Cowell's Field Guide to Common Occurrences
Section III: Negatives
Chapter 2: Troubles
Troubles are the largest and most varied sub-category of negative occurrences. Many occurrenceologists consider these to be environmentally and socially dangerous, in the same category as retributions, snap judgments, and locusts. Troubles are primarily parasitic although larger ones can be carnivores.
The life span of Troubles roughly parallels the life span of humans.
Infant Troubles are milder and somewhat limited to hunger, colic, poop-related rashes, or clumsy parents but all these varieties can often be mitigated through modern Trouble control techniques. Evidence suggests that frustration, the first of the more dangerous Troubles begins to appear with the advent hand-eye coordination.
Adolescent Troubles are mostly genital related. Occurenceologists believe that most of these varieties constitute the first major evolutionary offshoots from frustration.
The period from 20 to 60 constitutes a virtual explosion of diversity in Troubles making them one of the largest Occurrence groups on the planet. With the maturing of the Information Age including live cell phone coverage, Utube, and Agenda-based news organizations, Troubles are now reproducing at a pandemic rate. Recently, occurenceologists are theorizing that Imagined Troubles and Real Troubles may cross-breed.
Gerontological Troubles, however, seem to diminish and become somewhat limited to rigidity, forgetfulness, colic, and poop-related rashes.
Although there is no evidence of seasonal migration, Troubles have been discovered everywhere from the poles to the equator. While control studies have not been completed, there is initial research indicated that Troubles inhabiting hot and humid climates tend to be more direct and more violent while Troubles in frigid environments tend to be of a more nagging and withholding nature.
Despite the wide variety of Troubles, almost all of them derive sustenance from very similar resources. They all thrive on fear, paranoia, hypochondria, anticipatory pain, and real or imagined loss of control. However, if these things are not present, a minority research group is working on the theory that Troubles can survive for a limited time on pizza.
While Troubles all feed on the same things, their methods of acquiring this food are vastly different. Some hunt and attack openly. Other, more patient Troubles, plant seeds (fear, for instance) and harvest it when it has multiplied. Some Troubles, usually smaller ones, are scavengers, moving in to pick at those already weakened. A classic study of this feeding strategy was documented in the New England Journal of Occurenceology, "Increased Frequency of Small Appliance Breakdowns After Divorce or Job Loss," Boston, MA; 2009.
Trouble Prevention and Recovery
Although most people, scientists and laymen (laypeople) alike believe that Troubles, like cockroaches are capable of surviving atomic annihilation, there are some strategies being developed to help individual ameliorate susceptibility.
Troubles, like all other forms of Occurence, tend to focus on easier prey first. Although not exempt from Troubles, there appears to be less damage done to people who have more faith, more happiness, and greater concern for others. Other preventative factors include active lifestyles, low body mass, and lack of access to the Internet and cable TV. Counter-intuitively, there is an inverse relationship between intelligence and the frequency, intensity, and duration of Trouble events.
Finally, Troubles seem to gang up on people who are not paying attention. Maintaining a level-headed awareness of the horizon has been shown to help people avoid areas that are heavily infested with Troubles while idle dreamers with their head in the clouds and people shuffling along staring morosely at the ground are more likely wander into giant nests of Troubles, not realizing it until it is too late.