Thursday, August 23, 2007


Medical “experts” are trying to make us all crazy—again. It feels like we’re hit with some scientific revelation on a daily basis—like one day coffee is bad for you. Next week—au contraire, it’s the elixir of well-being. A month later—well, sometimes it’s good, but sometimes it’s bad, depending on the phases of the moon and whether you drink from the left or right side of your cup. Huh?! OK—so just as we reluctantly settled into the notion that continuing to drink the nectar of Juan Valdez (if you’re under 35 you probably have no idea who he is—but will explain) shows depraved disregard for our health, a new study has found coffee may not be as harmful as earlier reported in the Journal of the Scientific Institute of Instilling Fear in the American Populous, or some such esteemed publication. Which means exactly what? And does decaf count, or was that not part of the study—Donna needs to know since that’s how she takes her java. You can, of course, substitute your substance of choice: sugar, air, water, estrogen, fish, fowl, meat, lettuce, rain, microwaves, cell phones—the list goes on ad nauseum.

And now they have the nerve to tell us that the same virus that causes colds (adenovirus-36), could cause us to get fat?!! ( Does this mean that obesity is as incurable as the sniffles? Boy are we pissed at whoever sneezed on us, so cover your mouth! Is it only other chubettes who pass on the virus that’s capable of mutating stem cells into fat cells—because if you can get it from skinny people that’s just plain wrong.

We’re guessing that humans have been passing cold germs around at least as long as there’s been snot. We’re also guessing that from the time there was fire, and the hunters were off chasing wooly mammoths to toss on the barbie, that the gatherers, in addition to fruits and nuts, searched for the right leaves to brew into tea to make that snotty, sneezing, yucky feeling go away. And since the time when we decided some stones were worth more than others, we’ve been selling these remedies to make a quick stone, bead, shell, or buck, whatever the local currency. Rudimentary at first, these cures have developed into the pills, gels, syrups, time release capsules, sprays, ointments, drops, shots and herbs that make us feel better in 7-10 days. Except doctors also tell us that if you don’t take anything, your cold (if that’s what it is) will go away in 7-14 days. But try as you might to jog, crunch and Tae-Bo them into submission, fat cells are forever.

Is this some kind of get out of jail free card? I’m fat because I have an incurable virus? Leave me alone and pass the pie, and cake, and chips and pizza and…aaachooo! God Bless.

Or is this a new avenue for our ever booming pharmaceutical industry? How many gazillion dollars (Forget the shells. This is serious money we’re talking about) will ultimately be made as we ready ourselves for a whole new class of fat fighters (already a $100 billion industry in the US) to cure SOS (Sniffle Obesity Syndrome)? Or is it OCS (Obesity Cold Syndrome)? Adenovirus Sinusitis Syndrome also know as. . . well, you know what that spells?

And after the fat mice lose weight, and their little runny pink noses dry up, anybody care to sign up for the drug trial? Ahhhhh! Thin is just a dose a way!

Of course, after the drug has been approved, and the commercials with their saucy jingles are interrupting our favorite programs (care to hum “Viva, Viagra?”), be sure to read the disclaimer. We like the one by Steve Martin:

Side Effects: By Steve Martin

DOSAGE: take two tablets every six hours for joint pain (SUBSTITUTE FAT)
SIDE EFFECTS: This drug may cause joint pain, nausea, head-ache, or shortness of breath. You may also experience muscle aches, rapid heartbeat, and ringing in the ears. If you feel faint, call your doctor. Do not consume alcohol while taking this pill; likewise, avoid red meat, shellfish, and vegetables. O.K. foods: flounder. Under no circumstances eat yak. Men can expect painful urination while sitting, especially if the penis is caught between the toilet seat and the bowl. Projectile vomiting is common in thirty per cent of users-sorry, fifty per cent. If you undergo disorienting nausea accompanied by migraine and raspy breathing, double the dosage. Leg cramps are to be expected; one knee-buckler per day is normal. Bowel movements may become frequent-in fact, every ten minutes. If bowel movements become greater than twelve per hour, consult your doctor, or any doctor, or just anyone who will speak to you. You may find yourself becoming lost or vague; this would be a good time to write a screenplay. Do not pilot a plane, unless you are among the ten per cent of users who experience "spontaneous test-pilot knowledge." If your hair begins to smell like burning tires, move away from any buildings or populated areas, and apply tincture of iodine to the head until you no longer hear what could be taken for a "countdown." May cause stigmata in Mexicans. If a fungus starts to grow between your eyebrows, call the Guinness Book of World Records. May induce a tendency to compulsively repeat the phrase "no can do." This drug may cause visions of the Virgin Mary to appear in treetops. If this happens, open a souvenir shop. There may be an overwhelming impulse to shout out during a Catholic Mass, "I'm gonna w*p you wid da ugly stick!" You may feel a powerful sense of impending doom; this is because you are about to die. Men may experience impotence, but only during intercourse. Otherwise, a powerful erection will accompany your daily "walking-around time." Do not take this product if you are uneasy with lockjaw. Do not be near a ringing telephone that works at 900 MHz or you will be very dead, very fast. We are assuming you have had chicken pox. You also may experience a growing dissatisfaction with life along with a deep sense of melancholy-join the club! Do not be concerned if you arouse a few ticks from a Geiger counter. You might want to get a one-month trial subscription to Extreme Fighting. The hook shape of the pill will often cause it to become caught in the larynx. To remove, jam a finger down your throat while a friend holds your nose to prevent the pill from lodging in a nasal passage. Then throw yourself stomach first on the back portion of a chair. The expulsion of air should eject the pill out of the mouth, unless it goes into a sinus cavity, or the brain. WARNING: This drug may shorten your intestines by twenty-one feet. Has been known to cause birth defects in the user retroactively. Passing in front of TV may cause the screen to moiré. Women often feel a loss of libido, including a whole octave lowering of the voice, an increase in ankle hair, and perhaps the lowering of a testicle. If this happens, women should write a detailed description of their last three sexual encounters and mail it to me, Bob, Trailer Six, Fancyland Trailer Park, Encino, CA. Or E-mail me at Discontinue use immediately if you feel that your teeth are receiving radio broadcasts. You may experience "lumpy back" syndrome, but we are actively seeking a cure. Bloated fingertips on the heart-side hand are common. When finished with the dosage, be sure to allow plenty of "quiet time" in order to retrain the eye to move off stationary objects. Flotation devices at sea will become pointless, as the user of this drug will develop a stone-like body density; therefore, if thrown overboard, contact your doctor. (This product may contain one or more of the following: bungee cord, plankton, rubber, crack cocaine, pork bladders, aromatic oils, gunpowder, corn husk, glue, bee pollen, dung, English muffin, poached eggs, ham, Hollandaise sauce, crushed saxophone reeds.) Sensations of levitation are illusory, as is the sensation of having a "phantom" third arm. Users may experience certain inversions of language. Acceptable: "Hi, are how you?" Unacceptable: "The rain in Sprain slays blainly on the phsssst." Twenty minutes after taking the pills, you will feel an insatiable craving to take another dose. AVOID THIS WITH ALL YOUR POWER. It is advisable to have a friend handcuff you to a large kitchen appliance, ESPECIALLY ONE THAT WILL NOT FIT THROUGH THE DOORWAY TO WHERE THE PILLS ARE. You should also be out of reach of any weapon-like utensil with which you could threaten friends or family, who should also be briefed to not give you the pills, no matter how much you sweet-talk them.
* From The New Yorker, April 13, 1998.
posted by DeBerry and Grant at 9:06 AM


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