up, it seemed totally suspect that once no one was paying attention to him shouting inane noises in the crowded dining hall because we were all “eh, whatever, THAT’S JUST TOURETTE’S BOB” anymore it just stopped.
The only thing that bugs me is that everything I read is saying this only seems to happen to WOMEN in close quarters, so way to make us all feel like crazy incipient psychopaths, DOCTORS. I’ll mass-hysteria YOU. With a CARVING KNIFE. Oh, sorry. Sorry. OR AM I. I’m pretty sure that men could experience mass hysteria, given the right circumstances. Right?
SIDE NOTE AGAIN. You know how I’m trying to get out of Dr. Lady-Business’s practice? It’s like getting out of the MOB over there. I found a new doctor? And today I called to get my records faxed over? And Dr. Lady-Business’s office was all “NO NO NO you need to send us…um…a SIGNED request! Yeah, that’s it! In…triplicate! And it costs…A GAJILLION DOLLARS! Plus a COUNSELOR will contact you to TALK about your DECISION to leave us! And it takes up to three WEEKS!” What the hell. I don’t want Dr. Handlebar Moustache all up in my bits anymore, because he LAUGHED at my TUMOR. Why is this so hard to understand? I made up the triplicate. The rest of that? Totally true. Well, I might have exaggerated the gajillion part.
OK, here’s the thing, to get back on track. I’m not a doctor. I have no idea what’s going on here. But it does seem to me that if they’ve ruled everything else out, and they are, after all, dealing with teenagers, probably something psychological’s at work. I did some wack-ass shit when I was a teenager. I bet ALL of you did. Those hormones are a bitch, right? I mean, weeping and manic and “I love you!” “I hate you!” WITHIN SECONDS and HEAVENS FORFEND if someone tried to tell you that you were acting like a crazy. Once my mom got so mad at me she kicked a hole in my DOOR. No, I’m totally not kidding. It was a hollow-core door, but it’s still there, I have the proof and everything. She’s not even embarrassed about it. “You were AWFUL,” she says. And I totally was. I was Hormone McGee for like, ever.
I know you don’t want to think your kids are being assholes. And maybe it didn’t start out as them being assholes. Here’s just a theory – maybe they started it as a joke and now can’t get out of it because you know how you get stuck in a huge lie and it would make a bigger mess to come clean than to keep lying? I mean, I don’t know, I don’t live their lives. The only experience I have with the Rochester area is that one time I spent New Year’s Eve there with my then-BFF and forgot my driver’s license so they wouldn’t let me into the club so I had to go ALONE back to the hotel room and get it and by the time I got back to the club everyone was totally drunk and I missed all the good times so screw you, ROCHESTER.
Anyway, I’m just waiting for these kids to start monster-shouting and being all “It’s Goody Proctor! She stuck pins in a poppet in the copse behind the barn!” and then BAM BABY we’re totally in for Crucible-times. Can’t you see that happening? I can. I think our political climate is ripe for another witch hunt right now, with the hatred between the liberals and conservatives. Eek.
ANYWAY. Mass hysteria! There’s totally MASS HYSTERIA happening! Like from GHOSTBUSTERS, you guys! Can dogs and cats living together be far behind? I THINK NOT MY FRIENDS. This is a banner day, a totally banner day!
OK, back to work. I know, are you so disappointed at the sad length of this? I put in a photo, what more do you want. I WARNED YOU TAX SEASON WAS GOING TO SUCK.