The Moron's Daily Briefing

Aug. 6 - It's Independence Day in Bolivia and the Central African Republic.

Today's briefing was originally intended to commemmorate the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945 and the official end of the Holy Roman empire in 1806, both of which occurred on August 6.

In the face of the a growing threat to American health, however, I have chosen to instead provide the following public service.

How to Avoid West Nile Virus

West Nile virus can cause encephalitis, which causes swelling of the brain, which can in turn cause enlargement of the head. Contrary to the examples of encephalitics you see in the newspaper every day—such as Charlie Brown and Calvin—encephalitis is a deadly condition whose victims would be less likely to play with frisky beagles or stuffed tigers than to vomit blood and die.

West Nile virus is easy to avoid: like most viruses, it's very small, very slow, and not especially bright. Unfortunately, it's often carried by mosquitoes that are bigger, faster, and fiendishly clever.

It's not always easy to discern whether or not a given mosquito is carrying West Nile virus, so the prudent move is to avoid all mosquitoes.

This may be unfair to innocent mosquitoes who mean you no harm--the so-called "moderate" mosquitoes--but political niceties must be subordinated to threats to your survival.

It's important to remember that mosquitoes are masters of disguise. With a little makeup or a fancy hat, any mosquito can take on the appearance of several other species. They cannot, however, conceal their stingers.

Avoid all insects with stingers. If you encounter one that claims its stinger is merely a golf-club wedged into its rectum, do not believe it: insects don't golf.

Do not open your doors or windows to strangers before ascertaining whether or not they're mosquitoes. If they acknowledge being mosquitoes but deny carrying the West Nile virus, do not trust them. Some mosquitoes may even offer to show you a doctor's certificate, but such evidence is meaningless: they may have picked up West Nile virus in the time elapsed since their doctor tested them.

Be wary of delivery men, plumbers, electricians, and cable guys with stingers trailing from their jumpsuits.

Do not accept rides from unfamiliar mosquitoes.

Today is the birthday of Jon Benet Ramsey (1990), David Robinson (1965), Andy Warhol (1928), Robert Mitchum (1917), and Lucille Ball (1911).

© 2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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