Swine flu
and other uglies
There is nothing funny about a potentially deadly illness, particularly one capable of sweeping across large populations. Why then did our medically minded forebears apply such ridiculous names to such serious ailments? Were they drunk on miracle cure medicine? Or did they mean to impress the severity of each new affliction by inventing such a grotesque, vivid and — let’s be honest here — cartoonish medical vocabulary?
With this in mind, I give you a short list of morbid medical monikers with the caution that the mere act of reading some of them could produce symptoms:
Milk leg, grocer’s itch, bloody flux, bloody sweat, worm fit, chin cough, eel thing, bone shave, putrid fever, stuffing, trench mouth, bladder in throat, puking fever, scrumpox, strangery, drunkard’s itch, ragpicker’s disease.
Of course, each of these maladies can be verified with a trip to the encyclopedia or online medical database. Provided that you are feeling well enough now that you’ve been subjected to what I like to call the LaFlamme Squats.
Have I got dish for you
With fear of germs on the rise, some people have taken to microwaving their newspapers to rid any potential nastiness. That works fine with the Sun Journal. With such a rich mix of local flavor, combined with a smooth array of state and national ingredients, you’re bound to come away with a pleasing taste of full coverage after it is all stirred together and warmed just right. Try it with certain weekly papers though — tasty Sun Media papers excluded of course — and you just get the same bland taste of dry press releases and flavorless opinion pieces. In newspapers, as in the culinary arts, the success of the dish is only as good as the ingredients that go into it. (Seriously people, don’t microwave your paper. It can spread heat-created toxins and catch on fire — the same thing that happens every time my wife lets me cook.)
Shake it off
In reaction to the spread of the illness, the Catholic Church will forgo the customary handshakes among worshippers. Surely this is only the beginning. Next to be done away with are the high five and the fist bump. This is expected to have the biggest impact on pro athletes, cops and guys in bars who think their pickup lines are getting them somewhere.
A ticklish matter
The meat industry is concerned that all this talk of the swine flu is casting an unfair image of negativity upon pork, and ask that the flu be referred to by its scientific title, H1N1. Likewise, the term “crabs” does a disservice to the seafood industry, so why don’t we scratch that one, too. 
Flying low
Sure, that fellow from Casco flew too close to Washington, D.C., and caused a brief White House panic. But at least he didn’t maneuver a Boeing over Ground Zero for a photo op and cause thousands to abandon their lattes and run for low ground. Attention White House: If you want to show people what a presidential plane looks like soaring over New York City, get some 10-year-old to Photoshop it for you. It’s a simple drag and drop. While you’re at it, put Limbaugh’s head on Condoleezza’s body. That’s just good-time fun, right there.

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