A Pubescent Plague

February 12th, 2013 posted by Keith J. MacDonald

teenager

The world is truly becoming a frightful place to live. Almost daily we are exposed to a fresh new array of life-threatening dangers … like for instance, that hideous rumor of a Scott Baio career comeback attempt. These newest perils include: horrible acts of nature, gruesome airline disasters, exotic strains of viruses, and vicious biological contaminants like e-coli, that can cause death, or at least induce as much vomiting as an Elizabeth Berkley movie. Disease can strike us down when we least expect it, and the results can be severely traumatic– worse even than waking up next to Merv Griffin. We were not prepared for the tremendous suffering and frustration that would be invoked upon us when a plague smited our formerly happy household. Things will never be the same here, now that A.A.D.S. has permanently maimed an innocent 14-year old boy. As a truly responsible and highly-respected Internet humor columnist, I feel it is my duty to familiarize nearly both of my loyal readers about the devastating effects of Acquired Adolescent Deficiency Syndrome, I will outline some of the overwhelming symptoms of this cruel disorder and, as the professional that I am, I will attempt to retain my composure throughout. When it was first detected, we noticed the emergence of a slurred speech pattern, caused by what seemed to be his inability to move his lips while speaking. This paralytic condition made it very frustrating for us when we attempted to communicate with him. Soon the lethargy began spreading throughout his body — to the point where he would shriek-out during simple tasks like removing a trash bag from a kitchen waste basket, or whenever he was required to open books to do his homework. Sadly, it ravaged his young body so completely that he was unable to lift his feet while walking. Not only did this mean that I could easily identify his approaching shuffle from a few hundred yards away, but it also meant that we were now forced to drive him everywhere, including the end of the driveway when he was asked to retrieve the mail. There also seemed to be a deformity in his perception of depth and proportion. He suddenly began wearing pants that were baggy enough to provide shelter for a large percentage of Turkish earthquake refugees. (Recently, he became noticeably agitated when he discovered his younger siblings playing a game of Hide n’ Seek inside a pair of his pants. Unable to move his lips or communicate by any means except a telephone, he reacted adversely by eating every morsel of snack food in the entire house!) As his senses deadened, he was no longer able to recognize and correct even the most minor deficiencies in his appearance. Often his pants would fall to just below his hips, or his shoes would remain untied for hours on end. “Hey, your shoe’s untied,” I would say. “Zup?” he’d attempt to respond. “Your extremely ridiculous-looking baggy pants are falling down too,” I’d offer. “Phat,” he’d mumble. He would then proceed to ignore me, but judging by his vacant stare, I’m sure that he completely understood everything I was telling him — at least up to, and including, the word, “Hey”. I shudder at the pain and embarrassment he must have felt when he learned that he had lost his perception of time. A simple shower now consumed the better part of an evening. He began sleeping until noon, and was unable to decipher simple curfew times. Often, we were forced to keep him “grounded”, purely for his own protection. Eventually, this cruel disorder even assaulted his memory. He was compelled to etch the names of female friends on his arms and knuckles with an ink pen, probably so he wouldn’t forget them, and as of this writing, he has been searching for the same pair of misplaced soccer shoes for almost a week. He began to withdraw into his own private world — finding solace only in dreadfully loud, rhythmic, yet highly-repetitious compact disk recordings of people who are apparently suffering from the exact same paralyzed lip disease. During those rare occasions when his pronunciation was almost interpretable, the disease seemed to be altering his sense of reality, causing a horribly transposed sense of values. Rationalization became muddled — perhaps he was even hallucinating. Through his unintelligible garble, we were able to ascertain the following: a) he believes he is much smarter than we are. b) watching pay-per-view wrestling is an appropriate investment of time, energy and capital. c) our family sport utility vehicle “sucks” because it does not possess tires taller than 48 inches, and it is incapable of “peeling-out” and leaving “at least 50 feet of rubber”. d) any movie that has more than five consecutive lines of intelligible dialogue between gunshots or explosions is boring and completely unviewable. e) time spent “trapped” at home is merely “an investment” for an equal amount of time spent outside the house. Once, after being grounded, he eventually turned-up after vanishing for a month or so. It is a painful ordeal to witness a perfectly happy child become afflicted with Acquired Adolescent Deficiency Syndrome — which can often transform people into selfish, wretched, blithering maniacs. (Later, I’ll apologize for this and try to hold my composure the next time I struggle through a conversation with him.) Finally, we have been forced to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of others. His bedroom is now off-limits to everyone except highly-trained search and rescue teams. Sadly, there is no treatment available for AADS victims, and I was unable to locate any support groups on the Internet. The best you can do is hope that your young teen will shake this disease on his or her own. Your own sanity depends on it.

Recommended Reading:

A comic survival guide to being a parent of teenage daughters, Bruce Cameron’s book started life in 1995 as a wildly, and accidentally, successful Internet column. In short, sharply observed vignettes, he touches a middle-aged-male nerve by describing the rage and bewilderment of having little girls turn into teenage monsters, but every complaint is punctured by a self-deprecating regular-guy-in-a-mad-world irony. There are helpful hints (or rather, unhelpful ones, because Cameron admits that nothing will make any difference) for coping with the telephone, clothes, parties, car you used to own, and boyfriend you don’t want her to hang around with.

Keith J. MacDonald (2 Posts)


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Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!


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