Friday, April 01, 2011

Rural Kentucky Begins "That Boy Ain't Right" Awareness Month

Disassociated Press, KY

Once again, rural Kentucky has announced that April is "That Boy Ain't Right" Awareness Month. "Although the number of incidences of 'That Boy Ain't Right' Syndrome have once again decreased, we still have a number of children in rural Kentucky that, for whatever reason, ain't right in the head," said Big Jim Crenshaw, chief of the Not Right In the Head Research Institute. "We hope to raise awareness of this serious condition, and explain the treatment options to parents of boys that aren't right in the head."

While it was once common nationwide to see boys and girls who simply weren't right in the head, the number of cases has gone down at approximately the same rate as the rise in cases of autism, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, Asperger's syndrome, separation anxiety disorder, Tourette Syndrome, and similar other behavioral disorders. Only a few pockets of "That Boy Ain't Right" Syndrome remain in the United States; tragically, most of these areas suffer from a lack of qualified mental health professionals, making it even harder to diagnose and treat children who aren't right in the head.

Symptoms of "That Boy Ain't Right" Syndrome vary widely, but can include screaming fits, dull stupors, biting, never having been that bright, exposing themselves in public, or simply daydreaming about a life outside of the misery and deprivation of rural Kentucky, one where all the houses have electricity and running water and nobody beats them up at school for liking poetry.

Says Big Jim, "We try to remind parents that contrary to established medical consensus, recent findings have shown that most cases of 'That Boy Ain't Right' Syndrome can't be cured by whupping the crazy out of 'em. We've been studying the effectiveness of exorcism, but in the meanwhile, we recommend that you just try to be patient and don't get too close to Billy Wilkins, 'cause he's a biter. Oh, and don't give sugar to little Susie. Not unless you want to stay up until 4 AM with her."


Brendan said...

Sometimes, I get kinda down about living in Ohio, feeling that I'm living in a dying state.

Then I look south, past the river, and behold Kentucky. At those moments, Ohio suddenly doesn't seem so bad.

Unknown said... this mocking the notion of Awareness months, Kentuckians, or both? Or is there a joke here I'm just not getting?

John Seavey said...

It's mocking the way we used to be so ignorant about mental illness; nowadays, we understand a lot about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of things that used to just be considered to be character defects. The phrase "He/she's not right in the head" came to mind as a catch-all description of that, and it sounds vaguely Southern, so I kind of walked the idea along from there.

There is a bit of amusement to the idea of an Awareness Month for something so vague and inchoate as "that boy ain't right", too, but mostly it's about the progress we've made in diagnosing and treating mental illness.

RichardAK said...

Naming a thing and understanding it are not the same. And bigotry against safe targets is still just bigotry.

There are many things you've written that I've found entertaining and insightful. This was not one of them.