Recently, I was notified of a brand-new addition to the already impressive roster of several thousand SCA-oriented mailing lists. This one, "Exceptional_Scadians", is intended "for scadians with ADD/ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, PTSD, Dissociation, and other personality/emotional disorders", which pretty much covers just about everybody in the SCA.
(I mean, any mental health professional observing Royal Court would only have to take one look at the entire populace shifting in their seats as yet another piece of "schtick" drags on, and we'd all be diagnosed with ADD. Mmmm... Ritalin...)
I must admit, I wasn't really certain what Asperger's Syndrome was, but a quick look online revealed that people who have it "show marked deficiencies in social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer sameness. They often have obsessive routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. They have a great deal of difficulty reading nonverbal cues (body language) and very often the individual with AS has difficulty determining proper body space." So I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to the entire College of Heralds, and to express my hopes that their condition may one day be eradicated.
Mental illness, of course, is not a joking matter, and it is a testament to the tolerance and open-mindedness of our Society that we do not prohibit the mentally ill from participating; indeed, the SCA is so socially progressive that mental illness isn't even a hindrance to becoming a Peer.
Nevertheless, it's a good thing that there's a mailing list about the subject. SCA mailing lists are a wonderful invention! Apart from the obvious ability to participate in conversations concerning only those things which hold your interest, there are a number of additional benefits over real-world conversations.
For example, if a topic comes up that doesn't interest you, you can simply skip over it, rather than feigning interest. If someone's telling a long, boring, story with hundreds of unnecessary details, you can simply jump to the end of the message to find out what the actual point was.
If you know somebody never contributes anything except links to the new Web sites he found while surfing, you can simply add him to your "bozo filter", and never be troubled by him again.
If your ego hasn't been boosted in a while, you can always jump on a mailing list and post dejectedly about how you're such a horrible, worthless person, and then sit back and watch everyone fall over themselves to tell you how wonderful you are. (If you're not all that wonderful, you'd better have a few awards under your belt; "flattery fishing" works best if you've got enough awards to attract a few sycophants.)
And, of course, a mailing list works a lot better than most people's memories. Many of them even have a "search" function, so if someone says something that you know contradicts something they said earlier, it's easy to go back and find it. This probably isn't a good thing if you're a pathological liar — but if you are, take heart! That sort of thing falls under "personality/emotional disorders", so there's now an SCA mailing list you can join.