Sleepless in Seattle

Sleepless in Seattle

Lately I’ve been having trouble sleeping. My doctor thinks I may be in denial about being a horrible person, or that I refuse to confront how I’ve totally wasted my life. I think my doctor is getting a 1-star review on Yelp.

Lately I’ve been having trouble sleeping. My doctor thinks I may be in denial about being a horrible person, or that I refuse to confront how I’ve totally wasted my life. I think my doctor is getting a 1-star review on Yelp.

Recently, events in my life have eerily paralleled the story line from that classic film, Sleepless in Seattle, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. How? Well, for starters, I’ve lived in the greater Seattle area for the past 30 years. Second, I’ve been having difficulty sleeping lately. And third, I have been told I resemble Tom Hanks (particularly by people who have never seen him). Hence the premise for this week’s column.

For the past several weeks, I’ve had maybe two hours of fitful ZZZ time per night. It’s starting to make me cranky. Several friends have offered less than helpful theories to explain my sleep-deprived predicament. Perhaps, said one, I’m feeling pangs of regret over decades of egregious parenting failures. Or maybe I’m riding a sugar high from binging on Pop Tarts and Mountain Dew right before bedtime.

One person posited that my insomnia may be due to anxiety from watching news coverage 24/7. I say I’d only be watching news 24/16 if I could sleep. Yet another “expert” speculated that my tossing and turning might be me practicing maneuvers for eluding the thugs who are after me for my gambling debts. Please don’t tell my wife that I blew our life savings at the Emerald Queen Casino.

Those are all excellent – albeit wildly erroneous – explanations for my nocturnal insomnolence. The real cause is that I had knee replacement surgery for the second time in four months and am struggling with RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). RLS is a common side effect of major knee surgery. It’s characterized by an irresistible urge to move one’s legs in a futile attempt to find a comfortable position. It occurs typically at nighttime and has many manifestations: twitching, thrashing, and knocking all the covers to the floor.

It can take a significant toll on loved ones as the sufferer may body-slam his bed partner in the chest, or in a knee-jerk motion, propel the cats off the bed up toward the rotating ceiling fan. It is thus suggested one keep the fan on low speed. The subsequent shunning by wife – and cats – can have the far-reaching mental health consequences of rejection, abandonment, and loneliness. My legs have therefore been designated as clear and present dangers to others.

Some evenings it’s so bad that I’m not sure if my problem is RLS or a frenetic case of the Harlem Shakes. Most nights I have to get up four or five times – and not just to pee. I pace around the bedroom, the living room, even the garage, in a fruitless attempt to quiet my legs. It hasn’t worked, but on the positive side, these wee hour wanderings have enabled me to hit my daily Fitbit goal of 10,000 steps on several nights.

Thanks to caring friends – and a few idiots – I have a plethora of tactics to try to help me sleep. Here are just a few of those suggestions:

  • Practice meditation before bedtime.

    This particular evening I couldn’t sleep at all. On the Other hand, my cat Chompers was blissfully unaware of my distress as he contentedly dozed off like a hibernating bear, sleeping peacefully on my face.

    This particular evening I couldn’t sleep at all. On the Other hand, my cat Chompers was blissfully unaware of my distress as he contentedly dozed off like a hibernating bear, sleeping peacefully on my face.

  • Download an ambient noise app of soothing sounds, like crashing waves, a crackling campfire, or a dentist’s drill. (I’m wondering about this last sound, as it barely helped me relax).
  • A warm cup of milk.
  • No sugar after 1pm (you lost me at “1pm”, buddy).
  • Smoke a cigarette. (I guess it’s never too late to take up a new habit. Does vaping count?)
  • Listen to bacon frying (didn’t achieve sleep but thanks to this tip, I’ve gained five pounds).
  • Hum like a bee. Using live bees is not recommended.
  • Listen to a podcast on Mastering Excel.
  • Do not drink alcohol before bedtime (since I don’t drink, this one should be easy).
  • Have a glass of wine before bedtime.

Then there is the always welcome, “Don’t try to fall asleep. Just let it happen.” Um, thanks for the vapid, clichéd platitude.

I’ve tried prescription sleeping meds to no avail. One of them  apparently can induce sleep walking, or worse yet, sleep driving (yikes!). I bailed on that one, lest I get pulled over for driving without a license – or pants. The other sleep prescriptions were as effective in bringing on sleep as Flintstone vitamins are at dissolving a brain tumor.

