Friday, September 30, 2005

The News, Meet Avian Flu

One of my favorite things about the news is when there isn’t enough news and they have start going around talking about how something could make the news. Like when KUTV does the whole “Something Under Your Sink Could Kill Your Child (Clorox Wipes? Jeffrey Dahmer?)…find out at noon today!” No! I can’t wait until noon! What is under there?! Now I’m too scared to even look under the sink. What if I can’t take it and my whole family dies because I open a cabinet door? Anyone remember the killer bees that were going to surround us in the swarm if we so much as looked at them funny? This is why I love the news: needless panic and anxiety.

Even better is when they report on something that is going to be really big news when it finally does happen. I like to call this the Doomsday Scenario. Remember SARS? I think we were all going to contract SARS from the cart handles at Macey’s but we were saved by…I dunno, Spiderman, since none of us actually got SARS. In the meantime, we were all freaked out by SARS. And by freaked out I mean you told your co-workers and relatives that you were pretty sure that they had SARS every time they sniffled because they ate at the Great China Buffet last week. (SARS still isn’t as good as my go-to disease: The Clap. If someone’s sick you can reasonably assume that they have The Clap.)

Lately there’s been a lot of stuff in the news about Asian Bird Flu, or Chicken’s Revenge (Chickens and I have a long, hostile history, but that’s another blog.) A couple weeks ago I watched an ABC News Special on avian flu and it scared the crap out of me! I put masks on my shopping list, added more weapons to my bunker, and bought four metric tons of duct tape. Something tells me that when the you know what hits the fan, I will so be able to repair the HVAC. Since that special, everyone is talking about the bird flu. How do you get the bird flu? I'm not entirely clear, but I think that this might have something to do with it:
There is this flu strain in ducks in China right now that if it jumps to humans could kill us all in about 3 minutes flat. The news is all over this story. Not only are they covering this story, but they’re giving us a recap of the 1918-1919 flu pandemic that killed off the entire solar system and two surrounding galaxies.

There is only one medication that works for the devastating pandemic that hasn’t occurred (but it could!) and that medicine is Tamiflu. The first time I saw a commercial for Tamiflu I thought they were joking. This woman lies in a really expensive bed and looks horribly tired and sick, calls her boss in a voiceover about how she can’t go to work, everything is all echo-y and slow-motion-y. It was retarded. I’m from the Take A Aspirin And Go To Bed Early School; flu and cold medications are for suckers. Now, I kind of feel bad about making fun of Tamiflu. What if Tamiflu hates me for talking smack and we can’t work things out?

Of course what the news glosses over is that the deadly strain has not crossed from ducks to humans. The strain will need to mutate and then pass from its fowl host to human kind. Then that strain will have to make someone sick enough to pass the contagion, creating a legion of Asian typhoid marys who will in turn spread like kung pao wildfire across Asia to Russia, Morocco, Hawaii, and finally, Provo. Batten the hatches. Bird flu has killed sixty three people since 2003. Sixty-three! More people have died from accidental strangulation with licorice ropes in Canada in the past two weeks than that! So, way to go The News, you guys are awesome.


BowlerGirl said...

Don't knock the pandemic! I religously check WebMD to make sure that I am not dying. Yeah, whatever....

I just read a trashy-spy-novel that is all about the Avian Flu and I have determined if a trashy-spy-novel-author is already using this subject for fodder it's being blown way out of proportion.

So fear not, you most likely will not need to make amends with Tamiflu. And remember if all else fails, take two asprin and call me in the morning.

La Yen said...

That is why I only get my news from Jon Stewart.

And we do have killer bees in Texas

And my favorite diagnosis is the gonnasyphlherpalaids.

wendysue said...

My Dad (and my bro-in-law) swears by Tamiflu!!! Anytime I say I think I'm coming down with something, he says, "you need to call your Dr. and get a prescription for Tamiflu and by tomorrow this time you'll feel great!" It scares me a little but I guess it works?!?

Azúcar said...

I tell you, I had a case of gonnasyphlherpalaids from when the ship docked in Manila ten years back that would've put hair on your chest (I know it put hair on mine!) Good times.

Nothing funnier than venereal disease. Seriously, nothing.

Tamiflu. Isn't that your cousin's name? The one from LaVerkin? How can you take something called Tamiflu?
Ok, so Tami and I are on the outs again; she's a hollaback girl.

Emmie said...


