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The Skinny By Elaine Langlois

Seven Symptoms You Should Never Ignore!

It seems like everyone around you has some trendy new disease. But you're in perfect health. Or so you think. Is that sniffle merely a cold, or have you developed an allergy to your favorite alpaca sweater? Then there's that nagging ringing in your ears. Are you just getting hard of hearing like Aunt Betty, or is it perhaps a degenerative brain disorder?

Before you go haring off to your doctor for the hottest new prescription medicines the big drug manufacturers are touting on TV, read the following article. It is reprinted from Deterrence, the well-known health magazine. Deterrence caters to people who have begun to realize that they are getting older and are seeking ways not to look older and to make sure everything is working all right. It tells you the best diseases to have-the ones that will earn you respectful looks and deferential treatment-as well as those tiresome, passé ailments you should avoid! Deterrence understands.

Reprinted from Deterrence Magazine:

Seven Symptoms You Should Never Ignore!

1. Your index finger sometimes gets numb and tingly after prolonged exposure to the cold.

It's a good thing you bought this magazine. Numbness and tingling in an index finger can signal a severe deficiency of Vitamin N, the nervy vitamin. Discovered in 1993 by a team of Canadian and American scientists, Vitamin N can be found in sushi, burnt toast, and those purple, fernlike garnishes that frequently accompany entrées in your finer restaurants. You can also take Vitamin N as a supplement in the form of dried pig intestines.

2. You get a funny taste in your mouth after eating cheese.

This could be a symptom of Cheesemongers' Disease. Afflicting some .003 percent of the population, Cheesemongers' Disease causes progressive atrophy of the cheese taste buds, located in the southwest quadrant of the tongue near the uvula. Soon you degenerate from having a palate exquisitely attuned to first-class Brie to being barely able to tolerate pasteurized processed cheese spread. Left untreated, Cheesemongers' Disease can lead to brain damage and even death!

3. When you get to the bottom of the stairs, you occasionally forget what you wanted when you were at the top of the stairs.

Brace yourself. This looks like the onset of senile dementia to us. Progressive memory loss is a topic covered frequently in our magazine, which offers many wholesome, natural approaches to illness and aging, such as poultices, schottisches, tonics, elixirs, and bloodletting. If you're not already a subscriber, don'tyou think you'd better take care of that right away?

4. You have a cold that's been hanging on for several weeks.

It's impossible to enumerate all the extremely serious diseases that this could be a harbinger of, from beriberi to compulsive shopping disorder. It's a good thing we caught it so early. See a doctor right away. A list of caring, sympathetic physicians is available on our web site for a modest fee.

5. Parts of your body inexplicably snap together for minutes at a time.

It sounds to us as though someone is trying to put the Petrificus Totalus curse on you and doing a bad job of it. This is the same curse that Hermione Granger uses on Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone. Fortunately for you, we have obtained exclusive rights to the countercurse, available to our Premium Subscribers ($250).

6. You frequently develop a headache and flulike symptoms just before you have to go to work or do anything else that requires effort and responsibility.

This is a sure and certain symptom of Malingerus Exasperatus. There is no cure. The only known therapy is to stay home and rest while watching old TV shows and eating your favorite foods until you feel better. You can also spend days at the beach, go out to dinner, visit friends, and take vacations. For information on coping with this relapsing/remitting disease, call now and order the past ten years' worth of issues from our archives.

7. You see flashes of light whenever you chew on tinfoil.

Sorry, you've bought the farm. There's no hope left. But we're sure you don't want others to suffer as you will. Have we mentioned our Bequests program?

©2002 Elaine Langlois