The newest pandemic—Talking Shit Syndrome, or TSS—may topple America. | Opinion | Salt Lake City Weekly

The newest pandemic—Talking Shit Syndrome, or TSS—may topple America. 

Taking a Gander

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There’s nothing in today’s world that we can describe as “average.” We’re setting all kinds of disturbing records: a rise in global temperatures has scientists losing sleep; devastating, persistent weather patterns are wreaking havoc with much of our country; the world is seeing a horrifying rise in consumer prices that threaten all but the wealthiest; COVID-19 still lurks in the shadows; AI is promising to change our perceptions of reality; and people are not assuming, as in yesteryear, that it’s going to turn out OK.

Many Americans are asking the question, “What have we done to our world, and is it too late to save it?”

Well, they say that great things are done one step at a time, and before we can fix the world’s problems, we first need to save our own country, which—with the 2024 elections breathing down our necks—now sits on the precipice of failure.

That’s a terrible reality, but not everyone is hating it. Proctologists, for one, are having a heyday.

It seems there’s another pandemic—so much more dangerous than COVID—and these butt doctors are really raking it in. Highly contagious and not curable with Clorox or hydroxychloroquine, the new disease—thought to have been grown in a Mar-a-Lago lab—has been labeled the “Talking Shit Syndrome.” Those afflicted early, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mike Lee, Trent Staggs, Lindsay Graham and Josh Hawley, are desperately trying to set up medical appointments, but proctologists are overwhelmed.

For instance: Made aware of his terrible condition through a family intervention, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs—who’s running for Mitt Romney’s senate seat—was frustrated by the proctologist’s office staff: “I’m sorry, Mr. Staggs but the doctor’s first available opening is May 26, 2028.”

“But my symptoms are horrible; are you sure you can’t get me in a little bit sooner?” he responded, frustrated to the point of madness. “I’ve been talking an awful lot of shit, and I’m worried I may be terminal.”

But the receptionist apologized: “We’ll put you on the waiting list—just in case there’s a cancellation—but it’s pretty certain that there won’t be any openings for at least the next couple of years.”

Staggs quizzed the lady, just for a moment, perplexed that every proctologist’s office had already given him exactly the same story—that America’s new far-right, led by the MAGA movement’s susceptibility to “talking shit,” has overwhelmed America’s health system, and that there’s even a giant legislative push to create special new medical schools, strictly for the purpose of graduating new proctologists.

(Appropriate to the quality of the typical MAGA/GOP patient, this new crop of specialists will be required to have at least a third-grade education, with a minimum academic standard of a 0.75 GPA. While that may not inspire confidence in the medical community, it should be very reassuring to Republican zealots that these new proctology specialists will be required to be “stable geniuses” with IQs as high as Donald Trump’s.)

Oh, I forgot to mention the devastating symptoms of TSS. Let’s again use Trent Staggs as an example. If you listen to his campaign ads, you’ll find that his only real asset is that he’s endorsed by Trump. It’s a bit puzzling how the endorsement of someone equivalent to Hitler or Mussolini can be considered a plus—but that’s just a symptom of TSS.

I almost forgot to mention the rest of Staggs’s platform: 1. Destroy the environment; 2. Sign over all Americans’ assets to the oil and gas companies; 3. Make sure Utah doesn’t fall behind the national average on mass shootings; 4. Free all January 6 insurrectionists and give them high-level jobs in a new Trump administration; 5. and, of course, kiss Trump’s ass.

Now, if that ain’t “talkin’ shit,” I don’t know what is.

While this daunting health crisis may be alarming to most, it seems that there’s a positive flipside to TSS—one that brightens the day for the wealthy investor. The Adult Oral-Diaper Company (AODI) has recently done its initial public offering and investors have already seen soaring stock prices that rival the rise of companies like Apple and Facebook.

Hitting the market at $5 per share in June of 2016, AODI’s stock closed at a remarkable $483.30 at last Friday’s NYSE bell. There’s no question about it; as long as so many Trump-aligned idiots are talking shit, this company is going to be a market leader.

The TSS pandemic has also been a huge boon to microphone manufacturers, who say they can’t keep up with the burgeoning increase in sales. Daryl Gutensonde, of Acme Pro Audio Sales, noted: “It’s almost impossible to build enough microphones to replace the ones clogged up by oral poop from people like Marjorie Taylor Greene and, of course, Trump himself, whose microphones need to be replaced multiple times during every one of his rallies and interviews. We are doing our best, but even our Chinese suppliers can’t meet the mammoth demand.”

It’s not a simple problem. Congressmen, senators, governors, judges and even SCOTUS justices—who once reflected some decency and judgment—have been infected with a parasite that actually causes the mouth to migrate to the lower end of the body. That condition has been labeled “TGO” by the medical community—“Transposition of the Great Orifices.”

“Luckily,” says Dr. Muzatti Dingbatter, of Mayberry Plains General Hospital, “there seems to be a genetic link that limits the disease almost exclusively to the political community, and, even stranger, it has been virtually, fully contained within the most radical extremes of the Republican Party.”

“Sadly,” notes, Dingbatter, “even America’s generous supply of anti-diarrheal medications has been unable to keep up with the demand and because talking-shit 24 hours a day, every day of the week, has made almost one-third of the population seriously dehydrated, that comorbidity can prove deadly.

The author is a retired businessman, novelist, columnist and former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and their adorable and ferocious dog “Poppy.”

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