Feeling This

"Enema of the Mental State: Notes from the Battle on Irritable Blink-182 Syndrome."

Psychiatric Evaluation Report

Patient Name: Dinsdale, Nathan

Entry Date: August 22, 1997

Location: La Pine, Oregon

Synopsis: Responded to a frantic call from a recent high school graduate. Found patient disheveled, disoriented, and curled up behind a washing machine, holding a portable stereo. Hair was in disarray. Eyes were bloodshot. He was rocking back and forth and muttering, “I guess this is growing up,” “I guess this is growing up,” “This is growing up, I guess.” Patient smelled of stale Doritos and fabric softener. Clearly a victim of “Dammit” from the Dude Ranch album by the pop-punk trio Blink-182.

Symptoms include clammy hands, bowel obstruction, and a compulsion to laugh hysterically whenever anyone says “bowel obstruction.” The early stages of Irritable Blink-182 Syndrome (IBS). Initial prognosis is good. The patient will head to college soon and put away childish playthings such as Blink-182. He will go through the Led Zeppelin stage, the Hüsker Dü phase, and the Smiths phase. Much later, he’ll resort to yoga, mango frappés, and Enya. Prescription: One hundred milligrams of Valium and a copy of Led Zeppelin.

Entry Date: July 25, 1999

Location: Portland, Oregon

Synopsis: Conventional IBS treatment has proven unsuccessful. The patient responded well to “Communication Breakdown” when taken with a beer bong, but he prefers that Hüsker Didn’t and refers to Morrissey as “that whiny little Limey bastard.” Symptoms worsened when Blink-182’s Enema of the State came out a month ago.

A long road looms. I have alerted the Centers for Disease Control about a possible IBS epidemic as people feverishly call radio stations to request “What’s My Age Again?” and “All the Small Things.” The patient is reduced to a tittering thirteen-year-old girl whenever the “Small Things” video comes on MTV. His condition is critical.

But all is not lost. We have reached an important breakthrough. The patient is exhibiting signs of remorse. He has taken to rationalization as a defense mechanism, referring to the agonizing “Adam’s Song” as proof that Blink-182 has substance beyond bestiality jokes.

The patient’s delusions have created deep psychic rifts, but his recognition of the cognitive disorder is a positive milestone. And, as my therapist tells me, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Prescription: five hundred milligrams of Ritalin and The Velvet Underground with Nico.

Entry Date: June 24, 2001

Location: Somewhere in Nevada

Synopsis: The patient had progressed. He had skipped over Pavement straight to Joy Division. He was almost rehabilitated.

Then Blink-182 released Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, and the dependency cycle began anew. He has since reverted to giggling at masturbation jokes when he isn’t wailing I fell in love with a girl at the rock show, even though it’s clear the only girls at a Blink-182 show recall the adage “Fifteen gets you twenty.”

The turmoil between the patient’s id and superego has never been more apparent. Again, he tries to rationalize that “Stay Together for the Kids” is evidence that a band that sings about a guy who “rubs his dick in broken glass” can be taken seriously.

The patient fears physical retaliation if he openly admits to liking Blink-182. This is a worrisome sign. Heightened paranoia that somebody will catch you singing “First Date” in the shower is a surefire symptom of advanced IBS.

I fear a terminal condition. I’m irritated with his methodical dissertations on “Reckless Abandon.” I either doze off when he talks or play hangman on my notebook.

Entry Date: September 2, 2001

Location: Syracuse, New York

Synopsis: Any progress is for naught. The patient suffered a horrible relapse at a Blink-182 concert in Syracuse. He had joined the training-bra brigade in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the night before and admitted feelings of shameful anxiety. But he was just another leper in the colony, and the anonymity emboldened him for his most severe bout of “acting out” the following night.

The patient had come to the New York State Fairgrounds that night not for the Tilt-O-Whirl or the butter sculptures but for another Blink show. Following the band on successive tour stops is a typical sign of IBS dementia.

The patient duped security guards into granting him access to the floor level, but he was enraged to find chairs tied together with plastic cuffs where the mosh pit should have been. Fueled by passion and many, many beers, the patient incited the crowd to revolt. It didn’t work. So he charged forward to attempt an ill-advised stage dive. It didn’t happen. He was tackled by security and escorted out by police.

I would have been a good plumber. All I do is deal with other people’s shit.

I recommend the patient be committed to a secure facility for observation. Prescription: One thousand CCs of horse tranquilizer and a viewing of A Clockwork Orange set to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

Entry Date: November 27, 2003

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Synopsis: I have concluded that the best treatment for acute IBS isn’t Blink-182 depravation but indulgence, not unlike methadone for smack addicts. I encouraged the patient to embrace his disease and listen to the new album Blink-182 repeatedly.

I found myself feeling this after listening to “Feeling This.” Our counseling sessions have become sweetly sorrowful “Miss You” sing-alongs that leave us both emotionally spent. The patient’s musical inferiority complex has weakened, and his paranoid ideation has also decreased significantly with the largely positive critical response to Blink-182.

What once was immature and irrelevant has become darkly alluring and devastatingly sweet. The patient feels no need to rationalize “Go,” “Down,” or any other song on the album.

This is a groundbreaking discovery for IBS patients. Like herpes, there is no cure. But patients can still lead fulfilling lives. Note to self: Contact Psychology Today about publishing findings. Prescription: a mango frappé and Blink-182.

Patient name: Dinsdale, Nathan

Final Evaluation Date: June 16, 2004

Location: Mountain View, California

Conclusion: The patient’s IBS is in remission thanks in part to my brilliant advances in the field. I have been awarded a tidy grant from the Administration for Children and Families and have rewarded myself with a large OxyContin prescription.

The patient has silenced his demons through patience, spiritual counseling, and multiple spins of Blink-182. But the real test will come at Saturday’s concert.

Barring any catastrophic digressions (the patient storming the stage to belt out a booze-fueled rendition of “Miss You”), it is my professional opinion that the patient is cured of IBS and no longer requires my services.


S. Zacharius Chapman, MD

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