I have been plagued with a horrible condition; I call it Panicklitis (think Panic + Pickle + itis). Yes, I made that name up. Please don’t confuse my imaginary illness with Panniculitis which is an inflammatory something or other for which you can be prescribed medication. Or Panic Attacks which are episodes of intense fear that include physical symptoms and also warrant medication.
My ailment cannot be medicated, at least not least not legally in 47 of 50 states. And my symptoms include freaking out unnecessarily about anything, and then, upon further reflection, freaking out some more. That’s it. It looks like this: Panic first, ask questions later. Much later, like after I’ve called the ER, the Center for Disease Control and/or the Department of Homeland Security.
I blame it on my creativity. Because only in your right brain could you decide that the two small bumps on the base of your spine are really the early stages of shingles which is symptomatic of leukemia—and oh my hell, of course I have leukemia. Better call the ER.
The left brain would have looked at that rational and said, “Security!”
Only I could be kicked out of my own brain.
You can blame people with Panicklitis for all the unnecessary alarm over the Y2K bug, H1N1, and the end of the world as we know it, 2012. Also the Tickle Me Elmo shortage of 1996, because that was scary too.
I’m the person who would’ve been the first to yell, “We’re going to die!” on the Titanic. In fact, I was a little tempted to say it out loud while watching the movie in the theater.
I also love to participate in worst-case scenario conversations where each party is to contribute a more horrific alternative than the last. Here’s how that works:
Person 1: I heard this Swine Flu could kill millions of people.
Person 2: We may need to quarantine ourselves for over six months.
Person 3: And can you imagine those sick people running wild in the streets like in that cancer/vampire movie Will Smith was in?
Person 4: Civilization as we know it would be over.
Person 5: I better hurry and buy one of those Tickle Me Elmo dolls before the world ends!
My ailment wouldn’t be quite as disturbing if I hadn’t passed it on to my oldest child. Periodically he will ask, “Does my sore throat mean something bad?” For some reason, my panicklitis doesn’t extend to him. “Son,” I reply. “It’s just a little virus. It’ll go away in a few days.”
But if it were my sore throat? That, coupled with the gastrointestinal pain I’m kinda feeling, could mean that this is the Bubonic Plague—and oh my hell, of course I would be the one to initiate the worst epidemic since the Dark Ages. Better call the Center for Disease Control.
Just be grateful it’s not contagious (Panicklitis, not the Bubonic Plague. Because you just might have that, and if you do, civilization as we know it would be over).