So far, nothing has worked. I’m at my wits end – and my wife is sleeping at a neighbor’s. But I have a buddy who guarantees he has the cure-all that will send me to Slumberland: Hop in bed, drink a fifth of Tequila and watch Weekend at Bernie’s, wearing nothing but bunny slippers. In full disclosure, he also swears that drinking a fifth of Bourbon will cure male pattern baldness. So he’s missing a few screws – at this point, what have I got to lose? I’ll keep you posted.

Good news just in: My doctor assures me that my RSL is a temporary condition which should dissipate over time. The bad news is “over time” according to my doctor could be anywhere from two weeks till shortly after my untimely death due to sleep deprivation.

Whoa! I suddenly feel really drowsy. It just hit me as I was typing the last paragraph. My eyes are so heavy. I can barely keep my head up. I better lie down for a minute before I fall asleep at the keyboar$#%$J@E)%Nda&%#Dfw)@$#3en48093abutcp………………………..

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off baaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzz… 

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020

Other Masks We Need

Other Masks We Need

Now that it’s widely accepted that wearing masks can stop the spread of COVID, researchers are exploring new applications of mask technology. Take this DAD mask – designed to prevent the transmission of embarrassing comments from suburban dads who think they are way cooler than they are.

Now that it’s widely accepted that wearing masks can stop the spread of COVID, researchers are exploring new applications of mask technology. Take this DAD mask – designed to prevent the transmission of embarrassing comments from suburban dads who think they are way cooler than they are.

The widespread use of face masks has helped to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus around the world. Properly fitted N-95 and surgical masks catch microbes which people expel in a plume of air and droplets when we cough, sneeze, talk, or simply breathe. By wearing masks, we protect others from potentially dangerous infection.

The successful use of face masks against the pandemic has inspired scientists and public health professionals to look at further applications of mask technology to prevent the spread of other dangerous human expulsions across a wide array of personal interactions. Here are just a few of the exciting new applications currently under development.

Dad masks

These specially engineered masks have been designed to prevent the expulsion of embarrassing comments by fathers in the presence of their teenage children. In tests at the University of Maryland, these masks proved up to 75 percent effective in reducing the audibility of such cringe-worthy comments as, “So, what is this TikTok thing I’ve been hearing about? Is it a smart watch?” or “Hey, that band K-Pop is really awesome!” or “I finally learned the moves to the Macarena. Check this out.”

Wife masks

Infused with an amnesia agent, when properly worn by a nagging spouse, this mask causes total memory blockage of all of hubby’s flaws. No more tirades of “Get off the damn couch and do your chores!” or “Who cares about the Seahawks anyways?!”  The agent wears off within 30 minutes after wives return to normalcy. Comes with an optional extender that covers the eyes, making it nearly impossible to detect exasperated eye rolls. Potential side effects include increased anxiety about the wearer’s weight and an inability to decide which earrings to wear. 

Trump Shock masks

We wear masks not only to protect ourselves but also to protect others – in this case, misguided Trump fanatics. No longer will they have to endure the daily outbursts of shock and outrage by liberals over the latest inflammatory tweets by our not-so-esteemed President. With this mask, exclamations such as “Oh my God, did you hear what he said about Muslims!?” come out like “Ermgrd drdurrr wresrrd abr mrzms!?” thereby saving the feelings of white supremacists and the lives of liberals.

MAGA SUPPORTER mask – worn exactly how the 45th president recommends it be worn. (Not recommended for rational adults with the ability to think logically or spell complex words like “cat.”)

MAGA SUPPORTER mask – worn exactly how the 45th president recommends it be worn. (Not recommended for rational adults with the ability to think logically or spell complex words like “cat.”)

MAGA masks

Healthcare lab techs are developing a mask which will render MAGA believers invisible to normal adults. Still in early stages of R&D, it will feature a cloaking device activated the moment the MAGA mask wearer utters a moronic comment in support of his lord and master, thus sparing the rest of us having to look at the misguided sot. They are also working on an audio cloaking device, so you won’t have to listen to MAGA rants either, such as, “Trump’s the greatest president ever for blacks – better than Lincoln.” Not recommended for kids, as wearing it may make them harder to locate in a crowd. Mask comes with a safety disclaimer: “Please wear responsibly – which we realize may be an oxymoron.”

