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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Guaranteed Fresh

I had a little scare around here the other day. I took the day off on Christmas, not by choice. I was actually closed down by the health department. It seems that someone was reading one of my essays last week and they found a bug in it—either a bug or a rat turd. The results haven’t come back from the lab, but I got closed down just to be on the safe side. The victim is claiming to have contracted hepatitis or botulism or cholera or split ends or some sort of horrible affliction from my essay.

From the symptoms I read on the health department report—diarrhea, vomiting, uncontrollable flatulence, yelling “Ay yi yi yi” at the top of their lungs, and firing pistols into the ceiling—it sounded like a simple case of Mexican food, but I can’t prove it. So instead of fighting the case in court I have agreed to clean things up around here. I’m wearing rubber gloves as I type this. They’re a little hot but they don’t really affect my typing skills. This hair net is really annoying. I’ve got really nice hair and this thing makes me look like a 1950s housewife. I don’t know how surgeons do it. I don’t care how much they make; I’d shave my head before I’d spend half the day wearing a shower cap in public. Doctors have to wear theirs around a lot of hot nurses. As a writer at least I’m alone when I have to wear mine.

I’ve started washing my hands after using the restroom. The signs are always in Spanish so I thought that English speakers didn’t need to wash up. My bad. I had to take a semester of college Spanish so that I could read the directions in the bathroom. Now I know what Despues de usar el baƱo, lavarse las manos means, and now I always do it, unless no one is watching.

From now on, each essay will be individually wrapped to insure freshness, expiration dates will be printed on every page, and if my writing appears rancid or moldy I’ll try to scrape off as much of the unpleasantness as I can before pushing it off on readers. I will no longer try to use comedy ideas that have been sitting around for months unrefrigerated. Only the most current pop culture references will be used in my jokes. No more head scratching as you try to understand illusions made to Car 54 Where are You? and no more Spiro Agnew impersonations (He was the vice president under...yeah right. Who cares?).

But can humor live in a completely sanitary environment? In the world of comedy occasionally someone needs to drop dead from food poisoning. Clean things up too much and you’re left with Family Circus cartoons and Golden Girls reruns. This is something that those bureaucrats from the health department just don’t understand. They seem to think that a humor essay shouldn’t have to be accompanied by a trip to the emergency room or an autopsy report.

Now that I’m no longer allowed to be the humor equivalent of Typhoid Mary I’ll have to find a new approach to getting laughs.

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