I suspect that the disease afflicting folks around here is a variant form of the same contagion first identified by Praxis as Homoeroticus tripiensis. Here's what we know:

{Homoeroticus tripiensis} (var. forms: Machismus tripiensis afflicts women of all ages; Androcooldudens tripiensis afflicts portions of the heterosexual male population, but not all [reasons unknown, research ongoing])

Who is at risk? Everyone. EVERYONE.

Transmission: By viewing episodes directly, or by videotape or other reproduction; by viewing photographic images, either in print or electronic form; by direct or indirect contact with infected people. Under no circumstances should two or more infected people meet socially, as this can amplify the effects.

Symptoms: (Lifestyle) Generalized loss of free time due to excessive TV viewing, VCR tape viewing, and web browsing; loss of Wednesday evenings (Tuesdays if infected in Canada, less predictable losses of time in other areas of the world); loss of control of pursestrings when presented with opportunities to own Trip-related items; (Physical) Hyperthermia; Excessive salivation; Fainting spells; Periods of arousal

Diagnosis: Rarely fatal; manifests as a behavioral change similar to addiction. Patient presents with head bumps (from fainting), sore eyes or blurred vision, and often a photograph or action figure tightly clutched in his or her hand. Patients also report effects extending to their other work and home relationships.

Treatment: Responds to very few forms of treatment, including even aversion therapy and other common treatments for addiction. However, if treatment is desired by the significant other (to restore marital harmony) a course of TNG episodes featuring Will Riker 'puttin the moves on some babe' has been known to have an effect.

Prevention: Who wants to? The CDC recommend providing several explicit skin scenes of other crew members in upcoming episodes to "dilute" the effect. Skeptics warn that this will only lead to "cross-resistance" as the infection interacts with Armorificus reedii and Capitus archeria.

Whew! Glad I don't have that. It sounds horrible. And you should see the color plates that go with the text.


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