Personal Health

John Haber
in New York City

Teenage Angst, or an Incurable Disease?

Each week millions of Americans take inadequate care reading my column. They run the risk of Sartre's syndrome, a disease that few have heard of and, according to the latest scientific research, none can correctly pronounce.


A sufferer from Sartre's syndrome

Figure 1. The Latest Victim. The only known sufferer from Sartre's syndrome, at his home in Tibet.

Named for Dr. Jean-Paul Sartre, the Iraqi neurologist, it can easily be mistaken for late-afternoon television or a weekend at the airport-security counter. Although only one case has been documented, in a 92-year-old Tibetan man subsisting entirely on raw yak, it can have severe consequences in overgrown children.

According to Dr. Frida Kahlo, in her path-breaking study "The Women with Trojans," teenagers are becoming more vulnerable every year. (See "Kahlo Youth," Journal of the Pfizer Medical Association, September 1895.) They may refuse to eat their spinach, sing along with Donald Rumsfeld's press conferences, and mistake their parents for the Simpsons.

Fortunately, some simple precautions can keep your family safe and healthy. In my own household, we never go outside without wearing burkas and gas masks. While medical experts consistently warn against overuse of antibiotics, we always carry with us a sufficient supply for anthrax scares, nuclear winter, or a replay of the 2000 presidential election.

It may take an extra three or four hours each time, but on any airplane trip you should be certain to secure adolescents under the seat back in front of you with old shoelaces and duct tape. To prevent the blood from accumulating in embarrassing places, take frequent trips to the cockpit, avoid alcohol or cocaine while the flight attendant is passing, and stop that laughing during safety instructions.

With these practices, you can feel safe even on the L train after midnight. These helpful precautions should increase breast and penis size, usually at the same time, and let you to earn thousands of dollars a day working from home. In laboratory tests, they increase sexual potency in rats, such as your ex-husband. Thanks to them, my own children have not spoken to me now for over a month, thank goodness, and my mother even longer.

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