Please Help Those Amongst the County Faithful Affected by OBIS

Firstly, let’s deal with the question I posed last time - name the 7 items that a referee always takes with him onto the pitch every game. The answer is - whistle, cards, notebook, pencil, coin, watch & of course, the ball.

Your question this time is - how many advantages of being bald can you name? By way of a guide, you should be able to name at least 6. 

You’ll be pleased to learn that I’m going to give you a break from telling you about my adventures when I was the Away Match Travel Organiser (AMTO) for the Hyde & District Branch of HISC. Instead I’m asking for your support in helping County Supporters who are affected by a condition called “Oblivious to Being Indoors Syndrome” (OBIS).  

OBIS is basically what it says on the tin, i.e. a disorder whereby a person is apparently completely unaware that they are in fact indoors. In this article, I’ll cover how to spot OBIS, how you can help the afflicted & what the latest research into this appalling syndrome reveals. 

Spotting OBIS is relatively easy. Typically, the sufferer will be wearing items of clothing indoors that are intended to be worn outside. The most common examples are people wearing sunglasses or hats (including hoods), but in some cases, you may also see victims wearing scarves or even coats. Also, look out for “designer labels”, as those with a taste for them are considered at high risk of being affected by OBIS.

In really extreme cases, you may see a sufferer wearing a combination of inappropriate items indoors. In a particularly gruesome instance, I once saw someone wearing a hat, sunglasses & a scarf indoors (note - no coat).   

Helping the afflicted is also quite easy, in that you merely need to point out to the person in question that they are indoors. Most victims tend to be in denial, so be prepared for various excuses including fashion & other bizarre made up reasons.

Care must be taken though. Whilst many sufferers will thank you, in some cases the revelation can be such a shock, that they become abusive. In extreme cases, the reaction can be physical violence, so as I say, be careful.

In my view, these people deserve our pity & support, so personally, I’m always prepared to take the risk of pointing out to a victim of OBIS that they are indoors. I think you’ll find that once you’ve helped one person, you’ll feel good & want to help more.

So, what of ongoing research into OBIS I hear you ask. Well, the recognised global authority on all syndromes of obliviousness, including being oblivious to being indoors, is the renowned Indian Professor of Oblivion, Saraswati In’Door.

Given the subject matter of this article, I realise that the name appears ironic to say the least, but bear in mind that the literal translation of Saraswati is “Goddess of Wisdom”, so she must know her stuff. Some refer to OBIS as In’Door’s Oblivious to Being Indoors Syndrome, but I think that’s just silly. 

Professor In’Door’s research covers all sorts of obliviousness, including things like:

·      OMWS - Oblivious to the Meaning of the Word Supporter (the afflicted typically follow a sports team only on television, yet refer to themselves as “supporters” rather than “followers” & mistakenly use words like “we” & “us” instead of “them”)

·      ONRT - Oblivious to the Nature of Reality TV (those affected have the mistaken belief that reality TV, including examples such as The X Factor & Strictly Come Dancing, are real & not contrived nonsense)

·      OVIS - Oblivious to the Value of Involving Supporters (sufferers struggle to see the merits of fully involving supporters as genuine partners in running a football club)  

However, regarding OBIS, Professor In’Door was the first to discover that sometimes, small numbers of those affected group themselves together, both in order to reinforce their misplaced belief that they are not indoors & also to discourage people trying to help them. Based on my own experiences, I would certainly encourage you to approach individual victims first, before moving onto groups.

As for the future, according to Professor In’Door, the next most likely development in OBIS is that we will start to see cases of wearing gloves indoors. In’Door goes on to speculate that if challenged, sufferers will most probably say that hygiene is the main reason, but of course we know better, the reason is OBIS.

In’Door also encourages those wishing to help the afflicted not to be deterred if people react negatively to being reminded that they are indoors, stating that it may take many attempts over a period of time before the afflicted are finally cured.      

In summary, I believe that if we all work together, we can wipe out OBIS amongst the County faithful. Please, if you see a victim, calmly & politely remind them that they are indoors. I promise you that in the long run, they will thank you.
Let it be known that these views are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the collective views of Help the Hatters.


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