Swine Flu FAQ

October 27, 2009

There’s a lot of confusion about the Swine flu outbreak and the associated vaccination.  As my primary character I play in World of Warcraft is a healer, I feel that I’m uniquely qualified to clear up some of the misinformation that’s floating around.  I’ve collected these questions from co-workers, friends and family.  Hopefully this gives a clearer picture of what is happening.

1. What is the swine flu?
Let’s start with the easiest.  The Swine Flu is a new strain of super-virus making its way through Canada, the States, South America, Europe, parts of Paraguay and New Zealand.  Those are the only known affected regions.  It originated in France with the French King St. Simon DeLeTrenchant who famously uttered the last words “Zut Alors, tu Swine!” to the doctor attempting to bathe him just minutes before his death (the French are notoriously superstitious of baths and water in general).

It’s not clear exactly how the flu originated except to say it’s not a surprise it came from France, which remains an unstoppable cesspool of lax morals and general failure.

2. How contagious is it?
To say that it’s the most contagious disease that man has ever encountered is like describing the horrific music of Creed by saying it will make you long for the sweet embrace of a painful, protracted death.  Obvious and inadequate to the task.  Simply put, English has not yet come up with a term to appropriately describe how contagious this disease is.  Oxford has proposed the new term “Flagoclox” which would mean “Contagious to the extent that literally, just by reading descriptions of the virus, you probably have the disease in question”.  Therefore the Swine flu is flagoclox.

3. But I’ve heard that the vaccination is dangerous?
True!  It’s a well known fact that any nations government exists simply to kill its populace.  Plain and simple.  This is proven.  Therefore, the fact that the government has released a vaccination means, by definition, they want you to die from it.

4. Right, and… wait, what?
Yep.  The government has released this vaccine – 100% untested – with the hopes that it will permanently kill and cripple its populace.  This is done, to keep the population terrified and under control.

5. W-
Stop right there.  I know what you’re going to ask already.  Yes, this is a liberal conspiracy.  First they spend our hard-earned dollars and send us into a $24 Billion dollar deficit, and then they ban smoking in cars.  What’s next Mr. McGuinty?

6. None of this information seems remotely accurate.  Is it possible to have a reasoned, rational discussion about this?
I don’t see how that would benefit anyone, least of all the media that thrives on artificial controversy

7. Fine.  How will the Flu shots be administered?
Keeping in accordance with Canadian Parliamentary law (all hail Maple), the flu shot will be mandatory for any citizen of Canada whose citizenship number is greater than 10393873 (check your CanuckCards people!), however it is only mandatory for registered members of the Progressive Conservative party (see points 3 to 5.  For SHAME Mr. McGuinty!)

8.  People are starting to die from this.
The important thing is you don’t remain informed and continue to use largely unsubstantiated apocryphal third-hand updates from friends on Facebook.  As always, this remains your best and most accurate source of information.  Oh, and that wasn’t a question.

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Top fears part 2

May 14, 2008

see Top Fears Part 1

3. Fear that the pile of leaves in the corner of my backyard will somehow resolve into a human form and point at me and say “you”.

I’m not clear on why the limitations of this leaf-man extend to only being able to point and accuse, but I suppose that’s his problem. What does he want from me? Why has he chosen this moment to reveal himself? The real terror with this one is holy shit, if that pile of pointing leaves can say “you” what else can it do? Logically, you’d think the leaf monster would be my friend. After all, if it wasn’t for me thoughtfully raking his disparate parts into one pile, he would have never been able to spring to life.

Solution
Fire, I’d suspect. Even if it was a fairly damp pile of leaves, I’m still pretty sure he’d go up quickly. Now you have something to point at you terrifying, leaf-monster motherfucker. Let’s see you point your way out of this one.

Most Likely Scenario
You crap your pants as violently and thoroughly as it is possible for one human being to do. Weighed down by the solid mass of crapping out every single item of food you’ve ingested for the past 10 years, you slump to the ground, eyes never leaving the leaf-monsters face. Is he… is he laughing at you? Oh you better believe it’s on. You filth out of your pants and run into the house to get your emergency gasoline and leaf lighter. 40 minutes later, the fire has spread out of control and the police have some pointed, if not entirely valid, questions for you to answer.

What you can do to prevent this
Obviously, never rake leaves into a pile. And secondly, don’t ever do anything to those leaves that would prompt them to gain sentience and point at you, all accusing like. I’ll admit that I’m not clear on what constitutes actions of betrayal to a pile of leaves. Maybe they weren’t recycled? Okay, let’s go with that. If you absolutely must rake leaves, you should probably recycle them pretty damn quickly.

4. Fear of an infant speaking perfect English, except with a deep, terrifying voice.

Every parent on the planet is in perpetual competition with every other parent on the planet, and speaking is one of the key milestones. Can your kid speak yet? Does he have words? Mine reads the thesaurus. Oh, yours only says “gaa”? Don’t worry, I think Taco Bell still hires retards as long as they can learn where to point the meat tube.

Obviously parents get fairly wound up about this, but this is not the right solution. Imagine you are holding your precious bundle of baby joy, perhaps cooing some vapid kids song at it when it turns to you and with complete awareness in its little eyes says “I fucking hate the Wiggles”.

Solution
The worst thing you can do in this scenario is try to reason with whatever horrible horrible presence lurks behind your child’s eyes. You should immediately call your spouse – “Honey! Baby did a huge poopy! And my heart is failing!”

