I’m sure everyone is familiar with Tourette Syndrome and some of the behavior that comes along with it. And it must be weird to have it, but you have to admit, extreme cases of it are pretty funny. I did a little research on it and according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, “Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics”.
While doing my research this particular sentence caught my eye: “Simple vocal tics may include throat-clearing, sniffing/snorting, grunting, or barking.”
Barking? Now that I want to see. I want to see a human barking incessantly like the dog that lives behind my apartment building, and preferably on all fours with a studded neck collar. There are a lot of different symptoms and of course, we’ve all heard about the symptom where people curse, which is an extreme case, but the funniest one. I wonder what causes that particular symptom? Some latent anger perhaps? Or maybe just a love of curse words…like I have. Maybe I have Tourette Syndrome.
One evening there was a funeral taking place at our house. Sometimes during a funeral, if everything was going as planned and nothing dramatic was happening, my dad would go into his office and do some work while one of his employees kept an eye out. People would come and go and he would periodically check in to see how everything was. He was in his office when all of the sudden he heard a loud voice. He opened the door to his office and heard someone cursing, LOUDLY. He walked over to where the casket was and a man was looking at the body and just letting out a string of curse words. “Fuck you, fuck YOU , cock sucker, asshole, bitch, Fuuuuckkkk!”
My dad stepped up and said, “Hey, get out of here or I’m gonna call the cops.” A woman quickly grabbed my dad’s arm, pulled him towards her and said, “John, he has Tourette Syndrome.” Oops!
My dad was shocked and of course, embarrassed. But c’mon! How could he know that? He said, “I’m so sorry, I had no idea” and apologized all around. Imagine that scene; my dad couldn’t have been the only one caught off guard by that. Someone cursing out a dead body? Did everyone just stand there and let him do it? They must have, because my dad was the only one that said anything. Maybe the dead person was a real bastard and everyone was silently agreeing with the Tourettes guy, like “yeah, he really was kind of an asshole.”
This was another situation that my dad was able to laugh about later. He couldn’t laugh at the time, but he definitely knew how funny it was. Awkward situations like that are some of the funniest. I had an awkward incident that involved a guy with a fake leg, but I’ll tell you about that later.
There was also a guy in our neighborhood who had Tourette Syndrome. He was scary. He was really angry and would walk up the street just cursing a blue streak and then he would stop, lean way back, and then hurl his body forward and spit into the street. We used to watch him from our kitchen window. His face was always really red, and I don’t know his name but we always referred to him simply as “the spitter.”
During the spring and summer when the windows were open, we could hear him coming. We would be sitting at our kitchen table and all of the sudden hear a loud “FUCK,” “BULLSHIT,” “FUCKING CHRIST.” Naturally, we’d all jump up and look out the window to watch him strut, curse and spit…because that’s entertainment. I have no idea where he went, but I’m assuming it was the church, because that’s where all the crazies went.
There’s such a wide array of nut jobs just strolling the streets and looking for churches to attend. Then, there’s just the crazy people who just wander the streets looking for money and trash. We had one guy in our neighborhood who always asked for 27 cents. Not a quarter, not a dollar, 27 cents. Why so precise? Most beggars just ask for spare change, but this guy had something specific in mind, as if 27 cents was all he needed to get his next 40, or maybe 27 cents was all he needed for a donut because he was hungry. A donut or a 40? Hmmm…I’d pick the 40 too.
Do you know anyone with Tourette Syndrome? Do you know anyone who spits and curses a lot? I actually hate spitting. And here is a question: do men have extra saliva glands or something? Have you ever noticed how many men spit, and seemingly for no reason? It’s gross. Why do they do it?
Here is a piece of a true story:
“A 29-year-old Swiss man plummeted to his death during a spitting contest with a friend.
The man fell 6 floors after taking a run-up in order to get extra distance on his loogie. The not-so-strategic move caused him to lose his balance and fall to the street below. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries”.
Wow! I doubt you’ll ever catch 2 women doing that….except maybe my sisters 🙂
I hope your Tuesday tickles!