Sometimes you just don’t feel like going to work. But how often can you call in with the flu or a dead relative? So, if you are like me, you are always on the lookout for a new medical excuse. This morning I came across a beautiful one. It is called Cotard’s syndrome, after Dr. Jules Cotard (1840-1889) who first described the syndrome during a Paris lecture in 1880.
People with Cotard’s syndrome think they are dead.
Imagine this: You wake up in the morning and just can’t drag your butt out of bed. So you convince yourself that you are dead. There are several things that dead people do not do. They don’t talk, tell tales, or wear plaid. And they don’t go to work.
So you call your office and tell them there has been a death in your family. Now save this one for a special occasion when you realize that you have already called in about the deaths of everyone else in your family. You can only claim your own demise once. Anyway, you call in and say there has been a death in the family. When asked who it is who died, you simply say, “I did.”
Don’t hang up. The person on the other end might think you are about to commit suicide and call 911, which would ruin your day. So stay on the line and explain that you are already dead and just making this call out of courtesy. Then hang up.
Now the day is your own, but you have to stay dead. After all what if your boss sees you walking around? Not that you have to stay inside. You are dead, you can do whatever you please, just remember that you are dead. People can’t see you or hear you. So if you do run into your boss, don’t acknowledge her. Not even a nod.
If you make a mistake and do nod or wave, don’t panic. You are dead; start waving a lot and making oooooooooo sounds, and “float” around your boss. Don’t scare her, say nice things about how you admired her when you were alive—just incase you get resurrected or reincarnated, and have to go back and ask her for a job.
The more I think about this syndrome the more I like it. If I were dead and yet could still walk around and do stuff it would be the best of both worlds. Of course if I really had the disease I would eventually starve to death under the illusion that dead men don’t need food. So I plan to write myself a manual for the dead that will tell me that the dead need to eat three meals a day, exercise, and cross the street only when the green man is illuminated.
Whenever I talk about diseases I always get mail from people who actually suffer from the disease. So if you have Cotard’s syndrome and find my remarks offensive, please remember that while the dead do read blogs they never ever comment on them.