Zoom masks

The videoconferencing app Zoom has helped friends, family and business colleagues stay in touch during the pandemic while social distancing. However, it has also transformed mores of social propriety. Users have been recorded wearing no pants and proclaiming, “Thanks to this quarantine, I haven’t taken a shower in weeks.” While not actually preventing such divulging of TMI, wearing the Zoom mask acts as a reminder to think before exposing too much of yourself.

Small Children on Long Car Trip masks

While we love our kids, we don’t always love their incessant babbling and bickering on long road trips shouting, “I need to go – NOW!” and “Brittany keeps poking me! Mom, make her stop!” With this mask, these problems disappear completely. An ingenious filter inserted into the lining delivers a child-safe dosage of propofol – just  enough to knock out your little angel for eight whole hours. Kid-friendly designs include Buzz Lightyear, Elsa, and for teens, the popular Hannibal Lecter.

Soccer Player Furious for Getting a Yellow Card masks

The ALIEN FACEHUGGER mask. In addition to preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, it offers the added ability to prevent any intimate contact with the opposite sex.

The ALIEN FACEHUGGER mask. In addition to preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, it offers the added functionality of preventing any intimate contact with the opposite sex.

All too often, professional soccer players get ejected because they mouthed off at the referee after receiving a yellow card. Now they need never fear ejection. That’s because this mask is equipped with a built-in translation microchip that converts their obscenity-laced tirade into soft-spoken compliments. The next time Manchester United’s left midfielder gets yellow carded for tripping and shouts, “Hey, ref! Sod off, you bloody dim-witted arse! Get your fuckin’ eyes checked, you rat bastard”, what the referee hears instead is, “Mr. Ref, sir, you made the right call. I will mend my ways henceforth. Keep up the great job.” Available in Cockney, Scot, Italian and Bronx accents.

Comic-Con masks

Comic-Con is the biggest event of the year for people who have never dated. It’s where thousands of comic book fans converge to swap memorabilia and listen to celebrities tell them to please, for the love of God, get a life. This mask doesn’t really have a purpose – much like the Comic Con fanatics who wear them. But it comes in a variety of Superhero versions, including The Hulk, Captain America, and Ant Man (available only in XXXXXX Small).

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

This week’s post was written in collaboration with my longtime friend and fellow humor writer, Steve Fisher. Steve lives in Prague, Czech Republic, where he has been an actor and writer for the past 28 years. He has published three collections of his satirical stories which appeared from 2012-2016 as a regular column in the weekly Czech magazine Reflex under the banner “Američan v Praze” (“An American in Prague”).

 

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020. Edited by Betsy Jones

Welcome Back to the Magic Kingdom!

Welcome Back to the Magic Kingdom!

Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL is reopening after its closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, even as the state sees a surge in new cases. — CNN, July 10, 2020

Everyone here at the Disneyland Resort is excited to once again open our park to lovers of fun and adventure. Because of the COVID-19 situation, in order to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff, we’ve made a few small adjustments to some of our park attractions. In addition, we’ve also updated some of our attractions in light of recent social developments. Here are some of the changes you’ll find on your next visit.

Main Street U.S.A.

As you take a nostalgic stroll down Main Street U.S.A., the only small change you might notice is the stationing of an entire division of National Guard troops at key street intersections as well as S.W.A.T. team sharpshooters positioned on strategic rooftops. Don’t worry. They’re only there as a preventative measure in the unlikely event of any social justice demonstrations. To make their presence less conspicuous, they are all dressed as storm troopers from our brand new Star Wars: Galaxy Edge attraction.

Hall of Presidents

Our exhibit of incredible animatronic likenesses of the U.S. Presidents has undergone some slight modifications, including the removal of 12 of them for, well, let’s say “property issues.” In addition, for the sake of historical clarity, we’ve updated many of their biographies with references to things they said or did that could be considered racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, genocidal, corrupt, illegal, or otherwise despicable. Honestly, if you’ve got children with you, you might just want to skip it.

Space Mountain

They say that “in space, no one can hear you scream.” And that’s definitely true on our updated Space Mountain ride, once you’ve been zipped into your hermetically sealed “space suit” (actually a COVID-protective hazmat suit, redesigned with an astronaut look).

Splash Mountain

Same ride, but now through pools of disinfectant.

Jungle Cruise

Our exciting river boat attraction in Adventureland is just the thing to take your mind off the Coronavirus pandemic, as you cruise down the rivers of Asia, Africa and South America on a replica tramp steamer, swaddled in protective coverings in a desperate effort to avoid contracting malaria, Ebola, cholera and Dengue fever.

