Do you ever stare at a burning pile of logs and find yourself unable to stop futzing with it? Do you look at a campfire and immediately see one or more ways you could improve it? Are you the guy or girl sitting closest to the fire, always wearing a pair of beat-up leather gloves, or holding a narrow piece of split log, so you can adjust the infrastructure according to your next whim?
If you answered “yes” to any of these three questions, you may have Obsessive Campfire Adjustment Syndrome, or O.C.A.S. Obsessive Campfire Adjustment Syndrome affects one out of every four camping enthusiasts in their lifetime, which means you have a 25 percent chance of developing symptoms. It also means the next time you go camping in a group of four, three of you will enjoy the campfire, contentedly staring into its embers like cave people, and one of you will not stop messing with the goddamn fire.
- Are you able to just sit and enjoy a campfire for what it is, a source of light and heat in the dark, cold night? If you answered No, you may have O.C.A.S.
- Do you think you, not the wind, can control the direction that campfire smoke blows? If you answered Yes, you may have O.C.A.S.
- Have you ever put a huge log on the fire, then gone to bed five minutes later, leaving someone else with the responsibility of making sure the fire goes out? This is not a symptom, but it is kind of a dick move, and you should probably stop doing it.
Sufferers of OCAS may not show symptoms until their mid-30s or early 40s. People with OCAS may not know they have OCAS. Symptoms may only surface when someone with OCAS is on a date.
If you suspect a friend may have OCAS, it is your responsibility to confront them. Try saying things like, “Dave, why don’t you sit down and stop fucking with the damn fire?”
Talk to your doctor about OCAS today. You’re not alone. Many sufferers of OCAS have gone on to enjoy a lifetime of weekend campfires without so much as even adding wood when the fire is about to go out.
Ask your doctor about which OCAS treatment options are right for you. Stop worrying, and start enjoying campfires today. If you have trouble concentrating, or have an erection lasting four hours or more, that probably has nothing to do with OCAS.
More stories like this in my new book, Bears Don’t Care About Your Problems, out now.