“I once felt a little fruity, but it turns out it was just gas.”
Carmen Miranda Syndrome (Latin: Chiquita Banania) is the name of a serious illness infecting large segments of the Latin American female population. It is a head disorder, strongly related to cancer heavily correlated with schizophrenia and the production of loud shrieking noises in vaguely Spanish intonations.
There is no known cure, but treatment options are available, most effective among them euthenasia.
Carmen Miranda Syndrome is the name of a particularly virulent strain of brain cancer which is responsible for bulbous, fruit-like growths in the head. To hide this disfigured growth, sufferers often dress themselves up in ridiculous head-pieces constructed from feathers of endangered birds, succulent fruits, rare flowers and shiny pieces of metal.
In order to cover the soul-crushing depression related to the fatal illness, many sufferers dress in skimpy bikinis, learn to dance in a lascivious manner, and start calling people by names like "Chico" and "Paco". Though these habits are annoying, one must be nice to victims of the disease, because face it, you look pretty silly too. I'm barely able to contain my laughter even now.
Finding a Cure
Top cognitive neuroscientists are currently hard at work discovering a cure for this debilitating and strangely delicious form of cancer. Current treatment options include amputation, chemotherapy and ignoring it.
Amputation is considered risky because of the close proximity to the brain, though it's said the lobotomized are indistinguishable from long-time sufferers as both prefer to shimmy around with strange things on their head. Nevertheless, amputation is still a valid option for many.
Chemotherapy is another possible treatment option, but many sufferers are wary of this path because it imperils the large fruit-basket they have pain-steakingly prepared.
Ignoring it is becoming an increasingly popular option. The afflicted can, with the proper attire, get jobs hawking bananas, sleazy downtown clubs, and working on low-brow gameshows. It's possible to live an almost normal life, even with Carmen Miranda Syndrome, at least until the chronic convulsions hit.
Degrees of Severity
In the medical lexicon there exist many specific designations of Carmen Miranda Syndrome, based on the severity of the affliction. They are as follows:
The so-called Silly Hat stage is a relatively minor growth on the head that can be covered by a regular, store-bought headpiece labelled with your favorite sports team or NASCAR driver's emblem. Purchasing such a hat may seem strange to normal people, but when you are afflicted with a cancerous growth in your head, lack of sense when it comes to head-care is often the first thing to go. After that, childhood memories.
At this point most vicitims are in denial about the severity of the issue and think that by merely ignoring it, the problem will "go away." This is false: their deaths are imminent.
By this stage the outward appearance will be sufficiently funny/unfunny to let even total strangers know of the severity of the disease. It's not uncommon for sufferers in such a late stage to wear yarmalukes, beer hats, or even hats with umbrellas attached when it's not even raining. If you see this happening, the worst thing you could do is attempt to correct the poor soul by informing him or her of their error. They will respond only with hostility. It's best to just let them be and laugh at them from afar, like we do with all social outcasts. Like the poor.
'Flamboyant Cranial Attire'
By this stage severe reactions are common and death is almost assured. It's not uncommon to see a hodge-podge of ridiculously colored flowers and feathers, somewhat akin to what a Native American headress would look like if it were constructed from the vivisected carcass of a chicken and given to a 4 year old to decorate for easter with a bag of feathers, a staple gun, a smattering of paint, and a fruit basket.
Despite the obvious compulsion, it's important not to stare. But don't look away either, that's just as rude.
'Full Blown Carmen Miranda Syndrome'
At this stage, the decorative conflagration on the head will have reached a point too-severe to treat with modern medicine. The victim will wander around in a daze, burdened by the immense weight, delirious, yet strangely festive looking and potentially appetizing. Death awaits them in a few short hours or, at most, days.
Despite the fact that cruel and imminent death is soon to come, at least they'll go out in style. And that's more than you can say for most people.