The blank stare.

A lengthy pause in my sentence.

Abrupt obtuse references.

A little off the game.

These are the main symptoms. I’ve a case of ROD. I feel an intervention is around my corner and friends and relations will be uttering phrases such as:

“We’re worried about you.” “You’re actions have negatively affected you in the following ways….” Their eyes will show a set manner of “Carefrontation” instead of “Confrontation.” They’ll slyly look at crib notes for their set of observations.

Oh, Oscar Wilde, don’t desert me now!

The Children

“I’ve noticed that last Tuesday and Thursday you brought one to the dinner table.”

“The couch has missed you and I’ve noticed you stopped watching the Olympics with us.”

“You forgot to sign my permission slip, even after you read the page over and over.”

The Co-worker

“Last Monday you were late coming in and your press releases had the tone of historical fiction.”

The Mother

“You used to call me more. Why won’t you call?”

The Pastor

“I’ve observed you reading the hymn book during my sermons.”

The Husband

I’m like a ball-player that bats two hundred and thirty and knows he’s no better.

“I am concerned that our conversations sound a lot like Ernest Hemingway.”

Oh this will ensue:

“What’s the matter, darling?”

“Nothing. Nothing’s the matter.”

“Yes there is.”

“No nothing. Really nothing.”

“I know there is.”

“Tell me, darling. You can tell me.”

“It’s nothing.”

“Tell me.”

“I don’t want to. I’m afraid I’ll make you unhappy or worry you.”

“No it won’t.”

“You’re sure? It doesn’t worry me but I’m afraid to worry you.”

“It won’t if it doesn’t worry you.”

“I don’t want to tell.”

“Tell it.”

“Do I have to?”


“Your reading.”

“It’s become a problem.”

“We won’t fight.”

“We mustn’t.”

“Because there’s only us two and in the world there’s all the rest of them. If anything comes between us we’re gone and then they have us.”

So I admit it I’ve got a problem, but my addiction can hardly be helped. It’s hardwired in from age 4 and the positive effects far outweigh the negative. Don’t you think?

ROD – Reading Overdose Disorder – All the cool kids have it. Mine’s just been diagnosed.

(art credit: modern drunkard magazine)