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State of Menace - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
State of Menace
While I don't plan to be performing necropsies on any animal carcasses, my psycho-somatic tendencies are still invigorated by this reminder that I live in a state where, aside from rattlesnakes, scorpions, Valley Fever, kissing bugs, and fearsome cacti, one can contract the Plague. That's not "plague" as in, "This year's snowbird infestation promises to be a plague of unprecedented scope," but the sort with a capital P, famous for giving us that lovely children's song about ring around the collar. Then again, as e_compass_rosa and I were discussing last weekend, the cute little squirrels of the UC Berkeley eucalyptus grove are also carriers of the disease. It's a wonder I have yet to believe myself infected. Of course, now that I know that the pneumonic form of the disease is a risk in these parts, I'll be especially attentive to signs of my potential demise.

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Current Location: 85704

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Comments
chefxh From: chefxh Date: November 12th, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
and Gila monsters!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 12th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yes. I love the recipe for a Gila Monster bite:
• Take one really stupid person
• Prod her or him -- probably a him -- to stick finger in the vicinity of lizard's mouth
• Watch said lizard clamp down
It takes work to meet that "fate."
flw From: flw Date: November 12th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Is this in reference to the famous (and possibly apocryphal) study that concluded that having a tattoo makes you ten times as likely to be bitten by a rattlesnake... or is it that among people who are bitten by rattlesnakes, tattoos are ten times as prominent? Something like that.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 12th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I hadn't heard that, but it's so perfect if it's true! I do know that men are far more likely to be bitten than women. It's like a 90-10 ratio or something.
flw From: flw Date: November 12th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

TTR

I read about it alongside the famed "Tattoo to Tooth ratio" whereby hospital workers have worked out a formula for determining how difficult and irrational a patient is going to be:

(# of missing teeth) times (# of tattoos) = TTR index.

The higher the index is, the more trouble you are in for.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 13th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: TTR

That's every so apt. And it reminds me of the pain index they use in the ER, which is surely less accurate.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: November 12th, 2007 04:36 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
For added fun, you can frenzy yourself, when URI symptoms appear, going back and forth between "is it the Plague?" and "is it the Hanta virus?". Personally, I'd rather have the former.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 12th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Right! I've been reading about the Black Death lately -- I'm teaching The Name of the Rose and have been researching the fourteenth century as a consequnce -- so my mind is on the Plague. Although I've read some things suggesting that the mortality rate was so high in that particular pandemic that it could have been something other than what we now call the Plague. In Florence, for example, it is estimated that as many as three quarters of the city's population died in a few months. Of course, it could also be the case that said high mortality rate led to extreme natural selection and therefore guaranteed that the gene pool would incline towards those less likely to die of the Plague. It's also interesting that both the American and Soviet military were experimenting with pneumonic plague during the Cold War. As you can see, I'm delighted to discuss pestilence and woe!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 12th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I just refreshed my memory on the Hanta virus. I hope pack rats don't carry it, because then I really would be at slight risk, since this one keeps crawling into the engine compartment of Old Red to leave surprises. Seriously, though -- I don't really believe that I'm going to get the Plague or Hanta virus, even though I have terrible respiratory luck -- it's interesting how many of the bugs people get still elude classification. The one I had in November 2000 that led me to contract pneumonia and made me drop thirty-five pounds in three weeks because I couldn't stop coughing long enough to keep food down was a doozy -- is that how you spell that? -- but not something that was ever identified. I later assumed it had been Valley Fever, until I actually got Valley Fever offiicially in 2005 and learned that you almost never get it twice.
flw From: flw Date: November 12th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

YOUR demise?

Is your interest tinged with a little... desire? I have found that any interest I have in similar themes that might bloom into full-blown hypochondria (were I the type), are always centered on a desire for said plague (in this case, THE plague) to actually happen. Admit it now, don't you want the plague to hit Tucson and start killing off the right people? Perhaps you can transfer your fear into DESIRE. Just imagine the buboes! Buboes everywhere! Buboes Buboes Golly!

