POUGHKEEPSIE, New York. Becky Balser is dying to introduce her new boyfriend to her roommates and circle of friends, but so far Rick DiMaso has ducked out of every dinner party and barbecue she’s tried to arrange. “I don’t know what it is,” she says. “He claims he only feels comfortable going to the movies.”
“Really, Rick, you shouldn’t be so sensitive about it.”
Rick’s reluctance isn’t the product of agoraphobia or anti-social tendencies, he reveals in a separate interview with this reporter. “I’m a middle-class mouth breather,” he says as he buries his face in his hands. “When we’re at the movies we’re in the dark and Becky’s staring straight ahead, so she doesn’t notice.”
Celebrity mouth-breathing spokesperson Kristin Stewart
Middle-class mouth-breathing, or “MCMB” as it is known among laryngologists, is a debilitating ailment that affects approximately 13 million Americans, a fifteen percent increase since 1994. “It starts when these kids sit in SAT prep courses soaking up useless knowledge to regurgitate in order to get ahead,” says Dr. Lyman Kuthrow. “Once they graduate and get professional jobs that require a lot of travel, they sit in airports staring up at television monitors with boring business news and all hope is lost.”
“You’re comparing me to that woman up above?”
Mouth-breathing is distinct from mouth-breeding, in which a fish carries its eggs or young in its mouth in order to increase their chances of survival. “They are really two distinct pheonomena,” says Kuthrow. “We checked a representative sample of mouth-breathers and found no fish eggs in their mouths, except for the ones who’d had caviar at cocktail parties.”
Little Rascals “Hi” sign.
Support groups have sprung up recently to make mouth-breathers more comfortable in public and to send coded messages across crowded conference rooms when one sufferer detects another in an open-mouthed state. “I make the Little Rascals ‘Hi’ sign,” says Claudia Remoulade, a marketing professional. “Too many people know the Star Trek ‘Live long and prosper’ gag.”
Napoleon Dynamite: Better than ‘Citizen Kane’?
As for Rick and Becky, they are working tentatively towards an accommodation that will end with Rick “coming out” at a midnight weenie roast this summer, but until then it’s movies, movies and more movies. “Hey,” Rick says as if struck by an inspiration–”Do you want to go see ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ again?”
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “I Hear America Whining.”