A higher than normal number of Christmas bell ringers are reportedly going mad this holiday season.
Every year there are always a few who go loopy from the constant ringing of their little hand bells next to donation collection pots across the land. Also the stress of keeping up a smile and good spirits while having to stand outside in one place in blistering cold for hours while mothers with their snotty brats walk buy making rude remarks and cars splash filthy mud over you adds to the toll .
Scientists at the Social Leeches Research Center For Finding Obscure Psychological Ailments And Getting Government Grants For Studying Them has determined that the incredibly boring and demeaning job has been made more difficult due to the bad economy. Not only is the person ringing the bell faring worse due to not having the funds themselves for Christmas but also customers are donating less which means less revenue for the volunteer as well.
Physicians have found in the examination of volunteers who have gone stark raving mad that their eardrums on the bell ringing side of the person were almost always irritated and swollen. Some claim to still have a ringing in their ears long hours after leaving their work.
The scientists theorize that the constant hand ringing of the bell is causing the inflammation of the ear that leads to the madness. Volunteers afflicted have shown increasingly erratic behavior, such as peeing into the money bucket, intentionally hitting themselves in the face on the back swing of the bell ringing, spewing loogies at passersby, coming to work naked, acting out the role of Quasimodo in the Hunchback of Notre Dam, and grabbing food out of people's grocery bags and devouring it maliciously before their eyes.
Once the bells are taken away from the afflicted volunteers they seem to improve. Some have been given a congo drum to beat instead which seems to have a soothing effect and has also led to some pretty cool improvisational drum circle happenings in front of supermarkets throughout the country. Those who have been kazoos instead however seem to be developing the same dementias as the bell ringers.