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Ask the Outlaw Skeptic

Online Extra

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 33.6, November / December 2009

Dear Outlaw,

After suffering a sharp pain behind my eyeballs, I visited my doctor, who immediately diagnosed the problem. His treatment was to get plenty of rest and apply Head-On to my forehead twice a day. What is a “skeptoid” anyway?

—Forgot to Ask My Doctor

Dear Forgot,

A skeptoid is a mild but sometimes painful protuberance on the brain. Although a specific cause has remained elusive, some scientists theorize that it’s triggered by a “skeptical strain in the brain.” In other words, overindulging in skepticism. Currently, there’s no real cure except for time, although some researchers are tirelessly testing a promising new product, tentatively referred to as “Preparation S.” I suggest you follow your doctor’s advice (think of the Head-On as a placebo), lay off any heavy, irritating doses of skepticism for a while, and avoid tight headgear.