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Saturday, October 22, 2011



Around the time I was five years old, I started this neck twitchy thing.  I had to HAD TO tighten my neck muscles till my head shook like a vibrator was attached.  In addition, I had to HAD TO make a huffing noise in my throat.  My brothers and even my father when they saw this would tell me “STOP THAT!”
It was embarrassing to say the least.  For some reason I did not always have to do these things, I think it was usually when I was home and my brain was half turned off watching TV.

As I grew older the need NEED to twitch diminished and I was able to disguise and or delay the twitch so that people did not notice.  Well I didn’t think they noticed.  It turns out most people are polite enough to not ask you, “Why the fuck are you twitching?”

Years later I learned of this thing called Tourette’s.  Unfortunately all you heard of this syndrome was the very rare symptom of a person’s uncontrollable need to curse out loud.  This stereotype made admitting to having Tourette’s difficult.  FUCK.  It was, however, comforting to realize that the uncontrollable need to twitch had a name.  It was a syndrome suffered by many.  It was not Joe Hagy being a fucked up dude!  Well not because of the twitchy thing anyway.

Today, the stigma of Tourette’s is changing.  People realize it is not just the uncontrollable SHIT PISS cursing stuff.  Much of the credit for this change in how people look at Tourette’s goes to Tim Howard, the American World Cup soccer goalie.  Years ago, Tim went on “60 Minutes” and spoke candidly about this affliction which apparently we share.

Thank you Little Timmy Howard!  I call him Little Timmy because years ago in North Brunswick, New Jersey, Tim’s older brother played Little League Baseball with my son, Matt.  From time to time Little Timmy would hang with me at games and I would buy him a hot dog or ice cream.  He was about ten, and a really great kid.  I never would have guessed he had Tourette’s.  At ten he was adept at hiding it. 
Thanks to Little Timmy, I can discuss this strange twitchy affliction.  I even use it as an excuse.  If I forget to do something, or do anything weird, I just say, “It’s the Tourette’s.” 

At last something positive out of this twitchy condition.  I have an excuse for almost anything.  I get to join that growing herd of American’s that are not responsible for doing dumb shit because they (we) are victims! SHIT PISS FUCK.

Well I try to use the victim defense.  Mrs. Cranky doesn’t buy it.



  1. Like OCD there are elements of tourettes that we do all joke about. I know I've been guilty of it.

    I can only imagine that the reality can be incredibly frustrating and exhausting as well as embarrassing at times.

    Your post is humourous and you made me laugh but I also think it took some guts to talk about something that mostly you have tried to hide.

  2. I think Mrs C is a very wise woman!

    You guys'll try anything.

    Thank you for making me smile amid my chaos of packing.

    Lou xxx

  3. I've had students with Tourettes...some more successfully able to 'hide' it than others. Enjoyed your post! new follower from Thinking in My Head award...

  4. Yea, mamawolfe! :-)

    Thank you Joe for sharing this with us. The more people are able to talk about these things, the more people will understand it.

    It's so hard for kids to be different in any way. Adults too...

  5. Hi Joe,
    I had a friend in college who lived on my floor in the dorm who had Tourette's as well. Like you, just the throat clearing and mild twitching.
    Nice guy who was very smart and also coincidentally had perfect pitch and played multiple instruments.
    My friends and I never gave his twitches a second thought.

  6. Thanks, that was well done.

  7. Hello Joe,

    Susie (above) left a link to this post on my blog as my son started developing major tics about a year and a half ago and was diagnosed fairly quickly. He is ten now and has dealt with it better than I think I ever would have done. He has mild Aspergers which helps him see things logically rather than emotionally which helps sometimes. I loved reading this post and will be following you avidly.....

    My post about my son when I first told my followers is here if you fancy a quick perusal:

    PS - I have some cheap viagra in an old brown paper bag if you're interested.