My Syndrome

Mine. Not yours. Mine.

I invented it, I get to name it. After me. And I get to use it before anyone else does.

I haven’t decided yet whether it will have screaming and rude words or be the sort of behaviour that knocks holes in plaster walls. I’m keeping my options open – it might involve poetry and fluffy kittens.

In any case I have registered it with the Harvard Medical School ( though someone said I could make more from the Business School ) and already three drug companies have expressed interest in patent medicines that treat it. I’m also considering an offer from a cartel that deals in dried powders from central Africa to make that the preferred treatment. It will all depend on the availability of small plastic bags and cut up soda straws.

The syndrome industry is not as easy as some people make out. You have to place your product into a market that can yield a significant return. No good identifying yourself as a person who goes around slapping pensioners and asking for a government grant on that basis. Most people are prepared to slap Granny for free; they would baulk at paying. Plus there are bound to be copycat organisations that spring up in some of the less savoury parts of the world – like Sweden – and would claim that they were unbearable first.

Still, the economy needs a boost, and if I can do my little part to make sure that social distancing is successful – and I assure you that if you practise my syndrome on the train you’ll have a carriage to yourself – I will have done my civic duty. I will now smile…so look away.

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