PAT NEAL: Cabin fever cure, the alternative


THE cabin-fever season has officially attacked the North Olympic Peninsula in a vise-like grip that shows no sign of weakening in the foreseeable future.

If you don’t know what cabin fever is, you are a truly rare creature with abundant social interactions, financial blessings and hidden reserves of intestinal fortitude that have somehow allowed you to transcend the debilitating effects of this grievous malady to which the rest of us are subjected.

You are probably a more highly evolved superior being who has no notion why the rest of us can’t seem to get out of bed on a winter morning to face another interminable day of cold and wet and wind with no hint of spring in sight.

You probably think cabin fever sufferers are malingering good-for-nothings who are incapable of pulling their own weight and lessen the suffering of others for the good of society and the welfare of their fellow man as a whole.

You are perhaps smugly unaware that there but for the grace of God, you could be suffering from the interminable, lingering effects of Cabin Fever Syndrome with nothing but a cup of hot cocoa with which to treat the condition.

Or maybe you think cabin fever is nothing more than an excuse to sit in front of some electronic device as the hours of your day and the days of your life circle down a drain into the bottomless pit of wasted time.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Cabin Fever Syndrome is a common chronic, polyphobic seasonal disorder that can reduce an otherwise healthy individual to a zombie-like couch tuber whose motor skills have dwindled to twitching the remote control and opening yet another tub of chocolate ice cream.

Fortunately, the miracle of modern science has identified a number of risk factors that can go a long way in predicting the severity of the cabin-fever outbreak among a random population of potential victims.

Cabin fever sufferers often complain of flu-like symptoms despite having gotten a flu shot, a condition that only reinforces the victim mentality of the victim.

The most virulent form of cabin fever often appears the day after the Super Bowl, when the victim must confront the sober realization that they bet on the wrong team.

Research also has indicated that the Cabin Fever Syndrome can be precipitated by the arrival of the annual tax statements from the Internal Revenue Service that confirm our feelings of self-worth as an anonymous cog in a Byzantine machine that enriches the corrupt, self-serving politicians that we seem to elect year after year without fail.

This terrifying trifecta of tragedy and turmoil is enough to make anybody call in sick and go back to bed.

My own research into this curious condition confirms a coincidence of congenital characteristics contravening conventional clinical concerns of a catatonic convalescence.

Simply telling a comatose Cabin Fever Syndrome sufferer that they must buck up and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps is often futile since the typical mental confusion of the victim makes it impossible for them to find their boots to begin with.

Knowing you have cabin fever is the first step in finding a cure.

Armed with this knowledge, I set out to heal myself of this disease to serve as a shining beacon to humanity.

To that end, I went fishing with leaky boots.

After just an hour of this treatment, I was anxious to return to the cabin and soak my feet in hot water, and you know what?

I didn’t have cabin fever anymore.


Pat Neal is a fishing guide and “wilderness gossip columnist” whose column appears here every Wednesday.

He can be reached at 360-683-9867 or by email via patneal [email protected].

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