Tuesday, March 07, 2006


It finally happened. It was only a matter of time.

I finally contracted Asian Bird Flu. I don’t know how, but I’ve been sick for two days now. Geri tells me it’s just a cold, but I know better. Sore throat, stuffy head, sinus issues, malaise. Yeah, malaise. All the signs are there. Asian bird flu. I’m totally fucked.

I’m guessing it had to be those filthy pigeons staking claim to Geri’s balcony. Or the day I ran to my car without a coat on. But Geri informed me that people don’t get sick from going outside without a coat on.

“This isn’t just sick, Geri. It’s the Asian Bird Flu!”

Okay – so I probably don’t have Asian bird flu – but from news reports I find it hard to believe we’re not all going to have some form of it within a few months. Is the global epidemic simply scare journalism, or something I really need to be concerned about? Last I read, you practically have to French kiss an infected duck to contract it, and yet it’s a recurring news report day after frightening day.

Here comes the Asian bird flu – starts with them, jumps to you!

To be honest, I’ve been more perplexed about this common cold thing we haven’t managed to whip. How can we possibly tackle avian influenza when we can’t even beat the sniffles?

And why are we told to stay warm or we’ll catch a cold…when there’s zero chance of getting sick from lack of clothing? It’s true. You can’t catch a cold from cold weather. Try it. Roll around in the snow naked. I do it all the time, as far as you know. Sure, you’ll freeze your ass off – possibly lose your ears and fingers – but you won’t catch a cold. This bit of wisdom is hammered home by Geri every time I try to blame a sneeze or bad cough on old man winter. She’s not a doctor, but she tells me she was always good at science back in school..and that's good enough for me. I was good at gym class, which may explain why I excel at fantasy sports. Or not. Let's move on.

Seriously, kids. Colds are caught from germs, not from freezing your ass off. This sounds reasonable enough – and yet we’re always told to wrap up with scarves and mittens and boots so we don’t get sick. All swaddling will do is prevent you from getting cold. To avoid getting sick, you need to avoid PEOPLE! For awhile it was even suspected that colder temperatures may lower the body's natural defenses, rendering the immune system hopelessly incapable of fighting back, thereby making us more vulnerable to catching colds. But this hypothesis has since been proven scientifically invalid. People do tend to catch ill more in the winter months, something doctors suggest may be due to changing weather patterns.

According to research, the absolute best way to catch a cold, if you’re hell bent on catching one, is to shake hands with someone who has sneezed into them. Doesn’t that sound delicious? You can also catch a cold by touching something an infected person has touched, and then inserting the germs into your mouth or nose. I bite my nails, so I am more at risk of catching colds than people who don’t. I also have the curious habit of picking my nose while I’m taking a shit, but that’s a conversation better saved for my therapist.

All you need to know is, if you don’t want to get sick like me, wash your hands, and don’t make out with geese. And don't drink that Avian bottled water crap. Huh? Evian? Same difference.

This bird flu thing is bad news!

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