But YOU are prepared. YOU saw the warning signs. YOU took precautions. YOU (and your kind of people) weren't afraid to do what was necessary and your reward? An empty Tucson, ripe for the plucking. You get to go from house to house looting. Any video game you ever wanted. Art! Literature! DVDs! All yours for the plucking! Gasoline for FREE! Guns! Bombs! Wanna FLY one of those A-10s over the U of A instead of rolling your eyes as they blitz over twelve times an hour? Then just go down to DM and TAKE IT!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 12th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: YOUR demise?

Reading you makes me deliriously happy sometimes. Yes, I most definitely do desire the Plague to dispense with that lower-case plague of snowbirds. The only problem is that, aside from their televisions, I'm not sure what would be worth looting. My interest in acquiring tasteful Southwestern kitsch is limited.
flw From: flw Date: November 12th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: YOUR demise?

Ah come on! For every ten thousand kokopelli items you loot, you will acquire proficiency in one musical instrument. In any case, it would be fun to just see how people lived. Just to be able to go through all their shit would give massive insight. To see what they spend their money on, what's important to them. Read their diaries.

Gah! Give me the Zombiepocalypse TODAY! I want it! I need it! I KNOW I will survive, of course, I am just so unbelievably important.

Remember, the stores will also be empty and unguarded.

The world so desperately needs a 99% kill off. I think civilization would survive it!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 12th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: YOUR demise?

They don't have diaries, my friend. That's the problem. But, yes, a die-off would be good. I won't survive it, most likely, yet can live with that. I mean, I can live with the knowledge that I can't live with that.
flw From: flw Date: November 12th, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: YOUR demise?

It shall be a Freudian Plague then, in which unexamined lives, not worth living, will be taken. It will work kind of like the way smart bombs work in Iraq. The plague will enter all of our brains and determine if we have done sufficient soul searching. If the answer is yes, we are spared, if no... [knife slashing throat motion].

Remember the portrayal of "smart" bombs in the media during the first Gulf War. They gave the impression that they were munitions and lie detectors combined in one miracle device. Like the bomb walked into a room, closed the door, sat everyone down and started conducting a focus group on Saddam Hussein... "Okay folks, it's good to see so many of you here tonight. I am an American M-55 air burst munitions device, and I've gathered you all here to talk about your feelings with regard to Saddam Hussein and America in general. Before we get started, I'd like to point out that YES, I will be exploding tonight and YES I will be killing people in a horrible fashion. If any of you attempt to remove yourself from the premises or disarm me in any way, I will have to detonate prematurely... and no one wants that, right? All right, you're a good crowd, we're going to have a good time tonight..."

"First of all, I'd like to ask, is anyone in the room female and under the age of 18? Okay... you, and you... you two over there, yes. Go ahead, put your hands up where I can see them. Alright, you are all free to go, and please take an American Flag on the way out, no charge, we aim to please. Tell your friends!"

"Okay, among the boys, anyone under fifteen years of age? Oh wow! a lot of you. Get your hands up high. Sir, you have a full beard, you're clearly older than fifteen, nice try... Al right, you are also free to go. Stop by the sample table and pick up a flag, a chocolate bar, and some sample panty-hose. Also, if you own a CD player, you can take a Dr. Dre CD, and we're going to be asking you to sign a little loyalty oath too, no biggy!"

"Well, now we're down to brass tacks. I regret to inform you that I am going to be killing most of the remaining people in the room tonight... I know, I know, it is difficult, but if everyone is honest, I am sure we can make some arrangements and we can end this all amicably, and make Iraq a better Iraq for all Iraqis!"

"Now bearing in mind that I have in my machinery an inerrant lie detector, how many of you, let's start with a show of hands, have a deep an abiding hatred of Saddam Hussein. Wow! That's pretty much everyone. That IS everyone. Wow! I am surprised. Well, of course, I've never done this before... and I won't be doing it again, but in boot camp they told us we'd get a few supporters. Okay one by one now, please everyone line up..."

I could go on and on like this...
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 13th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: YOUR demise?

I always like when you do go on and on like this. I see a fine entry in the making.
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