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Jewish World Review
When pigs flu
What do swine call the swine flu? Does it make them sick? How do you treat a pig with swine flu? Do you just tell them to drink a lot of liquids and get plenty of bed rest? What is a pandemic? Is that what we used to call an epidemic? Is it like Mumbai and Bombay? Or are they two different things? How many times can you say "pandemic" in one newscast? Is once too little, is 500 too much? Should we close the borders? Should we only let viruses with passports through? Can you catch swine flu if you fly first class? How many people died last year because of plain, old, regular, non-swine flu? How many died in car accidents? 45,000? When will the TV networks have a feeding frenzy on that? When someone with swine flu dies in an automobile accident, no doubt.
Who do you think will pass swine flu on to you? Your grandchildren? Someone in your doctor's waiting room? A grocery-store shopping cart? That guy who didn't wipe down the treadmill at the gym?
I know where I got it. The Flu family lives next door. Whatever they have today, I'll get in about a week. Only two of them are bedridden right now. Their other four children are handing out "How to Prevent Swine Flu" fliers around the neighborhood. I took mine with latex gloves and tossed it in the trash, then threw the glove away, but I couldn't figure out how to take off the second glove without touching it.
I watched "One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest" last night, a special documentary on the coming swine flu pandemic. They had to put it on last night because according to the show, it's highly probable that no one on earth will be alive to watch it in a month or two, which will severely cut into the TV station's advertising revenue. It replaced their normally scheduled show, the highly rated, self-given award show, "Scaring the Crap Out of You Nightly!"
The back of my throat is starting to feel scratchy and my nose is stuffed up. I guess I should just get on the phone and say my goodbyes now.
"Hello, Mary? I just wanted you to know you were the best sister a brother could have."
"Who is this?"
"Your brother, who do you think?"
"You can't borrow any money. I put four kids through college while you were out golfing and gambling. Call Las Vegas if you need money. They'll remember you. Just say 'Put it all on red!' they'll know who you are. They say there's a sucker born every minute but you are a sucker octuplet."
"This isn't about money. Swine flu has got its porky hooves around my neck and it's squeezing for all it's worth. It's getting dark, I'm having a hard time breathing, my chest hurts. I'm sneezing and coughing."
"Of course you're coughing and sneezing. Your office is a pigsty. Ever hear of a vacuum cleaner? It wouldn't surprise me if they traced the origin of swine flu right to your house. A pig that lives in close proximity to humans, isn't that what they say caused it? You're the pig living close to humans!"
"Isn't it time we let bygones be bygones? I see the light, I'm going toward the light."
"Do me a favor, when you get to the light, find your allergy medicine and take it. The pollen count was through the roof today. That's why you're sneezing and coughing."
Talk about a flash-in-the-pandemic.
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Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."
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