This is taken from writer and speaker Matt Anderson's weekly email "Matt Chat."
Just when you think you've heard it all.Seems that 31 year-old Dan Noble was driving erratically last week through the campus streets of Pullman, Washington. In fact, his driving was so bad that he struck two pedestrians with little to no hesitation. Both victims suffered broken legs and other assorted injuries.According to police, Noble exited his vehicle about 175 yards beyond the second victim where he was promptly tasered by police, taken into custody, and charged with vehicular assault and felony hit-and-run. Open and shut case, right?Au contraire, mon frere. His lawyer is alleging that his client is not responsible for his violent actions. Why, you ask? I'm not sure you want to hear the answer. You really want to know? Okay, don't say I didn't warn you. Noble's attorney contends that his client's enormous consumption of energy drinks and Starbucks coffee put the would-be-killing financial analyst in a state of, ahem, "caffeine psychosis". Yep, you read correctly. Caffeine psychosis. (Source: The Spokesman Review, 12/9/09)
Maybe you didn't realize it, but you've been raised in an extremely fortunate era. In fact, I would like to officially congratulate everyone in the world. As of this day, we all now have a built-in excuse for absolutely everything. For every flaw, every misstep of our lives, there is a natural explanation that absolves us of all gulit. Got pulled over for speeding? Just tell the officer you suffer with HAFS (Heavy Accelerator Foot Syndrome). Overeat during the holidays? No sir. Not when you have Unquenchable Gastronomic Hunger or UGH, as we clinicians like to call it. Are you chronically late for work and in danger of losing your job? Just tell your boss you can sue him if he does, all because you have been diagnosed with Determined Delay Disorder.Let's bring it on home. Ladies, don't be so rough on your husbands. Don't you realize that millions of men quietly suffer with RATTLE, Repeated Aggravated Traumatic Toilet Lid Elevation? Fellas, maybe you get onto your wife for nagging you when you're driving because you won't stop for directions. But it's really not so funny when you realize that NAG really stands for Navigational Assistance Gene and should be treated with the delicacy and sensitivity it deserves. That feeling you have on Saturday that keeps you in front of the TV instead of doing tasks around the house? It's called ARCS: Attached Remote Control Syndrome. Spending too much money on those shopping channels? You can't help yourself. Somewhere along the line, you were inflicted with ACCENT: Accelerated Credit Card Emotional Nurturing Trauma.The point is it's not your fault. Don't you see? It's obvious. You weren't hugged enough as a kid, were around too much asbestos, had too many immunizations, ate lead paint chips, lived under power lines, neglected to eat regularly from the four basic food groups, attended a fundamentalist church, had a low-fiber diet, sat too close to the TV, kept your eyes in the crossed position too long, shocked yourself in your grandmother's light socket too many times, played too many video games, drank too much Kool-Aid, ran with scissors, and liked the smell of felt-tip markers. How can you be expected to do such complex tasks as keeping pedestrians in an upright position?
We live in a world that absolutely needs to blame and refuses to take responsibility. What an odd pairing. In other words, it's always somebody's fault...just not ours. Wouldn't it be refreshing in this litigious world to hear someone say, "Yep, it was me. I did it. It was all my fault"? That's what David did when he disobeyed the Lord in I Chronicles 21 by taking a census of the people, and God responded by unleashing an epidemic. The king said, "Please! I'm the one who sinned; I'm the one at fault...Punish me, not them; me and my family; don't take it out on them." (v.17, MSG) David didn't claim to have DISC: Davidic Illegitimate Survey Condition. He said, "It's my fault. Forgive me, Lord." We all have our stuff to deal with, and sometimes we don't handle it like we should. Rather than reaching for an alphabet soup of excuses, let's just take responsibility for our sin, confess it, and repent. Sin is the ultimate disorder we should be trying to avoid.
And for what it's worth, the only psychosis I've seen with caffeine is from those who need it and haven't had it. Well, I'd better end this article before I slip into Mechanical And Technical Textual Chronic Hallucinogenic Alphabetical Trauma, which stands for...hey, wait a minute!