Mad cow disease. Bird flu. Swine flu. What’s next? Hamster Hemorrhage? Pony Psoriasis? Panda Cerebral Palsy? Crocodile cough? Adder AIDS? King Crab Cancer? Penguin Prostates? NO! It’s Cave Bear Bronchitis!
And guess what, I’m the first person in the world to survive it! I’m also the first person in the world who’ve had it. And I’m probably the only one who ever will, ’cause cave bears have been extinct a few thousand years at least. But it’s all good, I got a little antibiotics, and I feel a lot better now. Lady C, however, is completely exhausted after a vacation with me in bed. Hehehe.
Seriously though the swine flu is upon us and spreads like a swarm of locusts. What I don’t get is the hysteria. I had the same attitude towards the bird flu. I mean, come on, how often have you seen a bird sneeze? Ever? Now you may say something like "SIGG3! PEOPLE ARE DYING!" but then I’ll probably be all like "Oh yeah? From what, exactly?" And you will look like a moron. ‘Cause as far as we know nobody, not a single person, has been killed by the flu(!) who were not otherwise affected by another disease(!) or in a severely disadvantaged situation. While ’tis no news that the more unfortunate you are the more trouble around the bend you’re gonna see, the previous pandemics didn’t bother much with the formalities of fortune. It killed high and low, regardless of wealth and tacos.
There are a few interesting observations to be made here though.
Apart from the two year old Mexican in Texas who tragically died this morning, the worst affected were young and healthy individuals. Like you and me. I feel I need a cigarette just thinking about it. It seems so unfair. Usually a flu epidemic will wipe out the youngest and eldest, but who cares, they’re not exactly important right? I mean, the young’uns just got here and don’t have any real rights in most countries across the world, and the old ones were just about to leave anyway. So they’re sort of okay with it. Let them go. But you and me? We’re the peak of human kind right now! What’s the world gonna look like if we suddenly disappeared, our whole generation?!
Well. Like Central Africa, come to think of it..
So EVERYONE in Mexico are not-walking around with face masks, the US is manufacturing face masks for what they’re worth, while the rest of the world is like "Dude, what the heck do you think you are doing?" Again, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that face masks reduces the risk of getting a flu. On the contrary there is plenty of reasons why it actually increases the risk, since anyone who already are infected using a mask will be touching his or her face more than usual, and spread the disease by physical contact. Follow the money trail and I bet you there are some rich entrepreneurs in the face mask business who’s got some serious political influence through the backdoor.. I suspect Michael Jackson.
So they are making money while the restaurants are losing by the minute. The sales of swine, bacon and chopsticks have dropped significantly too, and Egypt has announced that they will kill every living pig in the country. Which is always a sad thing to see, especially since the country’s mostly Muslim and do not want the bacon in the first place. The pigs never done anyone no harm. In contrast to the mad cows in the UK who hung around street corners late at night hassling old ladies.
Meanwhile in Mexico, the government’s trying to pinpoint the source of the outbreak. Sort of like Will Smith in Legend. Except that swine are not actually man eaters… Err.. Wait, I take that back. Swine are particularly aggressive animals and they are also extremely intelligent. They are Legion because they are many, and they’re featured in Stephen King’s Storm of the Century. Evil demons. But I don’t see why Jesus had to chase Legion into a herd of swine. Unless.. unless he already knew what would become of them! The Taco Avengers of Death, the first sign of judgment day. And I had taco today!
Seriously, though, the search for the scene of the crime really brings me back to my days on the farm. I’ve never lived on a farm, it’s not what I’m saying, but I’ve lived in the same general area of where farms apparently were at. So you know. And when living in that particular area in general there were all kinds of stories floating around involving said farm land and the strange psychological impact it had on those who tilled the earth and herd the beasts. There is no better way to introduce animal sex into a conversation, I think, than the recital of classical poetry.
Like Norway’s Petter Dass wrote in The 6th Commandment (src) here in my translation:
Some lay with whores
bedding one and more
Some with others’ Wives
and infect the married life
Some go to bed in sin
with the next of kin
While others what is worse
and mix with their livestock
Dass – which incidentally is slang for Toilet in Norwegian – was an infamous priest in Northern Norway during the 15th century who wrote a lot of thunderous texts to the people, in the harsh native tongue of my homestead. Anyway. You can see where I’m going here. It is an interesting observation, methinks.
Somewhere out there maybe, is a short and lonely Mexican swine herder who just couldn’t stand the heat anymore. He was all alone in the desert – or wherever it is Mexican swine gathers at night – a long, long way from his Rosita. Maybe they had been walking for days. Or weeks. And the only entertainment he had were dust bunnies and a worn-out cassette in his Walkman from a Carlos Mencia live performance… I mean, put it like that and you actually understand the guy. That’s human sympathy for you. We all love little Pepe now. He did no mean no harm. ‘Twas just that that night one of them pinkish piggies suddenly reminded him of his Rosita. Reminded him with enormous force, that is to say. Maybe it was the moonlight falling in the right angle for a split second, who knows.. Overcoming.
28 Days Later, I’m in Paris reading about the flu in Le Monde.
It’s a funny old world, people..
Writing this now I hear on the BBC News broadcast that the WHO has raised the international alert level to 5. This may inspire a "Whoa!" on your part. But I’m not impressed. When I first heard about the flu, Mexico had hundreds dying and thousands possibly infected. Then they had seven. And that’s not because all the rest of them have died, they were simply found to be flu-less on closer inspection. If that doesn’t sound like hysteria to you then you need to have your ears examined. Then you have people hoarding the emergency rooms, harvesting vaccines and locking themselves indoors. What a life!
«Let’s see, I have my coffee in here, the sofa’s all cleaned up for a few years’ bed wetting, the stack of porn is safely stored in a demagnetization closet, I’ve got tinned food from here to eternity, I’M ALL SET! Oh wait. Toilet paper!»
Even if this flu goes completely global like the Spanish Flu in the 1920s, it seems a lot milder than what has been before. It’s simply not it. The Spanish Flu killed millions of people. 50-100 million to be a little more precise-ish. Not seven. And although it was recently found to be a H1N1 virus, my bet is that there will be more people dying from eating perfectly clean hamburgers this year alone than the swine flu will manage to wreck upon us in total. And I don’t see any critical alerts hanging in our McDonald’s and Burger Kings. But then I don’t go there.
All in all, I’m afraid we have yet to see the next pandemic that has some hair on its balls. And according to our historians it is already overdue. My gut feeling tells me it will have to do with the growing immunity to antibiotics found in bacteria and viruses. But then my gut feeling says I’m gonna win the lottery every other week. In the meanwhile I’m obliged to help out with the cause, donate some cash to the Red Cross and contribute to as many killed pigs as possible. So in that spirit I promise a free T-Shirt with the caption I Did it for Pepe! to everyone of you who kills a pig with his or her bare hands. Just let me know in advance, and Egyptians are not applicable. Thanks!