Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hurray for H1N1

I'm a news junkie, so I've read all about the get-it-or-avoid-it H1N1 vaccine debate. And I've read about how H1N1 is different from the seasonal flu (hint: you need to go to the hospital to find out), how H1N1 is a pandemic, how H1N1 has killed seemingly healthy teenagers, blah blah blah.

And I hate it. I hate every word of it.

Why? Because every news website I open contains articles about H1N1. The Globe and Mail? H1N1. The Ottawa Citizen? H1N1. Toronto Star? H1N1. The National Post? H1N1.

Yet all this coverage has failed to convince me that H1N1 is far worse than the regular flu. Let's look at the symptoms (courtesy of The Globe and Mail):

Seasonal flu Cough, sore throat, fever, headache, muscle ache, loss of appetite, runny nose, joint pain and fatigue are common symptoms of seasonal flu. Some people may also experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, although this tends to be more common in children.

H1N1 Many symptoms of this virus are similar to seasonal flu, but there are some warning signs that may indicate a case that needs immediate medical attention. Common symptoms include sore throat, cough, fever, muscle aches, headache, loss of appetite and runny nose, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Health experts say more people with H1N1 appear to experience vomiting and diarrhea than typical seasonal influenza cases. Symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention include any rapid breath, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, as well as if a person's complexion is grey or lips appear blue. Another warning sign is if someone is extremely lethargic, isn't making sense or appears generally out of it.

Almost identicalthere's virtually no way we can know the difference without getting a blood test. Should we go to the hospital if we get sick? Yes, provided we have H1N1 and have difficulty breathing. But if we have the seasonal flu, we're supposed to avoid going to the hospital (or so the article implies).

What happens when we get to the hospital to find out if we have H1N1? We'll have to wait in a waiting room filled with other sick people, then go into another room that was occupied by sick people, then deal with a doctor who's dealt with sick people, then (maybe) go to a pharmacist who's interacted with sick people, and then go back home.

If we don't have H1N1, then that's a lot of interaction where we could potentially catch H1N1. And if we have H1N1, that's a lot of interaction where we could spread H1N1. Regardless, that's a lot of interaction where we could catch a different disease.

Maybe we should prevent H1N1 by getting the vaccine. But if we do that, we're going to have to wait in a large building filled with other potentially sick people. It'll be a long wait, so we'll have even more exposure to sick people. And who foresaw the massive collection of sick people at injection sites? Not the news media. Not our doctors. Not our government. Not the people standing in lines (obviously).

We can't yet rely on the vaccine, so we'll have to resort the traditional methods of preventing disease: eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, washing our hands, sneezing into our sleeves, avoiding going out into public if we're sick...

HOLY SHIT!! That's how we prevent the regular flu! If I could find a way to package that simple advice, I'd be a billionaire.

Why didn't anyone think of this before? And why has this simple prevention step been so overlooked by the media?

If I could answer those questions, I'd be a god.

Rank and File

I've discovered one tiny problem with my job. It doesn't involves customers or crazy co-workers. It doesn't involve ridiculous adventures or bizarre announcements.

It involves asparagus.

I have NEVER smelt anything—corpses, my dad after burrito night, my dog after it ate brussel sprouts (thanks grandma), zombies—whose rank stench infiltrated my nostrils, assaulted my olfactory nerves, and destroyed my olfactory bulb as quickly as moldy asparagus.

I think I just found the world's newest WMD.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Real Women

I was riding on the bus today when I overheard two guys talking.

StonerGuy1: "Dude! I can't believe she called the cops on you and claimed you hit her!"
StonerGuy2: "Yeah man. I don't know what I ever did to her to piss her off enough to call the cops and tell them that I beat her."
StonerGuy1: "Man, a real woman would've faked a pregnancy."

And there you have it: Real women fake pregnancies, not beatings.

Colonel Sanders

Everyone loves Colonel Sanders. Well, everyone except the United Nations.

It seems a security guard let a Colonel Sanders look-a-like into some high security areas. Some photos were taken, some chicken consumed. The UN claims that the Colonel should never have been permitted to wander around the UN Headquarters.

Truthfully, we all know why the UN is mad: They failed to discover the Colonel's secret blend of 12 herbs and spices.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend, Not Lettuce

A small part of my job involves ensuring that the produce looks niceno one wants to buy brown lettuce. My company has a large number of rules about what we must do to make the produce look nice. One of those rules involves trimming the bottom part of the lettuce in the shape of diamond because "it looks nicer."


