Since my efforts to become famous and wealthy by sitting at home and trying to watch without interruption a documentary about how the Roman Empire may have been destroyed by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1816 creating steam engines (I suspect someone's changing the channel) haven't been working I think the next approach is to try getting a catchy disease named for me. It has to be something rare, since if it's something anyone can get there's no prestige and the name becomes a nuisance -- think of poor Harrington J Chest Cold, or Peter Bird, discoverer of a type of flu. But something a touch exotic, maybe with a bit of romance, that can do nicely.
The trouble is finding what it should be. I'm not a medically trained person of any kind, and mostly know that according to most ideas of physical fitness I should have been dead about twenty years ago, likely from a vitamin deficiency or a tendency to fry corned beef hash and eat it even if the dog had climbed up on a chair to gulp half of it down. And there've been so many diseases, maladies, conditions, and symptoms already identified the chance of me finding a new one in someone else might as well be zero. It might even be negative, so my investigating would make already identified things be forgotten. This would earn me lifelong hatred from the people who used to have their names attached to them. A good, well-grounded feud like that can be fun, for the spectators.
So I'll have to take whatever maladies I can find in myself and trust that they'll make a decent syndrome, or complex, or whatever the proper title might be. It's hard to pick the right title, too. 'Disease' sounds so unpleasant, what with its associations with misery and death, while 'Syndrome' brings with it the whiff of truths whispered conspiratorially by sharply dressed scientists wearing pristine laboratory glasses in secluded corners of well-lit facilities; 'Complex' sounds like something that takes real commitment to get into. There are probably guidelines about how to pick the proper title; I just hope I get one with a sound that really rings.
My primary symptom is never quite being convinced that the person talking to me is actually talking to me. Even if she or he mentions my name and looks directly at me, some part of my mind suspects the real target is some other person, possibly imaginary, who will keep up the other half of the conversation. This confuses things when I'm speaking with the waiter nominally taking my order, as the imaginary people order poor choices.
And there's another symptom: lately I haven't been convinced whether I'm actually hungry or not. I may know that it's been a while since I ate, and that usually after going without food since -- let me check my records -- Tuesday it's normal to be hungry, but my stomach gives nothing but a powerfully ambiguous noise that isn't really growling. Maybe it's purring. This would imply I had at some point eaten a kitten, which I'm certain I never did. If I had, I wouldn't be hungry so soon, though, which means I'm left with no idea whether I should get something to eat.
Besides that is a curious fatigue which set in shortly after my discovery in middle school that if I stayed up till after midnight I could watch Get Smart on Channel Five Five Five Five The Fun's On Channel Five, and which has endured as since 1985 I have slept a full eight hours a night easily twenty or thirty times. More sleep would seem likely to reduce this symptom, but paying back my full sleep debt would require I spend an amount of time equal to my entire undergraduate career in bed, and it doesn't look likely I'll manage that, what with my student loans to pay back and everything.
So there we have my symptoms. Not much, I'll admit, but it's a start. Guillaume Bubonic had nothing more than a plague when he got started in famous diseases, and look where he's ended up.
Trivia: In the famed South Sea stock bubble of 1720, South Sea share prices peaked at 1,050 in June, and dropped to 850 in August. Source: Devil Take the Hindmost, Edward Chancellor.
Currently Reading: The Ancient Engineers, L Sprague de Camp.