My friend and neighbor Jacko stopped by the other day and told me that a doctor had just diagnosed him with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. Now Jacko is so wild and weird that nothing he says or does is too far-fetched for me, but I must admit, I became a little concerned about this diagnosis.
"What exactly is Alice in Wonderland Syndrome?" I asked him.
"Well it all started with all these horrible headaches. Then I was riding my motorbike down the interstate one day and a big truck right in front of me looked about as big as an ant. And when I got home - well you know I'm not the greatest housekeeper in the world - and anyway, I have some ants in my place and they looked as big as semi-tractor trailer rigs," he said.
"Are you serious?"
"Those fire ants looked like a crawling mountain range. I'm as serious as the migraine headache I have right now," he said.
"Well I've never heard of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. But I guess it's not as common as the common cold. How did you get it?" I asked.
"Well Dr. Sproutintout says I caught it from drinking way too much and from all the narcotics I took."
"You certainly have lived a charmed life, Jacko. You've treated your body like a community of over-consumers treats their community dumpster," I snorted.
"Thanks," he said sadly. "You're a lot like that TV preacher man, Joel Osteen, just filled with good, positive, bright moonbeams for the soul," he snorted.
"Yeppers, that's me, Jacko. Well let's get back to this Alice in Wonderland Syndrome stuff that you're inflicted with - tell me more about it."
"Well, according to Dr. Sproutintout, it's named for British psychiatrist John Todd, who in 1955 had a patient - a 26-year-old man - who had a long history of using alcohol, marijuana and LSD and because of all this partying, the man said he'd frequently perceive objects and people all out of proportion - things would look too big, too small, or farther or closer than they actually were."
"Tell me Jacko, as I appear now, right before your very eyes, do I seem to be as big as Mount Everest?"
"Nope. You're as big as a fruit fly. Maybe even as small as a bacteria."
"These perceptual distortions are the hallmark of Alice in Wonderland syndrome, so dubbed because Alice experiences some very similar symptoms during her journey through Wonderland in Lewis Carroll's tale, 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' which, by the way, turns 150 this year," Jacko dictated, like a snippet off Public Broadcasing.
"Happy birthday, Alice," I said. "Do you want a beer?"
"No. I'm never drinking again," Jacko said. "Like the hookah-smoking caterpillar tells Alice, 'One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.' A beer might send me over the cliff."
So I went to the fridge and got myself a beer. Jacko turned on the TV and watched Donald Trump. He changed the channels and watched Donald Trump. Mad, he changed the channels and The Donald was on there, too.
"Wow. That Donald Trump looks awfully big. Big and scary like Frankenstein," Jacko said.
"Yeah, Jacko, you don't need to have Alice in Wonderland Syndrome to come to that epiphany," I hissed, snatching the remote from Jacko's hand and turning off the distorted propaganda machine.