As none of you may know, I’ve been hard at work on my Ph.D. in psychology. I’ve observed the human condition, smoking a pipe and attentively listening to patients blab on and on about their ridiculously meaningless lives as they recline on my utterly impractical ottoman.
Even though the work has been extremely boring and pointless, I did manage to have an epiphany. I’ve coined a new term in the field of brain shrinking, and have painstakingly produced the following dissertation for your enjoyment.
Harvard and Yale, I’ll be watching the mail for my diploma in six to eight weeks. All other universities, you can begin bestowing honorary doctorates at your convenience. Nobel Committee – I realize that there’s no prize for psychology, but I think you’ll agree that we can make an exception just this once.
Here we go:
This amazing dissertation will reveal the discovery of a groundbreaking new diagnosis in the field of psychology: flashophobia!
Over the past few years, flash mobs have taken the world by storm. These events, as describe by Wikipedia, are “a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression.”
Often, flash mobs include dancing and music. If you’re unfamiliar with flash mobs, the following YouTube videos are an adequate introduction. (Isn’t the Internet great!?)
Of course, as with every fad in America, corporations try to get in on the action:
Unfortunately, this phenomenon of flash mobbing is neither innocent nor harmless. Many poor souls have reported feeling anxious and overwhelmed by the fear of a flash mob breaking out at any moment. In extreme cases, this fear becomes a paranoia. When this happens, the individual is said to suffer from flashophobia.
Severe flashophobes avoid all public settings. They are highly suspicious that their friends and family are planning a flash mob behind their backs, and their greatest fear is that a mob will be personally directed at them. Flashophobes are known to attack pairs people walking in step down the sidewalk, or individuals tapping their feet in a coffee shop. In one case, the flashophobe was sent into a fit of rage when exposed to elevator music. “It’s just rhythmical. A little too rhythmical,” she explained.
To date, there is no known cure for this debilitating condition.
It has been observed that flashophobes are often deathly afraid of another popular phenomenon called planking. So far, we have not determined if this is simply another way that flashophobia manifests itself, or if the behavior deserves its own classification: plankophobia!!
As you can plainly see, this research is awesome. If you don’t agree, you obviously don’t know much about psychology.
You can thank me by pre-ordering a copy of my upcoming book: Flashophobia – Be Careful Where You Dance. It’s main goal is to educate the public about the dangers and struggles that helpless flashophobes face as they attempt to eke out a simple day-to-day existence. I’ll warn you, it’s a tearjerker.
TTFN, Crookback Joe