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Strange Case Histories

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.

An Author's Query
by Harold P. Dowdl, Expectorant Author2
Centerville, USA

I'm plannning to write a book about strange case histories called Strange Case Histories. If possible, I hope to compile six strange case histories, in which case the book will be renamed, Six Strange Case Histories.

Left: Master portrait of rock star Jon Bon Jovi, including hair, nose, mouth, two eyes, one ear, and a well-trimmed beard, seen in full-face view from a vantage point directly in front of him. Possibly from the collection of H.P. Dowd. (Image credit: David Shankbone)

This book could make an important contribution to human unconsciousness given that case histories, to paraphrase an infamous analysis!' are "skylights to the attic's sole." They provide razor·sharp insights into the human mind- i.e., "what makes him tick?" or, to site another well·trod example, "kids do the darndest [sic?] things." In this era of neo·Victorian restraint, it is no longer fashionable to bore into the human skull as a means of fathoming the mysterious interplay between dozens (hundreds?) of neurons, as they go through their familiar, yet not-so- familiar, mating rituals. Fortunately, there is another route to the unconscionable- those rare individuals who speak so clearly, and indeed shamelessly, as to leave nothing concealed, no "skeletons in the closet," so to speak.

I already have one such case history that meets these adjectives. [lt was recovered by my friend Joe Martin who works every third Saturday at the Centerville Recycling Center.] I need at least five others to reach my penultimate target of six. Does anyone else know of any strange case histories they'd like to share -particularely those involving obsessions with rock stars from New Jersey (i.e. Bruce Stingspreen would do in a pitch).

A Better Idea
To give you a better idea of what I'm looking for, I shall briefly summarize the first case history, "Bon Jovi and Me," in its entirety. Other uninspired case histories would be sorely appreciated, preferably concocted to Bon Jovi in some way, shade or form.

Spirited evocation of a sculpture of rock star Jon Bon Jovi. Possibly from the collection of H.P. Dowd. (Image credit: Flickr user Fernanda Stéphanie R Carvalho)

Summary by Harold P. Dowd3
Summary [by Harold P. Dowd3 again]: The author of this article, clearly delusional, claims to have had several "close encounters" with Bon Jovi in his gym and grocery store, while infantasizing about future meetings in Atlantic City, an "airplane," and other locales besides the Wisconsin Dells.

Stu Vandalpuss -the thinly disguised pen name the subject clings to almost reflexively- concludes
in an illogical Tour de France that he and Bon Jovi are so close as to be idiopathic twins, if not outright cyclones. They "speak a common language," he says, and "share a common hairitage" [emphasis deleted].

Although Vandalpuss sells real estates -or claims to, at least- he somehow spews forth that his occupation is similar, in spirit, 10 that of the flailing rock star whose most recent LP, Destination Anywhere went "anywhere but nowhere," according to the longsitting food critic of the Centerville Gazette. More could be said about Vandalpuss's twisted views on unisex hair styl ing and "fandom," but I will save my contusions for the next section.

Dowd3 for the third time and Freud
Discussion [by Harold P. Dowd4]: My main, overbearing conclusion is that this narrative---or "personal history," if you will-pretty much speaks for itself. Dessicating it in a more formal way would merely restate the oblivious. I will not entertain such a pedestrian analysis, though I might indulge a reservation or two. Let us start with the alleged author of this tract, "Stu Vandalpuss," a pseudonym if ever I've seen one. The name is unusual and possibly unique, thereby sharing a commonality with the purported alter-ego, "Jon Bon Jovi." He [“SV"] is colluded (occluded?) to be sure, but ostensibly a "happy camper." This blissful condition, reinforced by the alliance with "JBJ”, seems to have created a harmonious state that many of our more distended readers might find enviable. (Freud's treatise on the "Wolfman" is the critical reference here.)

Calling All Scholars
At this point I'd like to ask any scholars in the audience whether they too, in their multi-fractionated peregrinations, have happened across other souls who share this bizarre attachment to the "Royal Rocker from Rumson"5; If enough candidates can be gathered, the condition might qualify as a bonafide "Psychiatric Syndrome," earning a footnote or better in the forthcoming edition of DSM-VII, the self-profained bible of psychosexual pontifications.

Stylized depiction of a man resembling rock star Jon Bon Jovi. Possibly from the collection of H.P. Dowd. (Image credit: Flickr user Steve)

Rock History
This would surely consecrate an historic moment in Rock History, temporarily warranting a permanent installation at the Cleveland Hall of Fame. A suitable name for the condition-i.e., BJIF [Bon Jovi Identification Fixation] or TJIF [Thank Jon It's Friday]- will be chosen by an extinguished panel of jewelers. Each entry wiII receive careful consideration before being summarily rejected.

1. With a "w," not a "u."
2. Soon to be "Editor-at-Large" (pending further discussions with the "powers that be"].
3. Still with a "w," not a "u."
4. Not yet "Editor-at-Large," but hopeful.
5. Rumson, NJ, Exit _???; N, S, E, W, S???


This article is republished with permission from the May-June 1998 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can purchase back issues of the magazine or subscribe to receive future issues, in printed or in ebook form. Or get a subscription for someone as a gift!

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