Buffy Addictive Disorder

What began most innocently as "Buffy Withdrawal Syndrome" has just been upgraded by the concerned Centers for Disease Control to "Buffy Addictive Disorder" (BAD) in the wake of this past summer's protracted epidemic. The disorder can masquerade as many other less harmful pathologies such as innocent television fandom (if such a thing exists).

How can you tell if you or your loved one's interest in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is a healthy recreational diversion, or a full-blown, life-impairing dependency? Review the following list of symptoms that physicians now feel are associated with this virulent new illness called Buffy Addictive Disorder (BAD) and make a mental note of how many seem to apply.

Known Symptoms of Buffy Addictive Disorder:

  1. The time from 8pm to 9pm on weeknights other than Tuesday seems empty
    and utterly pointless. You feel agitated and depressed attempting to watch
    other programs.
  2. You buy Bufforette gum at the drugstore, hoping it will stop the cravings,
    but it only reminds you of the real thing.
  3. You gain weight.
  4. You begin making excuses for reasons to go into the TV room where
    your Buffy tapes are (you "forgot something," you "have to make a phone
    call," etc...). Your friends' faces tell you they no longer believe you.
  5. You say you can quit watching anytime you want to. You just never
    happen to want to.
  6. You go to Buffaholics Anonymous meetings and annoy people by saying that
    unlike everyone else at the meeting, you don't have a problem.
  7. Other people's descriptions of your Buffy interests have slowly progressed
    from "whimsical" to "evangelical" to "maniacal."
  8. You've replaced all of your old friends, who annoyed you by criticizing your
    endless talk of Buffy, with new Buffy friends who understand completely.
  9. You can't think of anything to talk about with people who've never watched Buffy.
  10. You go to dark, creepy parts of town late at night (after visiting the cash
    machine), hoping to buy tapes of missed Buffy episodes, rare promos, and
    bootleg blooper reels.
  11. When the cops bust you during copyright enforcement sweeps, you always try to
    tell them you are just a "fan." They reply, "Yeah junkie, whatever you say" and
    take you to your usual cell. Joss's lawyer has a special file folder just for you.
  12. Joss and the cast were once flattered by your attention. Now they are terrified
    of you and the "offerings" you leave on their porches.
  13. Your possessions are all buried in dust, except for the TV, VCR, and computer.
  14. You ceremoniously erase all of your Buffy tapes to prove to your family
    that you're "drying out." But secret copies are hidden in the garage, the spice
    cupboard, and buried in the backyard...
  15. There is nothing quite so euphoric as a new Buffy episode, certainly not sex
    (which you vaguely remember having before your Buffy fandom). But the thrill
    only lasts a few hours. Soon the restlessness returns and you find yourself online,
    trying to persuade strangers to talk Buffy to you.
  16. Shows that come before and after Buffy, as well as commercials during Buffy,
    cause you to scream that WB is cutting your fix with baby powder to lower its
    potency and make an extra buck.
  17. Your pets leave you for a more attentive owner.
  18. You begin offering other long-term Buffy list members large sums of cash in exchange
    for their "keeper" items.
  19. You are able to support your own habit for fresh Buffy tapes and merchandise by
    selling duplicates of things you already have to new viewers at highly inflated prices.
  20. You seek help from your local priest for your obsession. But he ends up getting
    hooked on the show too, because of its glorification of crosses and holy water.
  21. Your parents (or spouse) remove the TV and VCR from your home to "do you
    a favor." But it only drives you to break into your neighbor's homes on Tuesday
    nights to watch Buffy on their TV's and VCR's.
  22. You singlehanded cause David Boreanaz to be declared the "Sexiest Man in the
    History of the World" by voting continuously at a teen magazine's online polling
    site for seven days straight without food, sleep, or other human contact (David
    Duchovney finishes a laughable second, losing by 34,549,798 votes).
  23. You begin humming "Macho Man" whenever you see a cheerleader, as if it were
    a vaguely remembered music box tune you once heard as a small child.
  24. All cruel teen cliquish behavior reminds you oddly of hyena packs.
  25. Every time someone calls your name, you look up, startled, and say, "Buffy?"
  26. Your repertoire of insults has expanded exponentially after dozens of
    viewings of Cordelia's interactions and "The Pack" on tape.
  27. Bored out of your gourd by the postingboard, you Yahoo the word "Moloch"
    just to see what turns up.
  28. Time and space become meaningless except when they are rendered in terms
    of Buffy units.
  29. Every time you see a dummy, you automatically think, "Hi (insert your name)
    wouldja like to hear some off-color jokes?"
  30. You are inordinately disturbed by "Touched by an Angel" jokes made in
    reference to David Boreanaz.
  31. You carry around the world's tiniest fence post.
  32. You identify clothes at Bloomingdales as "totally Buffy" shirts, skirts, etc.
  33. You roundhouse kick to press the elevator button in your apartment building.
  34. Your new pets all have names like "Oz," "Dalton," "Sid," "Owen," "Ampata,"
    "Herbert," and "Absalom."
  35. You are writing your own curriculum for an advanced degree in "Buffy Studies"
    at a fringy online university
  36. You feel you will never understand computers properly unless Willow helps you.
  37. You lose all respect for your high school's PE archery program because it doesn't
    include crossbow instruction.
  38. You keep checking your boyfriend or girlfriend very carefully after sex these
    to make sure they haven't lost their soul.
  39. You tape scores of hours of mind-numbing nonBuffy programs on the WB in
    hopes of catching Buffy cast members in any new Buffy promos, Dubba dances,
    or "stay tuned" announcements.
