Not every problem is a syndrome

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

I have DDS, and it has nothing to do with dentistry.

I have an affliction commonly known — at least in my house — as Damn Dog Syndrome.

It’s the emotions I experience every morning when I go down to the kitchen, where we keep our old dog Smoke, closed in over night because he is becoming incontinent.

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Every morning either my wife or I, after letting the four dogs out into the backyard, clean up the mess he left behind.

And now, seeing he does it in the kitchen, one of the younger dogs is starting to use our dining room floor as her bathroom.

So, every morning I come downstairs and my first words are “damn dogs.”

Now, I tell you all of that because I want to talk about the absurdity of “syndromes.”

It seems like every time somebody has a bad day, all they have to do is get a doctor to assign their condition some sort of name, which leads to an acronym, and a new syndrome is born.

The latest one, aside from my suffering from DDS, is Intermittent Explosive Disorder, or IED, which is what some “experts” are calling the condition by which drivers go berserk. Until now it has been known as road rage.

Those same experts believe that as many as 7.3 percent of the U.S. population, about 16 million people, suffer from this disorder.

We have all seen these folks on the highways — or we may have been one of them at one time or another.

They are the idiots who do stupid things while driving cars and then get mad at you. They cut people off, don’t use proper turn signals, pull out in front of you or maybe steal the parking space you had been waiting to use. Regardless of their actions, I don’t believe they have a syndrome. I think they are just plain stupid.

But since just about everything else qualifies for a syndrome and an acronym, I thought I’d throw out a few new ones.

n I Don’t Want to Go to Work Today Syndrome, or simply called IDWTGTWTS. There is no doubt that most of us have suffered from that one.

n We Don’t Need A Professional; I Can Do It Myself Syndrome, or WDNAPICDIMS. This is an affliction only suffered by men responding to their wives or significant others who have pointed out some problem around the house. The word ‘professional’ is generic and is interchangeable with electrician, plumber, roofing contractor or other expert.

n You Never Listen To Anything I Say Syndrome, or YNLTAISS. This is a problem only experienced by wives or girlfriends when talking to their husbands or significant others.

n Of Course I Am Excited About Your Mother Coming To Visit Syndrome, or OCIAEAYMCTVS. Again, this is a problem only found in men when responding to the questions, “You do want my mother to come visit don’t you?”

n Apparently I Don’t Know How To Coordinate My Wardrobe Syndrome, or AIDKHTCMWS. I think most men suffer from this based on their wives and girlfriend always asking, “Is that what you’re wearing tonight?”

There’s one other syndrome that I think every man should have, and if he doesn’t, he needs to acquire it as soon as possible.

I call it NHTODMYLFS, which stands for No Honey, That Outfit Doesn’t Make You Look Fat Syndrome. It’s a good one guys. Get it!

Enough with the syndromes already.

Just because somebody flips you off or cusses you out on the highway doesn’t mean they are sick. They’re just stupid.

And if they are sick, can we then expect them to start taking medication for the so-called illness? If they do, then all we’ll have are stupid drivers on drugs.

Grant is the managing editor of the Suffolk News-Herald. Contact him at, or call 934-9603