“Eau de Evacuee,” “Susceptible,” “My Floral Anxiety” – what the hell was the name of the parfum that prompted a level red threat response from some 34 Bank of America employees who had to be treated at local hospitals for chest pains and shortness of breath? Originally, just two people complained of dizziness from a nearby co-worker’s perfume. After a building-wide PA announcement instructed that anyone else who felt ill symptoms should seek treatment, dozens of others from different floors scrambled for medical attention.

As a sufferer of occasional panic attacks throughout my adult lifetime, let me say – I’m freakin’ surprised Fort Worth’s fine EMTs didn’t have hundreds of gasping, clinging charges on their hands. Freefloating anxiety can spread like California wildfires with less provocation than a mild announcement from an office speaker. I suspect the demographics of the treated group included employees who were A) truly freaked-out by psychosomatic symptoms abruptly suggested to them; B) conditioned by middle school fire drills to seize the chance for some summer air; and C) already panicked at the thought of falling home prices, dim prospects for future employment, the obesity epidemic, the congressional health care impasse, Madonna’s scary skeletal arms, the refusal of Lance Armstrong to go the fuck away, and on and…