Haunted Mansion

Ghosts, spirits, apparitions! Well, honestly, it used to seem scary. But now, compared to watching the evening news, it’s really pretty tame.

Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride

Formerly “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” this attraction was recently divested by Disney to offset park attendance losses and was sold to the Trump Corporation, appropriately along with the rest of Fantasyland. The ride is basically unchanged, but riders are not required to wear masks or maintain social distancing, and open carry of firearms is permitted.

Mar-a-Lago North

Formerly “Goofy’s Playhouse.” (See above.)

Warning: By visiting the Disneyland resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. While senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable, people of all ages and health statuses have experienced critical debilitating effects. While in the park, avoid close contact with strangers, do not embrace costumed characters, wash hands regularly, and keep children’s exclamations of joy to a minimum to limit droplet spread.  

We look forward to your visit to the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy the fun!

– Steve Fisher

This week’s post was written by guest writer, Steve Fisher, a longtime friend of Tim Jones. Steve lives in Prague, Czech Republic, where he has been an actor and writer for the past 28 years. He has published three collections of his satirical stories which appeared from 2012-2016 as a regular column in the weekly Czech magazine Reflex under the banner “Američan v Praze” (“An American in Prague”).

 

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020

Announcing a New, Politically Correct Name for the Washington Redskins

Announcing a New, Politically Correct Name for the Washington Redskins

This helmet has been at the center of a heated controversy for years. Many people feel the name “Redskins” is an offensive stereotype for millions of Native Americans. There have been many calls for a less offensive team name. One suggestion which I suspect might not get the nod: The “Washington Negroes.”

This helmet has been at the center of a heated controversy for years. Many people feel the name “Redskins” is an offensive stereotype for millions of Native Americans. There have been many calls for a less offensive team name. One suggestion which I suspect might not get the nod: The “Washington Negroes.”

Thanks in part to the Black Lives Matter protests, media attention has recently turned to the controversial name of the NFL football franchise in our nation’s capital: The Washington Redskins.

A tiny fringe group of a few million annoyingly sensitive Americans, including 35 Native American tribes and more than 50 organizations that represent various groups of Native Americans, seem to think the term “redskin” is an offensive stereotype that stirs images of primitive, angry, bloodthirsty savages screaming menacingly and wishing to annihilate their enemy – in other words, acting like typical Washington Redskins fans. And they are demanding that billionaire team owner Daniel Snyder change the team name to something less offensive – say, the Washington Camel Jockeys.

The list of suggested alternative names grows by the day. Some names that have been proposed include: The Washington Gryffindors, the Washington Slytherins, the Washington Hufflepuffs,… well, pretty much anything you can think of from Harry Potter. Also, the Washington Redhawks (which personally I would find highly offensive if I were a Chicago Blackhawks fan), the Washington Skins (not sure how our nation’s nudists would feel about this one) or the Washington Pigskins (which I would object to if I were a pot-bellied pig).

None of these names has generated much support, so naturally, as one of the nation’s leading brand marketers, I have offered to come up with several much better ones. Tell me what you think: The Washington Lobbyists, or how about the Washington Gridlocks? Or maybe just the Washington Swamp? I thought about the Washington Senators – but then I realized I was too late. The Senators had already been bought.

Or how about simply going 180 degrees in the opposite direction of the offensive Redskinned image and calling the team the Washington Palefaces, in honor of our nation’s 234 million proud Caucasian Americans? Still not working for you? Okay, I was saving my best name for last. It’s brilliant, if I do say so myself. Are you ready? Here goes: The Washington Redskins!

My solution to the problem: Don’t change the name. Change the graphic. How could anybody possibly take offense at an image of one of our nation’s most popular agricultural staples, the noble REDSKIN potato! Brilliant, eh? Problem solved.

My solution to the problem: Don’t change the name. Change the graphic. How could anybody possibly take offense at an image of one of our nation’s most popular agricultural staples, the noble REDSKIN potato! Brilliant, eh? Problem solved.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking – doesn’t that sound vaguely close to the name the team currently goes by? But I’m not talking about some emotionally charged racial profiling of our nation’s oppressed Native American population. Not in the least! No, I’m talking about proudly honoring one of our nation’s great agricultural staples from America’s patriotic heartland: The Redskin Potato. Think about it. The team won’t have to invest millions of dollars researching a name change. All they have to do is slap a new logo on the team helmet. See my proposed new logo at right.