I can see the thought process of senior managers now.

CEO: "We need to sell more! We're losing ground to Wal-Mart! Give me suggests! What do people like?"
VP: "Ummm.... diamonds?"
CEO: "Diamonds? Brilliant! We can sell more lettuce that way; we just need to cut the bottom as a diamond. Girls will buy it! They love diamonds. You've just made us millions of dollars. Let me buy you a small Mexican family."
VP: "I want Puerto Rican."

Despite the CEO's good intentions, I have never had anyone pick up a heart of romaine lettuce and scream in joy at the sight of a diamond cut. I've never even had anyone compliment me on my excellent diamond cutting abilities. People just don't seem to notice.

That's because people look at the overall quality of the lettuce they're buying. How crisp the leaves are, how green the lettuce is, how large the lettuce heart is, how fresh the lettuce looks—these are the things a customer notices when buying lettuce.

Let's leave diamonds to De Beers. Diamonds are for rings, not lettuce.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How Lysol is Saving the World

I was at work the other day and had the simple task of putting out some mushrooms. I thought it would be quick, so I lifted the top off the box and grabbed a handful. But as I pulled the mushrooms out of the box, something caught my eye. It took a second to understand what I seeing, but it soon dawned on me that something was wrong: The mushrooms were the wrong colour. The mushrooms were growing moldfungi was growing fungi.

I had just witnessed the birth of a super-fungus.

I feel like Alexander Fleming, but where Fleming knew his discovery would benefit mankind, I know that mine won't. Super-fungi suggest only one thing: a zombie apocalypse. And I don't want that because I don't know how to kill zombies.

I do know that the movies are wrong; you cannot kill the undead by simply destroying their brains. The undead are already dead. Since zombies don't breath, their brains lack oxygen. No oxygen means dead brain cells, and dead brain cells means the brain is dead. Therefore, shooting a zombie in the head won't cause the zombie's brain to die (again). And if we can't kill zombies, it won't take them long to take over the earth. That's a problem. I think my brain deserves a fate better than becoming a hamburger.

If destroying a zombie's brain can't save us, then there's only one thing that can stop a zombie apocalypse: Lysol brand disinfectant spray.

Lysol kills germs, not zombies; spraying people after they become zombies would be useless. Likewise, spraying people who might turn into zombies is stupid—you'd just make them dizzy and turn them into easier zombie food. The only way to truly stop a zombie apocalypse is to stop it before it starts. We must spray everything with Lysol.

Spraying everything with Lysol would be difficult. Maybe the Canadian Government can get all the unemployed and homeless to walk around with bottles of Lysol. That'd help a little, but there's still more spraying to be done. If we need more help, we could always keep the illegal immigrants who try to sneak into Canada.

But, naturally, someone will complain: "Immigrants are taking our jobs...blah, blah, blah." Would you want to walk around spraying Lysol? Probably not. Illegal immigrants would do it just for a chance at a better life. And a chance to sniff Lysol.

To avoid complaints, the easiest way to coat everything would be with a giant Lysol-Cannon. The first person to invent one of those would be a billionaire.

I think a just found an awesome investment opportunity. Interested?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Faggots and bar fights

I went out for drinks with a friend the other night. It was nothing special; we shared a pitcher of beer and solved all the world's problems. As we were getting ready to leave, we heard a commotion a few feet away: there was a fight. Aside from the usual blabbering of, "Break it up. Break it up," we kept hearing someone yell, "He called me a faggot."

Really? That's why there was a fight?

This tells me something: somebody didn't go to public school.

Having gone through public school, I can tell you that "faggot" is not an insultit's a common greeting between friends.

Jock: "What's up faggot?"
Nerd: "Nothing...."

The term "faggot" helps to establish who knows who; nobody calls someone they despise a "faggot." It's a sign of respect. The more friendly people are, the more likely they are to call each other "faggots." Eventually, "faggot" becomes something more: a nickname. It's my generation's "bud," "dude," or "bro." Nobody uses those terms anymore; if you can't think of nickname, you use "faggot."

Jock: "What'd you do this weekend faggot?"
Nerd: "Nothing...."

In the end, "faggot" becomes a stock nickname, filling a void left by the lack of creativity. It becomes the word for the uncreative or uncaring.

And that's what this fight was about: one person was upset that another didn't care enough to use a more creative nickname.