Most Likely Scenario
Your instincts to be a caring nurturing parent war with your instincts to throw the baby through the nearest window, hop in the car and never stop driving. Realistically your parenting instincts win and you put the baby down for a nap (even if it’s early!) and just start drinking. I mean really giving it to that bottle, really exploring the depths of your alcoholism. After several months of this you are able to convince yourself it never happened even though you refuse to be left alone with, or touch, the child again. Eventually your spouse divorces you and you’re left a terrible, shattered wreck. You probably have more time for World of Warcraft.

What you can do to prevent this
I’m going to assume that this one is caused by some kind of demonic possession. Even Einstein didn’t speak until he was three, so you probably can’t use intelligence as a yardstick. Given that, I’m going to suggest you don’t buy a house built on top of an ancient burial ground, you don’t attempt to solve puzzles that open doorways to hell and if you find some kind of portal to the netherworld in your TV, for God sakes, change the channel (unless the only other option is the George Lopez show. If that case, take the portal to nowhere)

5. Fear of turning on the TV and having a face just stare at me.
This also leads into another lesser fear I have, namely that I won’t be able to turn off appliances, even after I unplug them. There’s nothing inherently menacing about that, except maybe that some entity (conservatives?) is forcing me to consume electricity. I’m not clear how that would show up on my hydro bill. When the appliances are unplugged are they still using my electricity? They better not be, the bastards.

Anyway, the face doesn’t really do anything, it just kind of stares at you. And you can’t turn the channel either, which means you miss the season finale of Lost.

Solution
Buy a new TV I guess, or read the Lost finale recap on http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com. I don’t think the guy would show up on youtube, so maybe you can grab it there.

Most Likely Scenario
After the initial confusion dims away, you just get plain irritated. Who is this haunting, spectral figure to tell you that you can’t watch TV? Like what makes him so great? You try to read a few books, but the irritation gets to you. If you want to watch TV, you’ll by-God watch TV and you can take that to the BANK! You end up getting in some fabulous arguments with the TV face and make some incredible points about both personal liberties and the Fox Network. The face is unmoved and simply stares at you for the rest of your known life.

You die alone and irritated.

What you can do to prevent this
Nothing. The TV face is more powerful than you, and once he shows up he’s like houseguests before the last of the wine is gone – you can’t ever get rid of him


Top fears that will never happen

March 24, 2008

According to some random pages on the internet, if you were to poll a bunch of average people, you would find that their top fears are very similar. Death, public speaking, spiders, heights.. it’s a fairly common list of responses.

Due to a prolonged incident during my childhood which saw me addressing a group of furious spiders in an dangerously elevated hot air balloon while fending off a life-threatening illness (hint – it wasn’t cancer!), I have been forcibly cured of the top fears which plague normal people. Which isn’t to say I’m a fearless, danger loving automaton – far from it. Like every other trembling sack of organs on this planet, I am also assaulted by a constant barrage of fears. The only thing that gives me comfort is the fact that my top fears are less likely to ever actually occur. I have listed my top two fears here (more coming!)

1. Fear of being simultaneously struck deaf and blind while in public transit
This one is pretty horrifying if you stop to think about it. Imagine you’re going about your business, maybe commuting to work or god forbid commuting in a strange city. You’re “happily” riding the public bus (which is of itself a cause for alarm) when out of the blue you’re suddenly struck deaf and blind. What would you do? How would you handle it? You could make thick, grunting noises to try to indicate your advanced state of agitation, but then what? Even if people did try to help you, would you understand? I have read several books on Helen Keller and it took her nearly 5 years to master the art of commuication bereft of 2 of the major senses. You have like, 10 seconds. Are you smarter than Helen Keller?

If you said yes, or even snickered a little, you’re probably going straight to hell.

Solution:
The only way out of this one that I can come up with would be to have a cell phone and call someone. This assumes a couple things though:

a) You have a cell phone
b) You have a someone
c) Someone picks up
d) You are able to grunt “help me for god sakes help me bus deaf blind help” articulately enough such that they are able to plan a response strategy.

Most likely scenario
Due to your ravings and complete inability to make use of the most helpful of suggestions (i.e. Hey buddy, shut up!) you are promptly thrown off the bus and left to your own devices. Totally unable to care for yourself, you eventually cause enough of a scene that the police are called to taser you into some semblance of normalcy. They steal your wallet and you live out the rest of your days scrawling “Why?” on the sidewalk using your own feces.

What you can do to prevent this:
The obvious one is never ride public transit, ever. I think that’s just a good ground rule for life. Constant eye and ear checkups can’t hurt and maybe make sure you always have a cellphone on you.

2. Fear of diving into a pool, only to emerge in the middle of an unfamiliar ocean.
I should probably take the word “unfamiliar” out of this one, because I’m not actually sure it would be that comforting even if you could identify which major body of water you had emerged in. “Oh thank god, the Pacific. If I was “Life of Pi” what would I do? Oh yes, hallucinate a Tiger and escape to a magical world of fantastic religious whimsy.” I just don’t see it helping.

Solution:
After screaming yourself hoarse, a process which probably takes anywhere from 15 – 20 minutes depending on your lung capacity, you just pick a direction and swim. The really optimistic among you might dive a couple times hoping to find your way back to the pool, but that’s pretty naive. Come on.

Most Likely Scenario:
You die, probably within about 2 hours. Either hypothermia gets you or the sharks. I assume there’s sharks.

What you can do to prevent this:
Presumably the drastic alteration in your location was caused by some kind of wormhole, so try to avoid diving into swimming pools where singularity is collapsing into one area. Early warning signs of this include the mass of every object rapidly flowing towards the same physical location, and this weird humming noise.