WASHINGTON, APRIL 20 – The Food and Drug Administration today announced approval of a new wonder drug designed to rid the world of one of its oldest and most destructive ailments: jimmy legs.
An FDA spokeswoman, Minnie Maroon, said that 90 percent of humans at one time or another will suffer from jimmy legs, the involuntary spasms that occur – usually while victims are sleeping – and result in painful kicking and flailing about.
Ms. Maroon said the cure for jimmy legs will be known by its commercial name – Prune Twang. The giant Italian drug firm, Bigga Bux, based in Milano, developed it. The company devoted 14 years to the research that finally resulted in Prune Twang.
While not revealing the exact ingredients of Prune Twang, the Bigga Bux company said the main component will be extracts of prunes. The FDA said that up to now prunes and prune juice have been primarily known for promoting intestinal regularity in persons of all ages, but mostly old folks. Prunes have also served as cheap joke material for third-rate comedians, who are as numerous as prunes.
The Bigga Bux research was able to isolate prune ingredients whose molecular construction is able to interact with the major muscles of the legs, causing them to resist the spasmodic impulses caused by jimmy leg syndrome.
Asked to explain the above sentence, the FDA spokeswoman said, “We can’t. Even the Bigga Bux scientists don’t really know what they’re talking about. All they know is that Prune Twang works.”
Which, unfortunately, is also what will make Prune Twang so expensive. When production of the wonder drug begins next month, a six-ounce bottle of the Prune Twang formula will cost $200.
A Bigga Bux executive said, “We recognize that this will make Prune Twang unaffordable for persons of limited income, i.e., the unwashed masses. But history has shown that these folks are good at enduring hardship and will therefore probably be able to bear up against jimmy legs in the years ahead.”
The announcement of Prune Twang by the FDA caused an immediate crash in the stock market prices for companies that manufacture single-width beds. For eons, one of the few remedies for jimmy legs has been for the sufferer to leave his or her bedmate and move to another bed, usually of single width. Such moves will no longer be needed for persons who use Prune Twang.
Dr. Emily Flicker, Ph.D., a renowned marriage counselor at Slippery Rock University in Austin, Pa., predicted that the arrival of Prune Twang will almost surely reduce the number of broken marriages and failed romances in America.
Dr. Flicker said, “I have seen thousands of otherwise contented couples say farewell to each other because of the curse of jimmy legs. I would rank jimmy legs far above alcoholism as a danger to successful relationships.”
One of the best-known cases of jimmy legs was that of Cosmo Kramer, a character on the Seinfeld TV series. Although normally successful at attracting female bedmates, Kramer gave short shrift to any woman who experienced jimmy legs in bed while sleeping with him.
Historians have found references to jimmy legs in documents dating back to 6254 B.C. An early version of the Adam and Eve legend portrays God as casting a parting curse on them, saying “And thy nightly rests shall be punctuated with quaking calves and quivering hamstrings.”
Although the Great Chicago fire of 1871 is believed by most experts to have resulted from Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicking over a lantern, other historians have found evidence that the fire started when Patrick O’Leary’s jimmy legs catapulted his wife out of bed, knocking over a burning candle.
Several historians have theorized that one of the causes of World War II was the jimmy legs of Hitler’s mistress, Eva Braun. Medical reports unearthed in the 1940s have revealed that Fraulein Braun’s twitching and turning each night deprived Der Fuehrer of sexual satisfaction as well as a good night’s sleep. In anger and frustration, Hitler arose and went to his desk, where he plotted Germany’s next aggression. This theory has never been proven, of course.
The FDA described several possible side effects of Prune Twang:
• Auditory hallucinations, notably the sound of Billy Joel singing “You May Be Right, I May Be Crazy.”
• A fierce desire to eat large quantities of vegetable lasagna.
• A compulsion to recite Swahili translations of the poetry of Carl Sandburg.
• Disturbing visions in which the Prune Twang user sees Eleanor Roosevelt making love to the writer Truman Capote.
Bob Driver is a former columnist and editorial page editor for the Clearwater Sun. His email address is email@example.com.