Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glen Campbell Diagnosed with Rare Celebrity Subset of "Reciprocal Alzheimer’s"

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Country music legend Glen Campbell’s been walking these streets so long, singing the same old song, and he knows every crack in those dirty sidewalks of Broadway. Unfortunately, that’s about to change. The 75-year-old musician admitted that he has Alzheimer’s disease. Campbell and his wife Kim went public with the diagnosis on Wednesday, which they said doctors confirmed six months ago when the singer complained about episodes of short term memory loss. “In a few months,” said one doctor, “it’s likely that Mr. Campbell will have trouble remembering the lyrics to that same old song. After a year, he won’t recognize any of those cracks in the sidewalks along Broadway.”

Campbell told fans that he will make the most of this time, while his memory remains intact, by recording a final album and hitting the road for a farewell tour. The record is tentatively titled, “Who am I? Who the F**k are You?”

Interestingly, medical experts say that Campbell’s particular type of Alzheimer’s is a unique and reciprocal form of the disorder that affects only public figures.

“Even within this subset of Alzheimer’s, we see variations that are difficult to explain,” said Dr. Miles Frestly, a neurologist based in San Narciso County, California. “In the case of Glen Campbell, we have the most common type.”

Other famous personalities who suffered this same strain of Alzheimer’s, according to Frestly, were Rudolph Bing, Arlene Francis, Walter DeKooning, Edmond O’Brien, and E.B. White: “All people who managed to fade from the minds of Americans until they themselves were unable to remember America.”

Frestly also mentioned concerns about Keanu Reeves, Val Kilmer, Abe Vigoda, and Doris Day, whose conditions he continues to monitor.

“Basically, it works like this,” Frestly explained. “A celebrity such as Glen Campbell rises to prominence, but is then quickly forgotten by the public. As time goes on, the public’s memory loss increases to the point where this degenerative disorder transfers itself to former fans, who now also struggle to recall the man in the rhinestone jumpsuit they saw on ‘Hee Haw’ once, or that ‘old guy who played Matt Damon in the first True Grit movie.’ But here’s where the disorder gets truly fascinating. Now that Mr. Campbell has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s himself, and faces the inevitability of forgetting his music and his career, the damaged memories of the public -- which seemed irreversible at the time -- have somehow restored themselves. To sum it up: Glen Campbell remembers, fans forget. Glen Campbell forgets, fans remember. Amazing.”

Frestly believes that if scientists can isolate the nature of the reciprocating cognitive degeneration, a permanent cure for Alzheimer’s disease might be found.

“But it’s going to take a long time because of all the derivations in the disorder,” Frestly said. “It becomes particularly confusing with politicians. Unlike entertainers, the public never quite forgets politicians; they just forget what those people actually did. So, let us examine Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, two sufferers of the disorder. Goldwater -- a conservative who supported gays in the military and a woman’s right to choose and legalized drugs -- can still be called the father of modern conservatism by Republicans who no longer believe that government’s role should be limited in an individual’s personal life. Then, of course, there’s Reagan. The neo-conservative icon who implemented historic tax increases, expanded federal agencies, championed arms reduction, stumped for unions, embraced immigration, and shot down anti-gay rights legislation. Somehow, as politicians like Goldwater and Reagan become more popular in the minds of Americans, the more Americans seem to forget just who the hell these people were.”

(c) 2011. All stories are works of satire and parody.

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