Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 27, 2015

Are We There Yet?

Jay Edwards

A short week, short deadlines, short fuses, and short points on the scoreboard has caused me to have a bit more –  OK, a lot more – stress, well disguised as blood curdling rage. It doesn’t help that the office next door to mine has someone who went to Mississippi State, and she, like Christopher Walken, feels the need for “more cowbell.” All this made me appreciate the video my friend Carla posted on Facebook of an ad for a new wonder drug for just this kind of thing. The drug is already FDA approved, and they call it “Nature.”

The ad opens with a young guy sitting by a beautiful lake; it’s a very serene setting. Then he looks into the camera and says:

“Do you find yourself longing for the Apocalypse? Are you feeling tired, irritable, stressed out? If so then maybe it’s time you tried prescription strength Nature, the non-harmful medication to relieve the crippling symptoms of modern day life.

“Nature is recommended for humans of all ages, and it’s great for pets, too.

“Nature is proven to reduce cynicism, meaningless obsessive-compulsiveness, and murderous rage.

“In clinical studies, Nature was proven to reduce work-induced catatonia.

“Caution: Nature may cause you to slow down, quit your job, or seriously consider what the heck you are doing with your life.

“If you have trouble with being even mildly uncomfortable, then Nature may not be the right choice for you.

“If you are overly cynical, jaded or emotionally numb, you may need to increase the dosage.

“Side-effects may include spontaneous euphoria, taking yourself less seriously, and just being in a good mood for no apparent reason.

“Ask your doctor today if Nature is right for you.”

Pretty clever, I thought. It made me wonder a little about that obsessive-compulsive behavior, and how one knows if one has it. I found these five simple tests you can give yourself:

You might be OC if you keep large, redundant amounts of all your sundries, such as laundry detergent, so you never risk running out.

You might be OC if you don’t just sort the money in your wallet by ones, fives, tens, and twenties, but also sort the bills by wear-and-tear so you get rid of the bills in the worst shape first.

You might be OC if you look up obsessive-compulsive to see whether it needs a hyphen.

You might be OC if you don’t just keep a grocery list, but you micro-optimize the order of the items so you only make one pass through the store.

You might be OC if, after a power outage, or when Daylight Savings Time starts or ends, you feel the need to set all of your clocks to the same minute and second.

You might be OC if it really irritates you when someone says a list has five items and you count six.


According to a study from Denmark’s Happiness Research Institute, it could be that Facebook is actually at the root of my problem. The results showed that people who gave up the social-media site for just one week reported suffering less envy and being “more satisfied with their lives” than those who kept using Facebook. Not sure if it caused a spike in obsessive-compulsiveness or not.

I’d miss Facebook. Not all of it, but some. Like the interactive post by my friend Don, which showed that Santa was going to bring him a fast car and comfy pajamas for Christmas. I decided to see what Santa was going to give me, and it said a huge house and lots of small babies.

I told this to KM, who just said, “Good luck with that.”

That’s all for now, cowbells back.

Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at jedwards@dailydata.com.