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'Mouth-in-Mouth' Disease Decimates House, Senate
October 31, 2014
WASHINGTON DC--The mysterious disorder that has afflicted more than a dozen members of the U.S. Senate has recently spread to the House of Representatives where 42 new cases were reported during the past two weeks. Known as 'Mouth-in-Mouth,' the disease interferes with the ability to speak, alternately causing "unwanted" speech and preventing victims from speaking at all. "This is killing our effectiveness," notes House Appropriations Committee Staff Counsel Judy Ale. "Governing is a verbal process. When Members can't speak, the work of governing doesn't get done."
Mouth-in-Mouth, formally known as Uvular Alter-Mandibular Tourette-Variant Disorder ("UAT"), causes a secondary, toothless "mouth" to form in the back of mouth, around the posterior border of the soft palate. Through interaction with both involuntary and speech centers of the brain, this second mouth causes sometimes explosive and inappropriate speech. Dr. Jules Nobe of Johns Hopkins Medical Center explains: "The UAT 'mouth,' though not, anatomically, a true mouth, develops neuro-muscular structures of surprising complexity, complex enough to, in effect, speak."
Control of the UAT mouth, however, remains entirely involuntary. Dr. Nobe continues: "The peculiar thing about the unwanted speech associated with Mouth-in-Mouth is how sensitive it is to the conscious, 'sub-conscious,' and 'unconscious' sentiments of the victim. Most other forms of unwanted speech are context insensitive, but UAT speech appears to articulate thoughts that victims intend to keep secret. And UAT seems particularly sensitive to prevarication. When UAT sufferers try to fib, even just to exaggerate, the UAT mouth intervenes and causes them, instead, to speak the 'truth.'"
Though little is yet known about the causes of Mouth-in-Mouth, researchers speculate that it is caused by a 'Distributed Emergent Viral Entity' ("DEVE"), a class of mutagenic viruses responsible for coordinated physiological and behavioral symptoms. "DEVEs are a perplexing new development," explains CDC Epidemiologist Harriet Suit. "They affect complex, higher-order behaviors in such a sophisticated and seemingly guided way that we suspect that they possess some sort of collective intelligence. Looking at Mouth-in-Mouth, for instance, we keep asking ourselves why it is only striking members of Congress. Is it just that we can’t figure out the infecting vector, or is there something else going on?"
Reacting to the spreading infection, some Members of the House have proposed draconian containment measures. The House Rules Committee is currently considering a measure requiring the destruction of all affected Members and of all unaffected Members serving on sub-committees with affected Members. The measures call for immediate incineration of Congressional carcasses. "We’ve got to take serious steps to contain Mouth-in-Mouth," exclaims Rep. Brian Dolte (R-Nebraska). "We’ve got to cut out the infection before it spreads and topples the whole government."
At least one afflicted Senator, however, is looking on the bright side: "I’ve noticed at least some special benefits," explains ranking Senate Republican Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). "Little 'o', that's what I call my other mouth, sings pretty good harmony with my regular mouth, which is great for my music career. You should hear us do Amazing Grace. He doesn’t always sing the right words, but he sounds great."
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