Friday, October 9, 2020

Americans suffering from ASS


(530 words)

I have a layman’s understanding of Attention Deficit Disorder and a lazy man’s reluctance to do the research that would broaden my knowledge.

So take what you read here with a grain of salt, a warning I’m sure is unnecessary to those of you already hyper-alert to fake news shenanigans.

In fact, my standing in this regard is so shallow it can be summed up in one lame light bulb joke:

PERSON 1: “How many attention deficit disorder kids does it take to change a lightbulb?”

PERSON 2: “I don’t know. How many ADD kids does it take to change a lightbulb?”

(PERSON 1 stares blankly for a good 20 seconds or until straight man loses all patience. Then …

PERSON 1: “Wanna go ride bikes?”

See, the humor comes from the inability of an ADD person to focus on one thing or concentrate on a task or field of interest before absentmindedly flitting onto something else entirely.

I confess here to feeling a twinkle of serenity upon typing the word “absentminded.’

Image for a moment being incapable of finding your mind.

If I lost my mind I wouldn’t send out a search party until 1 January 2021.

I don’t have ADD.

No, I, probably like you, have Attention Surplus Syndrome (ASS). Yes, I made it up. I imagine identifying and describing an affliction entitles me to naming dibs, which I decline.

It’s going to be challenging enough being my daughter without having to answer the question: “So, are you the Rodell for whom ASS is named?”

ASS is the flip side of ADD. Go ahead and call it the other cheek.

ADD patients deal with attention deficits. ASSes like me have surpluses of attention. We watch the news all day and well into the wee hours.

It’s the one thing upon which partisans on both sides agree. We can’t get enough of the news. We could stare unblinkingly for hours and still not be sated.

We have attention to spare.

I’m not there yet, but the most extreme cases people with so much surplus attention can’t help themselves and spill their excess opinion on innocents who are simply trying to enjoy their lives free of political conflict.

They swamp FaceBook friends with conspiracy theories and fake news purporting to be about fake news. Many of them are consumed with hate for anyone who doesn’t share their opinion.

And they can’t shut up.

They’re Attention Surplus Syndrome Oral Lecturers (ASSOLs).

Happily, it’s not too late. You can begin taking steps today to restore your sanity. Turn off the TV, slam the lid on the laptop, take a stroll in the woods or snuggle up to a cuddly consensual and see which of you can go longer without using mentioning politics.

I’m trying to do my part to be less of an ASS. I’ll be selling books at Second Chapter Books in Ligonier from noon til 5 with an earnest vow to avoid controversy.

I hope you’ll do the same. We all need to do our part to lower the volume and reduce the ugliness.

Let’s start with you and I.

Let’s together vow to kick ASS before ASS kicks us.

Related …

America’s last undecided voter … me!

Trump’s no jackass — he’s under-qualified

Trump’s in Latrobe! Aunt Millie goes nuts …

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