I'm so happy to have found your blog! I was delighted to see you in the Day's aisle in August - a brief but very happy coincidence. I had no idea you knew Chris, and were Eric's other half for a time. But it stands to reason that super cool people would know each other.

My husband tried to convince me that we should go to Asia during the whole SARS thing, since tickets were so cheap.

Bek said...

Oh Carina,

Your blog was just what I needed to read. I was making jokes about giving people SARS just last night. Here is my REAL LIFE experience with just this topic.

Just last night I finally pulled myself out of my fog of depression and threw a party! I had the house all gussied up for fall, I did invites. I had 35 people coming and all of them brought yummy food. I spent days cleaning the house, switching furniture and cooking. This was going to be my grand re-entry into my social world and I was so excited to just have a chance to visit and eat.

20 minutes after the first guest arrived she informed me that my daughter was scratching her head vigorously. You guessed it LICE. I spent the rest of the party (which I heard was hit--the last guest left at midnight) going to the drugstore, doing the whole lice shampoo and comb out, bagging up all toys and bedding and washing stuff. I also had to do the boy. Can you imagine combing his hair with a lice comb? Afro isn't even the right word--in retrospect I should have just shaved his head.

I felt so BAD. I feel like I invited people over and then gave them all lice. We joked that if I could have just given them SARS and possibly the bird flu too, the evening would be complete!!!

The moral of this story is, if you are gonna party at my house, bring your mask, your killer bee spray and lice repellant. You know if there actually WAS a case of bird flu, it would be from the chicken satay I served at what will forever be known as the LICE PARTY.


Azúcar said...

Emmie! I'm so happy you found me. I was just thinking yesterday about trying to find you, instead, like a moth to a glittering flame, you were drawn to me (vice-versa?) It's all so Jungian.

I must say that Eric & I were never together, it was merely friends with benefits. I kid! Eric is as pure as the driven snow, and if he's not, it's not my fault, I swear.

Bek, you're too nice. I would have said "Pshaw! She always scratches her head like that," and then proceeded to trip the light fantastic. You could have remained mum on who gave what to who and enjoyed your party. Instead you let ethics, morals (two things I don't cotton to) and being a good mom get in the way of a fab time.
I hope you feel good about that.

Emmie said...


This comment has absolutely nothing to do with Avian flu, but I noticed that you listed PBS Mystery as one of your interests, and I just had to post a comment about that because it's one of my absolute favorite things! What's your favorite? Are you excited for the new Rupert Everett Sherlock Holmes?? I regularly go to the library to check out Mysteries dating back to the '80s. Even if I've already seen them. Twice.

Kate said...

I don't know how I feel about you making light of accidential strangulation by licorice ropes in Canada.

My friend's cousin's teacher lost a dog to ASLR.

Azúcar said...

Any dog that dies by ASLR deserves to be removed from the gene pool. A cat would rather die than die by ASLR, and that's why cats are better.


I used to love the period mysteries, but in recent years I've come to really enjoy the contemporary pieces. I think Morse started me down that road with Inspector Lynley, Prime Suspect, etc., following. In particular, An Unsuitable Job For a Woman starring the incomparable Helen Baxendale and Second Sight starring a then unknown Clive Owen.

Other favs are Dalgliesh, Campion, Rumpole, Suchet's Poirot (which always takes me back to childhood,) and the brilliant Jeremy Brett's Holmes.

I am very excited about Everett's turn. I hope he'll breath new life to Holmes' lifeless body.

Emmie said...


Guess what I'm watching right now? That's right: An Unsuitable Job For a Woman. She's fantastic. And Jeremy Brett's Holmes is just perfect. I wanted that series to go on forever.

Steve agrees with you about cats.

La Yen said...

I have gotten W hooked on Jonathan Creek--I am easing him into the PBS. I think, Jonathan Creek this year, next year some Sea of Souls, MAYBE 30 minutes of a contemporarier Holmes, in forty or fifty years I will have him tolerating period pieces. Meanwhile, I am watching Wives and Daughters...

Azúcar said...

Oooh I missed Wives & Daughters and then completely forgot about it. I'm going to have to netflix it.

Emmie, the coincidence is spooky all around. Must be October.

Azúcar said...

By the way, has anyone else noticed that the coverage of Avian Flu has reached the panic level? You can't turn around without bumping into a story about how Avian Flu is going to smash us flat like a bulldozer.

Rachel said...

i must admit that i just went to the website after i saw a story on cnn about avian flu. are they really just trying to scare us, or should i be as panicked as i am? yikes....i'm getting prepared to have a holed-up crazy winter!