The SOID Epidemic

There’s a very serious medical affliction sweeping the nation that few people know is a diagnosed condition and fewer still are wiling to discuss publicly. I’m referring to Severe Object Identification Disorder (SOID), a terrible disease which causes sufferers to see common objects normally, but then be completely unable to determine what they are properly used for.

Identifying sufferers of SOID can sometimes be difficult, since there are no overt physical symptoms. Instead, you must observe the behavior of a SOID sufferer closely to be able to recognize their condition. (You might live with someone who has SOID and not be aware of it. You might even have it yourself!)

For example, sufferers of SOID might see the interior door handle of a car and say to themselves: “Oh, look! A miniature trash can!” Then they’d put their orange peelings or used, snotty tissue into the door handle and just leave them there. Forever.

A sufferer of SOID might see one of those 6-foot-tall, free-standing torchiere lamps and think: “Hey, a clothing rack!” You’ll find them hooking clothes hangers over the rim of the lamp, completely oblivious to their affliction.

Perhaps you’ll recognize these behaviors that you might have done yourself: Hanging a wet towel over the top corner of a door. Sitting on a countertop. Draping a dishrag over the kitchen faucet. Using a blanket as a curtain. Sopping up water from the bathroom floor with a T-shirt. Using the checkbook as a coaster. Storing clothes on a treadmill. Parking on the lawn.

If you suspect that someone you know might have SOID, seek help. Be understanding – Do not resort to immediately criticizing their actions. Remember, sufferers of SOID are victims. So, when you see someone hammering a screwdriver into the top lip of a can of beans, hold up the screwdriver and slowly say, in a calm, soothing, pleasant voice: “screw-driver”, “screwwwww-driiiiiver”. Then, show them how to use a can opener to open the can.

Let it be known, we can find victims of Severe Object Identification Disorder and help guide them into a new, normal life. With your help, we can beat this dreaded disease for good.

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