Admit it. Who doesn’t love a redskin potato? They go fantastic with roast beef and perhaps just a light sprinkling of cheddar cheese to bring out the flavor. This could totally bring our divided nation back together. After all, I’m fairly sure the Native Americans served redskin potatoes to the Pilgrims back at the very first Thanksgiving. Or was it maize? Doesn’t matter. My point is, this will finally solve all the long-festering problems of race relations between whites and Native Americans over the past 400 years, and all of our Native Americans’ difficulties will magically disappear. No need to thank me, my fellow Native Americans.

And just think of all the fun sports announcers will have with the new brand:

“The Redskins’ offense has stalled. With fourth and long, they’ll have to punt again. Looks like their game plan for today’s contest against the Colts was half-baked.” 

“Ooh, that hit by the Chargers’ safety flattened the Redskins quarterback. Talk about one mashed potato, eh, Brad?” 

“In the second half tonight the Redskins have SPUDDERED. By the fourth quarter, it appeared most of their players were totally fried, wouldn’t you agree, Brad?” 

“Looks like the Redskins nose tackle may have been hurt on the play. I guess that would make him a potato chip, eh, Brad?” 

“What in the hell are you talking about, Fred?” 

“I mean he’s injured – you might say, chipped. Get it? Potato chip?” 

“Shut up, Fred. Just shut the fuck up. Oh, shit. Are we still on the air?” 

The young rookie players could be called tater tots. If a player has a great game, I could see the newspaper headline the next day: “Redskin Quarterback is Hot Potato in Come-From-Behind Victory.”  See what I mean? The sound bite possibilities are endless.

If my redskin potato graphic doesn’t fly, here is my backup proposal. Who doesn’t love Hello Kitty? I know my girls sure did – back when they were five. Go, Kitties! MEOW!! What a purrfect new logo, am I right?

If my redskin potato graphic doesn’t fly, here is my backup proposal. Who doesn’t love Hello Kitty? I know my girls sure did – back when they were five. Go, Kitties! MEOW!! What a purrfect new logo, am I right?

I came up with a great new tag line to boost fan support for the team: “Support your NEW Washington Redskins. This Spud’s for You.”  I can’t imagine any Fortune 500 company possibly being upset over such a fun tag line, can you?

I’m confident that if the Redskins team owner thinks about my idea, he will quickly adopt it – and hopefully give me a modest 5% of all future ticket sales. And once and for all, this sordid Redskin naming controversy will vanish quicker than the Redskins’ chances of making the playoffs.

In the unlikely event Mr. Snyder stuns the world and refuses to adopt my solution, I even came up with a backup plan: The Washington Kittens. Check out the new helmet logo at right. I’m confident this move would bring young girls out to the stadium in droves, especially on Stuffed Animal Day. What can I say? I’m an idea machine.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, post a COMMENT, give it a LIKE and SHARE it on Facebook. You just might win a new car. Probably not. In fact, forget I ever mentioned it.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020

Warning Signs You May Be Experiencing  Kronic Incessant Disorder Syndrome (K.I.D.S.)

Warning Signs You May Be Experiencing Kronic Incessant Disorder Syndrome (K.I.D.S.)

Every single day people from all walks of life learn the upsetting diagnosis: They’ve become another statistic in the global pandemic of K.I.D.S. While there are many effective methods of prevention, as of today, there is no known cure.

Every single day people from all walks of life learn the upsetting diagnosis: They’ve become another statistic in the global pandemic of K.I.D.S. While there are many effective methods of prevention, as of today, there is no known cure.

Just as our nation is grappling with the Coronavirus pandemic, it appears there is another crisis rapidly spreading throughout the world. Over the past 50 years, throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, there has been an explosion of reported cases of Kronic Incessant Disorder Syndrome (better known by its acronym, K.I.D.S.). No socio-demographic group has been spared by this invasive and intractable outbreak. In fact, I myself have been waging my own personal battle with K.I.D.S. for over twenty years.

According to humanitarian relief agencies’ longitudinal studies dating back to the 19th century, the number of known cases of K.I.D.S. is at its highest level in human history. Alarmingly, it shows no signs of reversing its upward trend. For millions of couples facing the long-term ordeal of K.I.D.S., there is no relief in sight and social distancing is simply not an option.