  40. You keep praying your parent (or spouse) gets transferred to Torrance so you
    can attend that familiar school where Buffy and her friends hang out.
  41. You begin spending inordinate amounts of time hanging around your school's librarian,
    hoping he or she will suddenly drop a large "Vampyre" book in front of you and tell you
    to "start training."
  42. You sob loudly when a minor, but appealing, character in a Buffy fanfic dies. Yet
    you fail to show any sympathy when your brother's cherished lifelong pet expires.
  43. You audio-tape Buffy episodes for listening to in your car and walkman.
  44. You try to dissuade your parents from attending Parent-Teacher Night as you fear
    it will only encourage vampires to come crashing through the school windows!
  45. You refuse to open the door for any door-to-door salesman, and you keep a can of
    liquid adhesive right next to it, just in case they try to slipping under it!
  46. You have trouble believing Buffy was a virgin prior to Angel, but no trouble believing
    she is stalked by undead monsters, night after night.
  47. You dress-up for the season premiere and shave (legs or face). There's
    champagne on hand. You've hired catering.
  48. You feel your boyfriend or girlfriend nibbling lightly on your neck, and you tell
    them to "quit beating around the bush and just bite!"
  49. You hear that a politician has "charisma" and you suspect him of being a
    child molester given that Cordelia is barely sixteen.
  50. You can listen to the theme song with your eyes closed and the images that
    normally accompany it flow effortlessly through your mind as though you were a
    living VCR.
  51. You visit the graveyard regularly at night, stakes in hand. But you are always
    disappointed because there is never "any action."
  52. When walking alone at night, every sound makes you suspect the presence of
    vampires. Passerby's are startled when you finally scream "Show Yourself!"
  53. The bookmarks section of your web browser is filled to capacity with Buffy
    sites, plus one or two other old ones that must have been saved by your
    previous personality.
  54. You resent the non-Buffy commitments made by your previous personality, such
    as job, relationship, social events, etc...
  55. You've now consumed so much Buffy fanfic as an episode surrogate, you can no
    longer distinguish between the plots you've read and the ones you've watched.
  56. You whittle every stick you encounter at summer camp into little stakes with
    your trusty pocketknife. And your fellow campers are beginning to look
    suspiciously to you like vampires...
  57. You live in a totalitarian foreign country, and instead of hitting American tourists
    up for the usual contraband items such as US currency, Levi's jeans, etc..., you are
    most eager to acquire Buffy taped episodes, t-shirts, and signed photos of the cast.
  58. You constantly try to convince outsiders that "Buffy" is not a bimbo's name!
  59. You strike up conversations about Buffy with total strangers on the city
    busses late at night.
  60. Other people's descriptions of your Buffy interests have slowly progressed
    from "whimsical" to "evangelical" to "maniacal."
  61. You proselytize the word of Buffy to all the friends you have left.
  62. Much of you waking hours are consumed wondering if Master comes back next
    season and if Angel and Buffy will ever get together.
  63. You study each tiny shot in the promo for the season premiere 35 times in hopes
    of determining the content of the entire new season from it.
  64. You lie awake at night wondering how Angel got into the mausoleum without
    getting burned by sunlight.
  65. You worry people by carrying Emily Dickinson around with you, when it's
    not required reading for any class.
  66. You have all the Buffy soundtrack music that is commercially available and
    it still doesn't fill the void.
  67. You have a bat sonar tape in your Walkman, just in case there's any trouble
    with your school's new replacement teacher.
  68. In the heat of passion you mistakenly call your boyfriend or girlfriend "Angel,"
    "Buffy," "Xander," or "Willow" and they are used to it.
  69. You find yourself in church praying for the safety of Brother Luca.
  70. You buy Buffy novels. Hell, you write Buffy novels!
  71. You want to look like Buffy, act like Buffy, even be Buffy (especially
    if you're a guy).
  72. You are keenly aware of how many Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's your town has.
    But you always seem to end up at the graveyard instead.
  73. You're into double digits on how many times you've marathon-watched every
    episode. Your eerie mantra of saying all the lines before the characters do is
    making your family nervous.
  74. While others are counting down the time till the season premiere in days,
    you are currently working in seconds. And you curse the fact that your watch
    can't do any better than that.
  75. You can replicate the gestures and movements of every character from every
    scene, even fight scenes (though you haven't quite got "turning to dust" down yet).
  76. You suggest you and your friends break into a local funeral home. Everyone
    laughs at your joke. Then they notice you're not laughing.
  77. Dialogue from the show begins replacing your own natural dialogue in
    conversation until you're no longer sure where Joss ends and you begin.
  78. You open your refrigerator door very cautiously these days.
  79. You go around routinely speaking of "Sarah," "Nick," "Tony," "Alyson," and
    "David," although you have forgotten the names of your own family members.
Diagnostic Scale:

0-2 Symptoms: Healthy Recreational Viewing
3-5 Symptoms: Unmistakable Early Stages of BAD
6-8 Symptoms: Full-blown BAD (no known cure, treat symptoms with new episodes)
9 or more Symptoms: Terminal BAD (progression: mailing lists-> websites-> madness)

Consulting Physicians: Lisa Rose, Jesse Jou, miss hayse, Ivy Snitzer, Miriam E, Sue,
Chris Castro, Jenn, Lex Ferrauiola, X-Lander, Allison T, Terry, Dan W, Karen, Vesper,
Willow2, Kristin D, Beth, JessMayBe, Terry, Tory, Wagner, Ali, and Amywyn

To share a recently discovered symptom, contact Dr. Jones.

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