A child after my own brain


Brain disorders run in my family. People are often surprised to hear this because they didn’t even know that we had any brains to disorder.


I diagnosed the disorder, Foerster’s Syndrome, after reading about it in a book. As a diagnostician, I rank up there with the best – probably a full colonel or possibly a general. Once I am given the symptoms of a disease, I have the uncanny ability to discover it in either myself or my loved ones. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve saved my life by catching a disease early.


Just last month I narrowly escaped a serious problem after reading an article about a man with a runny nose who mistakenly thought he had allergies. My nose happened to be running when I read the story, so I realized I probably had whatever he had. And what he had was a leaky brain. Every time he blew his nose and even when he didn’t, brain fluid leaked out.  Please stop for a minute and re-read that last sentence.  Brain fluid! Leaked out! Of course, the first thing I did was tell my husband that I loved him but I wouldn’t be able to do anymore housework. I needed to spend my last days savoring life and the box of dark chocolate truffles in the cupboard.


Miraculously within a week and most of the box of truffles, I recovered. My brain stopped leaking and I went back to finding excuses not to mop the kitchen floor.


I’ve diagnosed a number of family members with Foerster’s Syndrome, which causes compulsive punning: my husband (moderate), brother (severe), brother-in-law (chronic) and me (egregious). Due to excessive exposure, both of my children are allergic to puns, which thankfully does not cause their noses to run. When the punning becomes excessive, they themselves run, taking their noses with them, but that is a different problem, one I’m still trying to diagnose.


My despair over not having a child who can put up and pun up with me vanished last week, however, when we visited family in Texas. Three conversations, all with my grandchild, convinced me that the brain disorder would not die with me.


The First: My grandchild discovers that Uncle Harley’s grandchildren call him Pawdaddy.


“That’s because his dog has paws!”


The Second: My daughter mentions to the child that the eggs are excellent.


“That’s because they’re eggs—cellent.”


The Third: My niece shows the child a picture of a tarantula taken at their ranch.


“It must be a ranchula.”


My daughter is still trying to recover from the pain and shock. I, however, feel delighted. A child after my own heart. A child after my own brain.


Photos: Paw Egg Tarantula

36 thoughts on “A child after my own brain

  1. Ahh – I know well the disorder of which you speak. It runs in our family too. (Family members run with puns; some in-laws run with their feet and others have learned to grin-and-nod.) We have even identified the gene responsible for this genetic disorder. Since my family name is Wight, we have named this gene the “W-gene” and it gets blamed, excuse me, it is the cause of many family traits besides punning.

  2. Oh, I definitely agree with your diagnosis. That child has early-onset punnington’s disease.
    Sounds serious. Spend as much time as possible to ensure that you can pass along all of your tips on how to thrive in this world which does not fully appreciate the disease.

  3. Oh, it is very nice to find grandchildren that we can relate to… after all, they live in a different world and a different time… And then it turns out that they too care some characteristics that we know so intimately. And sometimes we can give them a tip, or a word of comfort about things that even their own parents don’t completely understand.

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