"You've got all the symptoms," Sue said.
"The symptoms of what?
"MFS? I feel fine."
"Sure, now you do, but when I asked you to vacuum the living room, you said you were too tired. When I asked you to take out the garbage you said, 'Later.' Then you sat at the kitchen table and watched me load the dishwasher as if there was some huge weight on your shoulders preventing you from getting up and helping me. Then Willie calls and says 'Let's play golf,' and you couldn't jump up fast enough.
"It's classic MFS. You whine and moan about having to mow the lawn with your bad back, but it suddenly clears up when you want to go bowling. You make up excuses to get out of little household chores, yet you've got plenty of energy to work on your car, and plenty of get-up-and-go when it's time to go drinking with your friends. When I'm dead tired, you're up and ready to go. Of course you are. I've done all the work."
"What has that got to do with MFS? I've never heard of it."
"That's funny, all women know about MFS -- Male Fatigue Syndrome. It's a disease that strikes nine out of 10 husbands, and there is only one known cure."
"What is that?"
"Constant and endless nagging."
"How come women have heard of it and men haven't?"
"Because most often, it occurs in men who also suffer from Male Hearing Disorder, or MHD. It seems they can hear some things some of the time, but not all things all of the time. They can hear 'Dinner's ready,' but they can't hear 'Don't throw your clothes in a big heap on the bedroom floor.' They can hear football games on television, but they can't hear 'Put the toilet seat down.' In severe cases of MHD, women have to start almost every sentence with the words 'How many times do I have to tell you ...'"
"I'm sorry," I said, "did you say something?"
"A perfect example of MSCC, a dreaded but common disease known as Male Selective Concentration Collapse. No known cure. For some reason, it strikes only men -- men in their prime, men who could have lived happily together with their wives till the end of their days, but instead became annoying and boring within weeks of contracting MSCC. Most men who get it become unhappy, divorced, jobless winos who wander the streets rummaging through garbage cans and begging for food. I'd have that checked out if I were you. Diagnosed early, I could live a longer and happier life."
"Does practicing medicine without a license ever bother you? Don't you ever feel like you're taking a job away from a real quack?"
"That's the kind of delusional reaction one expects from someone suffering from WWMC -- What? Who, Me? Convulsions."
"Who? Me!?! I'd love to stay and hear more about these fascinating medical non-breakthroughs, but I just remembered I promised Dave I'd help him move. His wife kicked him out of the house last night for no reason at all. She just snapped. She walked into the living room while he was watching hockey and put "Beaches" into the VCR without saying a word! She took the remote and threw it right out the front door. Honest, the only thing he said to her was, 'I'm sure glad men don't go through menopause.' That's when it hit the fan.
"Can you believe it? He just got back from a two-week hunting trip and brought her home 300 pounds of elk meat to butcher, and she's complaining because he won't fix the roof leak in her sewing room. She wouldn't even let him relax for a month or two. What can I tell you? You just can't make some women happy."
Contact Jim Mullen at JimMullenBooks.com.