Bush-Exasperation Syndrome Spreads
by Jaime O’Neill, Jun 8 2007
You might have missed it–a story buried in that slush pile of celebrity news, happy talk, and un-vetted press releases that now constitute so much of American journalism–but a report released by the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta has recently added a new threat to the nation’s growing stack of worries.
An intensive study of 1,000 randomly-selected Americans has yielded conclusive evidence of a heretofore unnoted contagion, an offshoot of Tourette’s Syndrome doctors have labeled BES, or Bush Exasperation Syndrome. As first reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), symptoms of Bush Exasperation Syndrome include involuntary outbursts of projectile cursing whenever the name or image of President George W. Bush is flashed before sufferers of this malady. This catalytic image (or trigger) has produced bouts of explosive and uncontrollable profanity in well over half of those tested for the disease.
But reflexive and propulsive swearing is only the most benign symptom of BES. As the disease progresses, more advanced symptoms include the loss of a sense of humor, coupled with feelings of hopelessness and despair. And the number of traffic accidents is thought to have increased due to drivers losing control of their vehicles while suffering BES-related episodes.
Most startling and worrisome is the fact that early indications suggest that as much as 60% of the nation’s population may be infected with BES, creating a degree of suffering seldom revealed by medical research. BES now qualifies as a true epidemic throughout the American population.
Preliminary studies reveal, however, that people with measurably low intelligence have an inexplicable immunity to this ailment thought to be linked to their DNA. Scientists have found an almost exact correlation between IQ and the degree of susceptibility to BES. The lower your IQ, the less likely it is that you will be infected.
Ironically, it was President Bush’s own father who alerted the scientific and medical communities to this looming threat. In an interview with Larry King back in April, the elder Bush allowed as how the nation was, perhaps, suffering from “Bush fatigue.” The phrase resonated with scientists at the CDC who had long suspected a correlation between a notable uptick in uncontrolled cursing virtually from the moment Bush took office, an outbreak that has skyrocketed in both severity and frequency in the last couple of years. George Herbert Walker Bush’s diagnosis of Bush Fatigue was, however, imprecise and unscientific. Early studies did, in fact, disclose a condition physicians called Bush Fatigue Syndrome (BFS), but that condition is a wholly separate disorder, differing from Bush Exasperation Syndrome (BES) in etiologically distinct ways. While sufferers of Bush Fatigue Syndrome present symptoms of ennui, numbness, loss of appetite, and purposelessness, those stricken with Bush Exasperation Syndrome are more likely to be volatile, unable to control their bodily movements when seized by a fit of cursing, with arms flailing, and digits involuntarily making obscene hand gestures at television screens or other triggering stimuli.
One of the many corollary symptoms of BES is a tendency to seek comfort in food. Thus it is that we are fast becoming a diseased nation made up of legions of obese people who are thrown into paroxysms of cursing and gesticulating each time the afflicted are confronted by an image of their nation’s leader. Even more insidious, words and phrases widely known to be associated with George W. Bush can increase the severity of these seizures. For instance, the phrase “the decider” has been shown to be nearly fatal to people with advanced cases of the disease, and there have been a handful of documented fatalities attributed to BES patients exposed to the phrase “Is our children learning?”
So far, the only known antidote is to sequester patients away from any possible Bush-related stimuli, a kind of quarantine that is nearly impossible to secure.
Doctors have proposed the idea that stem-cell research might yield a cure, but that research has been severely restricted by Bush policies regarding the use of stem cells, so those who suffer can only hope that relief may come when George W. Bush is no longer in office, and thus less likely to inflict suffering on those with BES.