Saturday, November 10, 2007

A New Medical Syndrome

In medicine we speak of the sine quo non, the one sign without which the diagnosis is not made. When you do have the sign or signs the diagnosis is almost certain. Above, in an elegant yet deceptively simple photograph, we see the sine quo non of impending winter. Since it consists of 3 distinct parts that occur together we can use another medical term: syndrome. So, we have the Impending Winter Syndrome (IWS).

To begin, the tree on the left nicely shows the arboreal nudity which is a key factor in the syndrome. Second, the slips are empty (slipitis vacuous). Finally, the boats are ashore and shrouded in shrink wrap, much like mummies laid away after their useful life is over (hullus domesticus terminus restus). There you have it. Now, what about treatment?

The prognosis, based on a series of 65 consecutive winters, is believed to be good. Taking aspirin and calling me every morning will only aggravate things, and you will just have to be patient until the entire syndrome runs its course. There are, however, signs which you can watch for, signs that will indicate the reversal of this sad state.

1, Budus proliferans: the tree will begin to get dressed again. 2, Hullus occupationous: boats will begin to appear in the slips (and on moorings...but I digress). And, finally, 3, Excoriation wrapess: the white shrink wrap will be ripped from the boats by frenzied men suffering another syndrome seen this time of year...claustraphobia non marinas. They should have kayaked.

Paddle safe...


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