After years of grueling research and over-the-shoulder peeping, scientists have released new data confirming that that bearded guy in the flannel, intently scribbling unintelligible poetry in his notebook with a pocketknife-sharpened pencil on the subway, has a 100% percent chance of being a complete d-bag.

“But he’s not wearing a popped polo, and I smell no Axe cologne. In fact, he smells earthy, like he’s recently rolled around in an old barn that had old-fashioned bulb lights strung between the rafters,” said scientists when they first observed the specimen. It was unlike any strain of douchebag they’d ever encountered since the disease was discovered in 1997. Coincidentally, this was the same year the Backstreet Boys released their hit album “Backstreet’s Back.”

Optimistically thinking douchebag syndrome was dying out, or that all the known douchebags had simply fled to Cabo for an eternal spring break, doctors were shocked and disappointed to see the virus rear its ugly head in a new form. The medical community has noted that the first cases of this new affliction started cropping up around the same time coffee shops began supplying dairy free milks and the amount hair ties purchased by men skyrocketed. Doctors cannot confirm the significance of these correlations at this time, but they suspect they’re not purely coincidental.

“Fortunately they often self-quarantine in Brooklyn and overpriced thrift stores, but they take the subway to get there, even though theoretically they can all afford Ubers.”

“Douchebaggery begets douchebaggery,” commented Doctor Isabel Jenkins, quoting Hippocrates.

An expert on the disorder, Dr. Jenkins flips through her many case studies, each featuring a Polaroid photo of the patient in a deciduous forest with a thermos of coffee pretending not to know they’re getting their photo taken and a handwritten letter detailing how their feelings are akin to those of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“There’s a clear reciprocal relationship between the amount of Moleskin purchases in independent bookstores and the amount of d-bags I see on my morning commute,” she discloses. “It’s a chicken or the egg situation, and in this case, both the chicken and the eggs are total douchebags.”

Dr. Jenkins has long noted the dangers of allowing these infected individuals to walk among us. “Fortunately they often self-quarantine in Brooklyn and overpriced thrift stores, but they take the subway to get there, even though theoretically they can all afford Ubers.”

Not only has Dr. Jenkins dedicated her life to finding a cure for this particular strain of douchebaggery, she’s been personally affected by the affliction. “Every time I hit a brick wall with my research, I think about my brother, who changed his name from Mike to Atticus, and how he suffers every day, forced to dig through piles of our dad’s old clothes until he finds the perfect flannel vest and whittle every small piece of wood he finds into a homemade parchment-weight, and I carry on,” she confesses.

Since the illness’s discovery, friends and family members of the ailing have come forward to talk about their experiences.  “He’s spent so much money on mugs,” Mary Peterson says of her son, formerly known as Ben but now answers to Salinger, “so much fucking money.”

Beth Shaw, sister of a confirmed douchebag, says of her experience, “I’m up to my tits in mustache hair! They’re everywhere! They’re going bury this fucking family.”

The sound of a banjo, lightly plucking away while a baritone mutters nonsense into his impractical beard, has become the soundtrack of their lives, and they can no longer take it.

“Someone find a cure,” begs Mrs. Peterson, “Destroy all our old family albums so he can stop stealing yellowed photographs, putting them in his wallet, showing them to people, and telling them that his grandfather was his hero because he lived in the moment.  Do whatever you have to!”

Mr. Peterson adds, reflecting on his son’s behavior, “He told me he was a bisexual. I don’t know.  Hey, who took my flannel vest?”

It’s unclear at this time whether the affliction is contagious or if certain white males are simply genetically prone to being humongous douches. Either way, environment plays a key part in the development of the disorder. Proximity to whimsical campfires and the consumption of kombucha appear to have a negative effect on the individual, along with carrying old paperback copies Henry David Thoreau books in your back pocket and talking about emulating Jack Kerouac.

In an interview with patient Davve (with two v’s, a self-proclaimed feminist choice on his part) he stated, “Vinyl just has so much more texture, you know?”

“I don’t. Please move, I would like to change subway cars,” replied women everywhere.