[at-l] It's Felix's fault

hopeful_2003 at comcast.net hopeful_2003 at comcast.net
Mon Jan 3 22:14:07 CST 2011

Well, as usual Felix has caused more trouble. He knows good and well how his flashbacks causes longing in the hearts and yet he does it over and over. Mercy. It ain't bad enough as it is, me waiting on March, so he goes and keep on doing this. 

All on account of him, I have been thinking back to the many comments made on the List over the years, thoughts about Springer Fever. So, I have wasted too much time compiling them into a sort of story. If y'all waste time reading it, blame the whole thing on Felix. 


There is a personality disorder that causes acute dismay, if not outright alarm among the family, friends and acquaintances of the individual possessed of this syndrom. It is unobservable in its beginning but can be recognized or at least suspected by certain comments and subtle behaviors. Early on the patient may be overheard to make benign comments like, "I feel cramped in this cubical." As the condition worsens the comments become more intense. Those effected might say, "If I get a raise I could save enough by December." These comments gradually become outbursts and may occur at most inconvenient times and places. For example, one patient interrupted a departmental budget meeting by saying, "That idiot (referring to the manager) is infatuated with the sound of his own stupid voice." 

The disorder progresses from verbal warning signs to overt behavioral manifestations. The visual onset can be detected by such behavior as surfing the net from one hiking page, to outdoor gear catalogs, to blogs and bulletin boards. If you are at work and are reading this, you should seek immediate medical attention. However, it is most likely too late. At our current level of mental health care, no type of intervention or medication has proved effective in delaying the next stage of this illness: ADD phase. 

Typically, the patient is known to stare out windows, or in the case of interior places, to simply stare into space. This behavior can be manifested at home but most frequently at work. The staring behavior seems to be suppressed in domestic environments but will be replaced with peculiar anti-social actions such as reading hiker magazines in the closet or leaving a family gathering to check for updates on Trailjournals. Other oddities include interrupting conversations. In one documented case, during a morning break a co-worker was relating his reaction to a recent football game. The patient appeared to be oblivious to the conversation but suddenly stepped forward and ask if anyone though his coffee cup would make for good hiking gear. These behavior become increasingly disruptive. In a more sever case it was documented that while a VP was addressing the staff, the patient stood up and asked if the executive had ever used a down sleeping bag. This sort of acting out portends the next phase of the disorder: OCD. 

The Obsessive-Compulsive stage of the disease usually has rapid onset and to-date no therapy has been found that will arrest progress into the worst and final phase, Thruhiking. In the OCD period, patients have been known to abruptly cross multiple lanes of traffic on a busy highway because they observed a banner reading "Tent Sale." In a few records, the sufferers have collapsed into inconsolable grieving when they realized the merchant was peddling scratched and dented washing machines. Other noted events include sleeping in the backyard in all sorts of weather, and dressing in rain gear well before dawn in order to walk in storms, both rain and snow. Still others include spending hour upon hour at a dehydrator. 


This strange behavioral disorder, now universally recognized as Springer Fever, is causing widespread alarm among mental health professional and in homes all across American, yes, even the entire world. Opinions differ widely regarding its cause. On the one hand it is believed to be a latent disorder stemming from insufficient outdoor play time during early youth. At the other end of the spectrum are those who hold it is caused by secret government testing with soft drink additives. Other conspiracy advocate suggest international terrorists are involved. The most outlandish theory sees a connection between the first reported case of Springer Fever, one Earl V. Shaffer of Pennsylvania, and the earliest reports of alien visitors, both occurring around 1948. This theory is dismissed out of hand by the majority of professionals. A few facts are accepted throughout the entire professional community. The actual cause of this condition remains a complete mystery. There appear to be no genetic links although it has been documented to occur in several family members. It has been shown to appear in consecutive generations but also siblings manifest the symptoms. Nutrition does not seem to be connect to Springer Fever nor does social environments such as educational or economic backgrounds. 

In some years Springer Fever seems rampant while in others it almost goes dormant. This remains another enigma for researchers and only adds to their concern and frustration as they seek some effective treatment. Of this all are certain, there is no cure in the foreseeable future. In the end all patients are obsessed with the desire to sleep on the ground and eat pasta while exposing themselves to inclement weather, soap privation and intense fatigue. One mystery perplexes researchers above all others. Those suffering Springer Fever are most joyful in the final stage known as Thruhiking, which is their pursuit of some mythical place they call Katahdin. While they clearly love their families, they seem intimately connected to others with the disorder and even think of themselves as "our tribe."
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