by Dan Fiorella
GK: As we often hear, the holidays are not always a season of cheer for all people. Many people can not enjoy the season. To discuss the topic of holiday distress, we have with us Dr. Lamont Erickson, of the Noel Institute of Well Being. Welcome, doctor.
DR: Good evening, sir.
GK: It is a distressing time for some.
GK: What are some of the ailments which afflict people this time of year? It's not just the "holiday blues" we read about.
DR: Oh, no. It goes well beyond that. For instance, we see marked increases in cases of Claus-aphobia.
GK: Claus-aphobia? I don't believe I'm familiar with that one. What is that, exactly?
DR: Like any other phobia, it's a unreasonable, irrational fear of something, like heights, closed places---
GK: So, Claus-aphobia is a fear of?
DR: A fear of Santa Claus.
DR: God, yes.
GK: Many children are Claus-aphobic, no?
DR: (GETTING PANICKY) No. Kids are just scared. Big hairy guy breathing on them like that, what's not to be afraid of? But when an adult comes upon a right jolly old elf, they get nervous, sweaty, heart palpitations. Real anxiety.
DR: There are times they get nervous just looking at those soda-pop ads, or greeting cards. Most can't even bring themselves near a department store or mall this time of year. You walk down the street and there they are, corner after corner of Santas, ringing their bells, looking so jolly! Aaaah!
GK: Doctor, please, settle down. Are you okay?
GK: I take it you're a Claus-aphobic?
DR: Acute. It's ruining my life.
GK: How did this happen?
DR: I think it was because once I was locked in a closet with nothing but a copy of "Miracle on 34th Street."
GK: That's surprising. It's considered a great movie.
DR: The remake.
GK: Oh. I understand.
DR: I can't even work in my garden anymore.
GK: No? Why not?
DR: I'm afraid to hoe-hoe-hoe.
GK: What's the matter?
DR: I also have a fear of rim shots!
GK: Noted. Are there any other seasonal maladies that our listeners should be aware of?
DR: Oh, many. The stress of the holidays can manifest itself into many other aliments. There's the Holly-Jollies---
GK: What's that?
DR: It's a lot like the heebie-jeebies. Then there's Noel-zheimer's Disease.
GK: What is that?
DR: You become suddenly forgetful about gifts to buy and clothing sizes or what you did at the office Christmas party.
DR: I've seen cases of Jingle Swells, Tinsel-itis, which usually leads to a tinselectomy. There's In-yule-lenza...the common Yule-flu and Mistletoe.
GK: What's Mistletoe?
DR: It's similar to athlete's foot, but can be easily treated with some tannen-balm.
DR: Less treatable is Kris Kringle Shingles.
GK: I'm not familiar with Kringle Shingles.
DR: It's a viral infection, which causes a painful rash. You usually get it by sitting on untreated Santa laps.
GK: I'll have to bear that in mind.
DR: I've treated many patients who were bi-North Polar. This affliction causes major mood swings, one minute they're naughty, next minute they're nice.
GK: I've meet people like that.
DR: Of course ladies have been known to suffer from PM-Xmas. And there are cases of people who are so stressed by the season, they go into denial, refusing to believe the existence of the holidays. We call them egg-nog-stics.
GK: Thank you for joining us, doctor and pointing out some of these holiday maladies.
DR: You're welcome.