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Psyche! You’ve got the Swine Flu.

April 27, 2009

I admittedly know nothing scientific about the Swine Flu, but I absolutely know two things about it:
1) If it comes to Richmond, VA, there is a better than 80% chance that I’ll be the first person to get infected, due to God’s seemingly tireless amusement with my suffering.
But I wont be taking this one laying down.
2) I am using my contagious death sentence as an excuse to “catch-up” with some old “friends.”

That’s right, folks. If Ole Dan is going down, he’s taking some people with him. Not that I think Hell will be a terribly lonely place, but there are just some people around here whom I couldn’t bear to depart from this earth without giving a little memento, which in this case, is a raging case of pandemic-grade Swine Flu.
Of course everyone I’m talking about is purely fictional, but I changed even their fake names to those of already dead, historically significant Americans.

The first “friend” I’d like to “thank” would be John Marshall, the bald, portly, generally pleased with himself parking lot attendant at Virginia Tech. Three parking tickets in one day during finals week? Ok, so I was waiting outside Owens and you pulled-up next to me and told me to move. In return, I told you I’d give a shit about your flashing lights when they turn blue and red and your car said “POLICE.” I was just being honest (unlike you, when you said “have a nice day”). And yes, I did put my car in reverse every time you tried to leave the ticket on my windshield, but what did you expect? By the way, thanks for the other $850 in parking tickets that semester. I know just how I’m gonna get you. I am going to park my shit right in the middle of Washington Street, your bald ass is going to pick up that ridiculously unnecessary two-way you carry, race to the scene like your mission in life is to give me this parking ticket. Upon your approach, I will leave my vehicle, apologize profusely, tell you what a great service you do for not just VT, but humanity. Then I will shake your hand. Unfortunately for you, I will be shaking it with my hand, that moments before I sneezed, coughed, and blew my nose in. Then I will tell you, as you so frequently told me, and like the sign says in the office, “attitudes are contagious.” You know what else is contagious? THE MOTHA FUCKIN’ SWINE FLU. Gotcha, bitch!

My next care package is going to my dear position coach from high school, who we’ll call Benedict Arnold. Much like your namesake hurled George Washington & Co under the horse and carriage, so you did to me so many times in the film room. When the afternoons were stormy, the only cloud bigger than the huge one covering the sun was the reefer cloud, coincidentally hanging over your truck. Also strange was your wearing of sunglasses, everywhere and always. While “sensitive retina” may have fooled some people (like the ones who couldn’t smell the weed), no one except for Bono and Helen Keller wear sunglasses all the time. They say the eyes are the window to the soul; instinct tells me that even if I could see through the knock-off Oakleys, I would just be staring into an abyss deeper than your commentary of my execution of the 4-3 defense. Remember the time at the season-opening picnic, when we were the last two people in line, and you helped yourself to the last two pulled pork sandwiches? Well, Benny, as it turns out, pork comes from pigs (I know its bewildering). You know what else comes from pigs? The Goddamn SWINE FLU. Next time smoke is coming out of your truck’s tailpipe while its turned off, I’m going to bring you lunch. It’s going to be shredded pork, straight from Mex-i-co. It’s going to be half cooked, full of vinegar sauce, and topped off with a big wad of my infectious snot. You will be so stoned you’ll forget your class is even wondering where you are, and you will devour that delicious sandwich. You once told me the game is 80% attitude. Well, the swine on your Swine Flu sandwich is 20% cooked.

Ah, I’ve been waiting for this. Emily Dickinson, your namesake wrote, “Because I could not stop for Death—He kindly stopped for me.” How ironic! Death is going to stop for you, probably outside of your apartment where he’ll wait for you to come out and give you a big ‘ole kiss. There was a long time where all I wanted to give you was my everlasting love and devotion. That everlasting love and devotion has since been reduced to a highly lethal strain of Swine Flu. For all those years, you lead me around like a dog on a leash, then dropped me off at the pound, and not even one that euthanizes, where I could at least be put down. Bigger men would be able to look back and smile, take the life lesson and move on. I will move on, look back, and smile…after I give you the Swine Flu. I never really got much from you, but to give is to receive. What am I receiving? A long absent sense of justice. What are you receiving? The Swine Flu.

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