Pungeon Sickness is a serious medical condition in the land of Eden. But while some folks liken the disease to elevator farts (because it’s wrong on so many levels), those who “suffer” from this “negative” condition disagree. They believe wholeheartedly that living with Pungeon Sickness is like living with the flag of Switzerland: a big plus.
Notable Edenians who have tested positive for the condition include Sir Evan of House Arix, the notorious Moonlight Bard, the so-called “Crazy” Eddie, Betty of Kalan, and the GalaxyWolf. But during the Second Age, at the height of the crisis, perhaps none suffered more than poor Rin, who was kept from marrying her sweetheart by the then pun-averse government of Wonderland.
“Why?” you ask. Well, it was all because, if she married her one true love, she would have become a Rin Yang.
The condition is believed to have originated during the reign of Queen Frieda Jacobs, at a particularly humorless stage of her life. It was at that point when she rechristened one of the cell blocks beneath the Crimson Keep as “The Pungeon,” and began to exile all jokesters, comedians, and humorists there. Unfortunately, housing that many wisecrackers in one place led to a contagious form of laughter, which in turn led to everyone wanting a piece of the action—a slice of the adoration, as it were.
The prisoners were separated soon enough, at the behest of the queen’s dungeon master, Dimi the Wise, but the damage was done, and Pungeon Sickness has been a problem ever since.
Transmission & Vectors
The disease is transmitted from person to person. Infection typically occurs when a particularly punishing joke is told within earshot, though the disease can also be contracted through kissing and other forms of physical intimacy.
Only kleptomaniacs seem immune to Pungeon Sickness. They’re unfazed by puns, you see. In fact, they don’t even understand this kind of joke most of the time. Why? Because they take things literally, of course.
Symptoms include but are not limited to:
- The uncontrollable desire to share puns with those around you, particularly while camping. The desire is especially intense in tents.
- A sudden strong belief in karma, manifested in your refusal to look at menus while dining out. Why? Because you know in your heart that you’ll get what you deserve.
- The uncomfortable urge to boil the hell out of holy water.
- The decision to stop suffering from insanity and to instead enjoy the hell out of it.
- The refusal to stop telling jokes about chemistry, even when you get no reaction.
Less common manifestations of the condition include the inability of cross-eyed teachers to control their pupils, the refusal of individuals with photographic memories to develop their thoughts, and a compulsion on the part of janitors to try and frighten passersby by leaping from closed closet doors and yelling “SUPPLIES!”
In the very young, especially in those dislike naps, it can lead to jail time for resisting a rest.
While many “sufferers” choose to bear the disease with great courage, the hearts of lions, and lifetime bans from the zoo, treatment is possible. That said, it’s difficult. The only surefire way to treat the condition is to split oneself in two like a true Roman: with a pair of Caesars. You must set aside one part of yourself that is still permitted to punish others with your plays on words, and then gradually work to reduce the influence of that side on your life.
In short: you must retrain yourself to be humorless. You must aim to live a life so boring that someone who steals your identity will give it back a day later.
Just as sure as atheism is a non-prophet organization and nacho cheese can never be yours, you will one day stop being funny. Pungeon Sickness isn’t permanent, though some of us unfunny folks might wish it to be. The only way to get rid of your dry sense of humor for good, you towel, is to regularly attend mushroom parties, listen to their jokes, and keep on catching Pungeon Sickness for the rest of your life.
Mushroom parties. That’s the secret. Only then can you be the life of the party. Only then can you be a fun guy.