(Ventnor, NJ) - Ventnor resident Mark Hills recently awoke to find he could only speak in wise old sayings from founding father Benjamin Franklin, much to the disappointment of his family, friends and co-workers. Many now believe this bizarre malady to be the result of a recent trip to Philadelphia. Mr. Hills is now in his second month of this crisis despite intervention from area therapists who want to help him and also cash in on his local celebrity status.
"I was making breakfast for our sons before they left for school and Mark came into the kitchen with a look of terror on his face!" said Hills wife of 24 years, Mary Anne. "When I asked him what was wrong, he just stared at me."
According to Mrs. Hills, her husband struggled to speak, gasping for breath before blurting out "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
"I didn't think anything of it until later when I asked him to check the bank account balance, Mary Anne said, "He told me that a penny saved was a penny earned. That's when the real horror began."
Hills continued to speak like Ben Franklin for the rest of the day, commenting many times that "well done is better than well said" and "God helps them who help themselves."
At first, many were amused and even impressed with Hills' ability to speak like Franklin. He seemed to say the right thing at the right time. Unfortunately, he could say little else.
"We were in an important meeting with a prospective client and things were not going well," said Senior Advertising Manager Biff Spiffly, "All of a sudden Mark blurts out 'well done is better than well said' and there was a brief silence before we closed the deal."
According to Spiffly, "But if you ask the guy for the time or what he wants for lunch and he just stares like a deer in the headlights."
Therapists are working around the clock to diagnose Hills and prescribe medications and treatments. Now in its ninth week, the malady continues. Hills has discovered that he can write his thoughts clearly on a wipe board to communicate without a hint of Franklin, although the occasional outdated catch phrase does pop up every now and then.