How’s it going, guys? I’m writing you today from an empty office. Seems that all my coworkers are afraid of Swine Flu and are using it as an excuse to vacation in Antarctica or Siberia or Canada or some other barely habitable, non-English-speaking country. If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you’re probably a little put off by this newest apocalypse scenario as well. But you shouldn’t be. And why not? Because it sounds like it was named by a group of fourth graders at recess. Seriously, “swine flu” sounds only slightly less frightening than “cooties.” Ok, ok, I know cooties didn’t kill about a hundred people in Mexico (unlike our government, but we won’t get into that in this blog), but it’s just the fact that this deadly illness is named after a backyard barbecue staple that makes it seem harmless.
Throughout history, man has given his deadliest diseases some of the most terror-inducing, make-you-wanna-sh*t-your-pants names he can think up. Diseases like the Bubonic Plague, the Black Death, Syphilis, and Scarlet Fever strike fear into the hearts of millions in free clinic waiting rooms throughout the world. If I’d come up to you in 1995 and said I had the bird flu you probably would have chuckled and told me to eat less KFC. Or had I confessed to having swine flu, you may have said you had it too and we would have gathered all our unpaid parking tickets, tossed them into the nearest bonfire and sang 80s rap songs about shooting cops.* Again, this is because these sicknesses lack the PR spin of the classics. Instead of naming them after petting zoo attractions or giving them acronyms that stand for some scientific jargon relating to what it does (nobody’s afraid of science!), we should return to naming them like heavy metal hair bands. Who wouldn’t want to get tickets to a Scarlet Fever reunion tour? Sounds f*cking awesome!
So I have a few proposals: “Swine Flu” shall henceforth be known as “War Hog Fever.” It’s simple, memorable, and, most importantly, gets respect when its name is spoken.
You don't catch War Hog Fever. It catches you. Then it throws you to the ground and makes dirty swine love to your naughty parts. And it never calls!
Also, from now on, “SARS” is “Godzilla Disease” (because it’s fearsome and Asian and “General Tso’s Syndrome” sounds a little delicious). Now let’s get back into our excellent time traveling phone booth and repeat our conversation in 1995 where, instead of saying I have “bird flu,” I tell you I’ve caught the “Raging Dragon Plague.” Imagine the clouds of terror falling over your face as you make the sign of the cross and run like hell in the opposite direction leaving a trail of warm piss behind you. Eventually, after you’ve reached the nearest state border, you’ll slow down long enough to wonder what exactly the Raging Dragon Plague is. Then you’ll realize that you don’t care because with a name like that, it’s gotta be badass. And that’s where prevention begins, folks: with pure, nut-tingling terror.
Until I’ve pissed the irony gods off enough to kill me with swine flu,
*I have never knowingly destroyed a parking citation or opened fire upon a police officer. I neither endorse nor condone this behavior. Unless I’m playing Grand Theft Auto. Then it’s cool.