Saturday, May 2, 2009

Prince and the Swine Flu

Prince, the artist formerly known as some undecipherable symbol who was formerly known as Prince, recognized one day as he surveyed his kingdom that a name can have important connotations. In his wisdom he changed his stage name (which Merriam-Webster would have defined as "one who has high rank or high standing in his class or profession" - probably a fair description of his place in the world of popdom) to a stylized symbol resembling something a ninja would throw at you. Or maybe you could use it to open your favorite bottle of chardonnay.

In any event, it didn't work out. He's Prince again. Why didn't it work out? Well, let's take a gander at it...first, it just looks wierd, like something Napoleon Dynamite might have drawn under one of his "Liger" pictures. Second, publishers were unwilling to add the symbol to keyboards worldwide, something about billions of dollars, yada yada. Therefore, Prince became "the artist formerly known as Prince". Fill in the dots for that on your SAT's. Just too much. Third, it didn't mean anything. If the symbol you chose as your name requires more than three words to explain, drop it. Of course, Prince didn't really explain what it meant...when asked he would look introspective and mumble something, and we all turned the TV to the channel where everyone was yelling "set it and forget it". Finally, it was just too late - we knew him as Prince. It would be like my Polish sainted mama asking me to call her by her first name. It just ain't gonna happen.

In a similar vein, the U.S. Department of Health has decided that Swine Flu needs a new name. Apparently the medical profession has learned that sales of ham, baby-back ribs, and bacon are down due to the misconception that swine flu is spread via high-fat, high cholesterol-containing meats harvested from our friend, Porky. Heaven forbid we eat cereal or fresh fruit in the morning; nothin' says "get up and go" like a frying pan filled with sizzlin' bacon bathed in a puddle of hot grease. Therefore, the flu formerly known as swine will now be referred to as H1N1. Hopefully that will get you all back to the butcher and stop the madness. But I have a suspicion the new name won't stick.

I am now going to put on my scrubs and assume the role of ER nurse.
Rosemarie (I mean mama) has asked me to list things she can do to protect herself from H1N1. I thought maybe everyone might benefit from such a list, so here it is.
1. Keep your hands clean. Nothing says healthy like soap and water.
2. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Cough and sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands. And, once again, wash your hands. If you are one of "those people" who insists on sneezing in a hanky, one word: DON'T. First, it's gross. Second, your wife has to touch them when she does the laundry. Not fair.
Third, its like keeping viruses as pets in your pocket. Not good. Get rid of them and use tissues like the rest of us.
3. Stay home if you are sick. We don't want your germs. No offense.
4. Get some of that sanitizing gel for your hands and keep some at work and at home. It really works. Don't touch your eyes, nose, and mouth if you can avoid it. Viruses look at these as welcome mats.
5. Don't panic. Most of those with H1N1 in the U.S. are suffering from very mild
cases. If you feel sick but normally wouldn't go to the doctor or ER for the symptoms you are having then you really don't need to now, either. Wait it out. You'll know when enough is enough.
6. Did I mention you should wash your hands?
Now let's all pray this goes away about as quickly as Prince's symbol.

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