Salute and Surrender

It’s Surrender Your Say day today, which means that if you don’t have Tourettes but you do have Twitter, it’s your chance to experience one aspect of the most frequently misunderstood syndrome on the planet. When you sign and surrender here, a neat little app sends real tics at random times throughout the day from your account. I’m proud to say, the collection of tics the app chooses from includes some of mine.

A few years ago Leftwing Idiot described me as a crazy language-generating machine. Since then I’ve carefully collected my unexpected utterances and this week I’ve hit the 5,500 mark. If you’ve got the time, you can read through them all here.

Sometimes my tics come flying out in a great flurry and it takes a dedicated and alert team to catch them and write them down in the book I carry with me at all times specially for that purpose. Occasionally they pop out during a ‘ticcing fit’ which means whoever’s supporting me has to balance keeping me safe against frantically scribbling them down.

The reason why it’s urgent is simple – once a tic’s gone, it’s gone forever! What’s more, if I ever stop myself mid-tic I never know how it was going to finish, and it makes it feel as if the machine’s broken down. It’s all very intriguing and mystifying.

So as we hit the 5,500 tic mark on the site, and as you hopefully Surrender Your Say, I want to dedicate this post to all you tics that didn’t make it ¬– to all you that came out too fast to catch, weren’t written down in time or got cut off half way though, I salute you and wonder where you’ve gone.

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