3Thomas Jefferson Had Asperger's
We know what you're thinking: bullshit. Everyone's playing so fast and loose with Asperger's diagnoses you'd think the disease was a pair of boobs. At this point, the list of symptoms for this form of autism is so universal that basically it's "If you're awkward at parties, you have Asperger's."
But despite all of the people casually throwing the Asperger's tag around, it is still an actual syndrome with actual symptoms and actual sufferers. And one guy has made a pretty compelling case for Thomas Jefferson being one of them.
"Jesus, Tom. Can we talk about something besides anime for a minute?"
First up, we need to make sure you're clear on which Founding Father was Thomas Jefferson. He was the one who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and also the one who was the third president of the United States. He bought us Louisiana Plus and had a long term affair with his slave, Sally Hemings, who was also his wife's half-sister. He also spoke five languages, designed his home Monticello and invented the SWIVEL CHAIR.
Making him the godfather of office shenanigans.
So, no matter what everyone says about his stupid hair, there's no denying he was a smart cookie. Here are some other facts about Thomas Jefferson:
- When he died, he left all of his correspondence and notes of importance to his grandson. All 40,000 of them.
- He sang and hummed to himself all the time.
- He was so shy that he avoided eye contact and only gave two speeches in his life; both were inaugural addresses.
It was these little idiosyncrasies, plus a host of others, that led one journalist/novelist to conclude that maybe our third president had a little case of the autism. The Asperger's autism.
With an occasional outbreak of leaf-head.
- Marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction
- Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
- Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
- Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
- The disturbance causes clinically significant impairments in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning
Insistence upon dressing like Prince.
We could start with his eccentricities, which were so pronounced that people who visited Jefferson walked away baffled. Like how he kept an uncaged mockingbird around him while he worked and greeted state visitors in dated, threadbare, worn-out clothes, some of which were too small for his body.
"His setness, for instance, in wearing very sharp toed shoes, corduroy small-clothes, and red plush waistcoat, which have been laughed at till he might perhaps wisely have dismissed them."
You got that right? That people were laughing at him? It's hard to get that when looking at old pictures, but in his day, Jefferson was a bit of a clown. Well, OK, so he was a bit odd. That alone doesn't qualify him for a "syndrome" of any kind -- otherwise half the people reading this have it.
He also had nightmarishly long arms.
But then you have to combine it with his other traits, such as his obsessing over tiny details for no rational reason. He obsessively recorded everything in writing -- the weather, animal sightings, recipes, gardening crap and every little change he wanted to make to Monticello, which, by the way, he worked on for over 50 years.
For instance, Jefferson didn't just keep financial records, he recorded every tiny little transaction down to the penny. Not because he was careful with money (he spent lavishly and was drowning in debt), but because he was obsessive about tracking it, like if you still had on file the candy bar you bought with pocket change at a convenience store seven years ago. It was a compulsion. One expert says his constant note-taking was such a big part of his life that it "... may have actually contributed to the disastrous legacy of debt ... for it gave Jefferson a sense of control that he didn't know how to exercise."
But it was mostly about the hair.
Brilliant, yes. Able to dress himself appropriately, stop singing, or stop taking notes on every little thing, or function without a live bird shitting all over the place? Apparently not. And if he did all of that today, his doctors probably would have had a name for it.
2Elvis Presley Died From Chronic Constipation
The popularly accepted theory on the death of Elvis Presley is that he died as a result of cardiac arrhythmia (aka irregular heartbeat), possibly brought on by drug abuse and a gut-driven instinct to prove bacon and peanut butter were God's medicine.
And we've always presumed it was that last weakness that ate phat Elvis and left fat Elvis in his place. But one doctor (who also happened to be Elvis' personal physician) doesn't think it was necessarily his heart or his appetite that got him in the end.
Think lower. And browner.
Dr. George Nichopoulos thinks Elvis Presley died from chronic constipation. Before you say, "Hey, that sounds like a load of crap," please understand, the doctor makes a pretty hefty, odorous case. According to the doctor, constipation plagued Elvis for most of his "fat" years. In fact, he claims that those weren't even "fat" years. They were more like "holy mother of God, that guy has six months of fecal matter in his colon" years.
"It was really a physiological problem. During the last few years we were going back and comparing pictures, some of them were taken just two weeks apart but he looked like he'd gained 20 pounds when the only difference was that he had a good healthy bowel movement and then lost a lot of weight from that."
"The King needs to fire off a hunk of burning love."
Delicious! An autopsy revealed that his status in the rock community wasn't the only king-sized thing about Elvis. His colon was 5 inches in diameter, a good 2 to 3 inches larger than normal, and it was approximately 8 to 9 feet long. A normal colon is only 4 to 5 feet long. Which was why Nichopoulos was in talks to give the Pelvis a colostomy.
Seeing as how he was sporting a nine-footer, Elvis certainly had colon to spare, but the shame of admitting to poop problems in public was too much to stomach, and the potentially lifesaving surgery never happened. Instead, the man who invented rock and roll (for white people) stuck with a series of more traditional constipation treatments that led to frequent accidents and wardrobe changes on stage. Sad.
"Oh my God, how'd you get it on your scarf?"
For his part, Nichopoulos believes that the King would still be with us today if the procedure had been done.
Oh, hey, now that this article is about poop ...