Monday, November 29, 2010

Aliens Among Us

I just read an article which discussed how the teenage brain is wired differently than the brains of other normal people. Apparently, there was a study done that proved this difference; a fact that has been obvious to parents for ages, probably since the days of Cain and Abel.

That teenagers function on a different level when compared to younger children or adults is more than the result of “different wiring”. No, it is the consequence of a much more sinister plot; a plan that could eventually lead to the end of civilization as we know it. Recent observations out of Roswell, NM have clearly demonstrated that during a child’s thirteenth year aliens visit and our sweet innocent children are replaced.

Every parent has had the experience. That sweet child that loved to be with Mom and Dad, be it a simple walk or a game of catch, suddenly can’t be seen with parents. But it’s more than this. There is no question that teenagers are not human.

For example, years ago I had a simple surgery scheduled on a fifteen year old girl, excising a cyst from her scalp. It was too big to do under strictly local anesthesia in the office, so I scheduled the surgery to be done in the OR utilizing local anesthesia along with intravenous sedation. The procedure started uneventfully; the area on her scalp numbed adequately and her peaceful snores indicating an appropriate level of sedation.

As I made my incision she became agitated and started to scream that someone was trying to cut off her head. I have to comment at this point that local anesthesia will eliminate most sensation, but pressure feelings and awareness that something is being done still are maintained. As she became more agitated the anesthesiologist gave her more sedation, actually enough to stop a charging elephant. My patient tried to jump off the table.

Needless to say the surgery was stopped, she was given general anesthesia and we finished the procedure without incident. At that time I chalked it up to a single paradoxical reaction. But, about six months later I had another similar occurrence. A minor procedure on a sixteen year old boy, once again under local anesthesia with IV sedation yielded the exact same outcome. This time we were better prepared and as soon as it was apparent that the sedation was not effective, general anesthesia was induced and we finished the operation without further mishap. After these two episodes I decided that teenagers were not like normal people and since then all operations on this subspecies of humanity have been done either with straight local anesthesia, that is, sans sedation, or with full general anesthesia. I have to add that, at the time, my own kids were all sweet, innocent toddlers and young children. They’ve since grown and I am older and wiser.

But, what is the underlying mechanism for this devious transformation? Prevailing theories are that rapid hormonal changes coupled with the growing social pressures of the teen years lead to the instability of the teenage specimen. This explanation is at best inadequate. No, there is much more to the phenomenon and the answer, undoubtedly, is alien invasion.

During the seventh grade, usually a few months after the start of the school year the exchanges begin. Our teenage children are snatched away as they sleep and transported to alien space ships hovering just outside the Earth’s atmosphere, shielded from any prying military probes. Exact physical copies of our precious children are created and, unlike Stepford, where the wives were replaced by docile, compliant androids, the replicants are programmed to disrupt the lives of all the sane adults and younger children they encounter.

Because they are artificial they have no fear of driving too fast, or drinking excessively and, being perfectly engineered machinery, they believe it is beneath them to fraternize with imperfect biologically based beings like parents or younger siblings. Instead they prefer their own kind, congregating at malls, particularly around the Apple Store or in arcades where other machines can be found.

Oh, they are devious, that’s for sure; pretending to be sweet and innocent for a moment, filling their forlorn parents with hope that their baby has been returned, but it’s all a trick. Once rewarded with spending money and car keys, they revert to their real selves, congregating together to prowl the streets in packs and wreaking havoc at every turn. Of course it isn’t all bad. These alien creations have remarkable central processors that can soak up Shakespeare or trigonometry like a dry sponge. When properly motivated they are capable of performing a Vivaldi Violin Concerto or winning Olympic Gold in gymnastics. Through all this we cheer them on, pray for them and hope, deluding ourselves into believing that these ‘replacements’ are truly ours.

Is there hope for humanity; will we ever be released from these thorns in our sides? I don’t know what happens to the real children as they are held prisoner on these alien ships, but most of them manage to escape shortly after they enter adulthood. The vicious, unpredictable beasts are dismantled and our children, now responsible adults, return.

So, if your teenager is getting you down, acting in bizarre ways and causing you to reach for the Ativan two or three times a day, relax. Just say to yourself: “They’re not human, they’re not human, just be patient, just be patient”.

In a few years it will all be over. But, until that time, keep a stiff upper lip, hide the car keys and keep the Ativan close at hand.