As the holiday season approaches, we thought you might appreciate some gift suggestions with a twist, appropriate for those on your list who aren't satisfied with the same old, same old.
Everyone has a friend like this-- If you show up with a broken arm, they tell you about their crushed vertebrae. Your flu pales in comparison to their bout of Dengue fever. Tear a nail? Listen to them talk about their leprosy.
For this friend, we have the perfect gift recommendation: The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases. This volume, written by a huge roster of speculative fiction writers including Neil Gaiman and Cory Doctorow, gives a comprehensive explanation of diseases such as
Monochromitis, or the "stark, raving abhorrence of color, often accompanied by an intense longing for the way things used to be."
Wife blindness, starts with the failure to remember anniversaries, reaches crisis stage of "Spousal nudity oblivion."
Poetic Lassitude, in which the victims "are often found wandering the countryside and mountain fastnesses staring at tiny flowers."
Reverse Pinocchio Syndrome, the final stage of which results in a hole clean through one's head.
The maladies described are so outlandish that even your most hypochrondiacal friend will have a hard time finding a topper. Although think of the pleasure they'll get out of trying.