Scientists have been unable to unlock the mysterious inner workings of K.I.D.S., but its origins have been conclusively linked to a combination of alcohol consumption combined with unprotected sexual contact in the vast majority of cases. Warning signs that you may have contracted K.I.D.S. include an inability to maintain an orderly household and an increasing disregard for clutter and chaos. Another warning sign includes a dramatic degree of social distancing by adults who have not been exposed to K.I.D.S.

What makes this epidemic of K.I.D.S. so debilitating is that there is very little anyone can do to combat it. Once contracted, in the vast majority of cases, the condition, while not usually fatal, typically lasts the rest of their lives. People coping with even the mildest form of K.I.D.S. often report that the condition gets progressively more difficult to manage over time, as the virus mutates in appearance, continually grows in size, and in later stages becomes increasingly resistant to attempts to control it. As people struggle to adapt to living with K.I.D.S., they report that close friends they’ve known for years but who have not contracted K.I.D.S. often avoid them like the plague.

Early stage K.I.D.S. is often associated with significant sleep deprivation lasting up to eight months. During this “incubator” period, common side effects include a significant decline in the victim’s range of vocabulary, typically accompanied by an uncontrollable urge to speak in a high-pitched chirpy voice about successful bowel movements.

Scientists have identified an alarming phenomenon in people suffering with K.I.D.S. – a noticeable deterioration in their mental faculties. They speculate that this intellectual impairment may be caused by prolonged exposure to vacuous television programming dedicated to letters of the alphabet or possibly due to being subjected to endless recitations of drippy songs about Baby Belugas or beautiful days in the neighborhood.

Surprisingly, after a few years, some K.I.D.S. sufferers have reported brief intervals of partially regained lucidity and brief episodes where the worst aspects of K.I.D.S. appear to go into in remission. They can sometimes regain normal sleep cycles and are able to enjoy more adult-themed TV programming. There have even been reported instances in which people living with K.I.D.S. have experienced momentary fits of laughter at birthday parties, zoos, and little league games – but these anecdotal stories have yet to be substantiated with empirical evidence.

One of the most common ailments afflicting people with K.I.D.S. is a perceived loss of control, independence and spontaneity. They often report feeling chained to endless cycles of vehicular transport to soccer games, piano recitals, and doctor’s appointments, taking the place of time previously used for hiking with friends, playing tennis, and working out at the gym. As a result of this hard-to-break cycle, another common side effect of K.I.D.S. is unsightly weight gain and a marked decline in concern for personal appearance.

It is common for people with advanced stages of K.I.D.S. to experience wild swings of emotion and increased levels of stress. If you encounter an otherwise rational adult barking out phrases like who do you think paid for that? or would it kill you to say, ‘thank you?’ or because I said so!, the chances are high the person is battling K.I.D.S. There are many reports of K.I.D.S. wiping out a couple’s entire long-term savings. Some studies suggestion that this steep decline in personal net worth is most severe for people who have been struggling with K.I.D.S. for 18 to 22 years.

The good news is that there are glimmers of hope. For some people facing an uphill struggle with K.I.D.S., symptoms of frustration and exhaustion tend to fade about the time when the financial strain of managing K.I.D.S. has passed its peak. There are dozens of documented cases where victims of K.I.D.S. can resume relatively normal lives somewhere around 18 years from the onset of the condition, engaging in conversations about politics or professional sports teams or taking long drives that no longer require emergency pit stops to eliminate bodily fluids.

Theories abound as to the primary cause of an incurable condition suffered by adults called Kronic Incessant Disorder Syndrome (KIDS), but a recent study suggests prolonged exposure to rainbow-colored aliens with annoying, chirpy voices may be a contributor.

Theories abound as to the primary cause of an incurable condition suffered by adults called Kronic Incessant Disorder Syndrome (KIDS), but a recent study suggests prolonged exposure to rainbow-colored aliens with annoying, chirpy voices may be a contributor.

While there are several effective methods for the prevention of K.I.D.S., currently there is no cure. The unsettling reality is that the existence of K.I.D.S. has become a global epidemic. Ever since my wife and I first received the shocking diagnosis more than two decades ago that we had both become exposed to K.I.D.S., our lives have been consumed just trying to manage this condition.

But here is the oddest part about this chronically overwhelming, exhausting condition. Even though coming down with K.I.D.S. has radically turned my life upside down, drained my life savings and caused me endless sleepless nights, I can’t help but wonder what my life would have been like if I had never gotten K.I.D.S. It’s one lifelong condition for which I hope they never find a cure.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base. 

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020