When Pigs Fly, Swine Flu
[Just a quick note, faithful readers. I am considering trying to get these essays published in some newspapers as a regular column. In order to accomplish that, I need to start writing more frequently, but also somewhat shorter (I'm told that the average essay in a newspaper is 750 words). If I actually manage to get some papers to sign on, I may also have to stop posting the essays on the blog, but one thing at a time. --Liam]
Apparently, the pigs are attacking.
All this time, we've been convinced "Islamic Extremists" were the bane of human existence and the source of all terrorism. Remember when we were concerned about WMDs? Remember how WMDs were defined as "nuclear, radiological, chemical or biological" weapons? Biological weapons!
And now, after years of being told that every white powder was anthrax, every cough tuberculosis, every pock mark smallpox, it turns out our real threat was significantly more porcine in nature (and no, here I am NOT thinking about Rush Limbaugh, but thank you for playing). Swine flu has been detected in New York City.
The thing is, we should have seen this coming. Remember that the previous Presidential administration spent some time warning us of an impending pandemic outbreak of the Avian flu. But these were the same people who insisted yellowcake uranium was coming from Niger, and that Saddam Hussein was a major player in the 9/11 attacks, when they started telling us the birds were "death from the skies", we should have realized two things:
- There WAS a major threat from the animal kingdom, and
- It was almost certainly not the birds
The thing is, we even kind of brought this on ourselves. Think about it: Have you ever been laid up with a significant injury and, while healing, been unable to move or engage in any activity more strenuous than personal-region scratching? I'm talking about the sort of injury where reaching for the remote control is too much effort, where the first time you get up to use the rest room, you go through the mental calculus of whether walking to the kitchen to get a bottle is more steps than you'd save by only having to get up for the bathroom every third or fourth time.
So now consider that we're coming up on summer time. This relates, trust me. Any day now, those of us in the colder portions of the country will be breaking out our barbecue grills for the first time. Those in more tropical climates (what I like to refer to as "the armpit states") have probably been at this for some time now. Think for a second, what's the first thing you think of when I say the word "barbecue"?
Imagine just how much painful recuperation you'd have to endure if someone stole your ribs. You'd be pretty ticked off, right? Now imagine you don't even have thumbs, so you can't use the remote control, which is fine, because you don't even have a television. All you have is a nice mud puddle, and you can't even roll around in that, because you would damage your internal organs because you have no ribs! I guarantee you'd devote all of your spare time to thinking up ways to get even with those responsible for your predicament.
And so the pigs have come up with this swine flu. It's the perfect weapon. Forget building your house out of straw or sticks or even bricks, a house of swine flu would take out the wolf entirely, the only drawback being that it would also take out everyone who lived therein, but I think we can all agree that's a small price to pay (about $3.49/lb).
Of course now you're asking yourself "How exactly does this affect me?" Experts are beginning to suggest cutting down on unnecessary air travel, because, so they claim, this is how these diseases spread, but I think that's crazy. When was the last time you saw a pig on an airliner? Well, OK, a few of those CEOs in first class, maybe, but I mean back in the "veal pen" seats that you and everyone you've ever known fly in?
The first thing I suggest is that the parents of small children stop playing "this little piggy" with them. Next, if you must watch the muppets, stick with old episodes of Sesame Street, which was 100% Miss Piggy free. And by all means, avoid pigs in blankets, it's summer time, the only reason they'd need blankets is if they've got the flu!
Also, clearly you need to start avoiding the places that pigs frequent. Donut shops for instance (rim shot). Avoid farms. Cancel the family's vacation plans to visit the slaughterhouse. If Rosie O'Donnell gets another show, don't try to get tickets. Replace any American made motorcycles with foreign brands(*).
And for heaven's sake, stop eating the ribs. They won't make you sick, but they've gotten so darn expensive, and I hope to drive the price down to the point that I can afford them again.
(*For those that don't get this one, there's a certain American made brand of motor cycle which is referred to by enthusiasts as a "hog". Yeah, humor is always so much better when you feel the need to explain it.)
Copyright © April 26, 2009 by Liam Johnson. http://liam-humor.blogspot.com