Japan has gone to the pigs.
There’s an outbreak of swine flu here in the Kansai region, specifically Osaka and Kobe. I know, I’m supposed to call it H1N1 or whatever, but that name sucks. Swine flu it is! What, are we expected to be politically correct to pigs now? Fuck that nonsense.
Anyway, pig AIDS. Some school kids have gotten it and have been passing it around like Mariah Carey at a rapper’s convention, so now everyone here has gone bat-shit insane over fears of getting the pig AIDS and dying. I’m not really surprised that its spread so quickly in the schools, I think I mentioned way back when that schools are little incubation houses for whatever Virus of the Moment is popular. If you work in a school and some sort of cold or flu breaks, you might as well pencil in your sick days in your calendar.
As a result, all schools in Osaka and Kobe have been shut down. For the kids, I imagine this makes swine flu the best thing ever. For me, it’s a little surprising, as I don’t really know Japanese schools to close unless absolute global doom is eminent. Remember Ms. Americanized’s words of wisdom also from way back when – even if Japan got nuked again, if they could pull a few desks out of the rubble and round up some students, we’d have classes.
So far, swine flu in Japan has amounted to little more than a few fevers, runny noses, and coughing. So all the kids can go to the doctors here, get a bajillion different pills, be told that they’re too fat, and then go home and play video games all day since school has been cancelled. I would say I’m envious of Japanese school kids right now, but given how much they get their asses kicked in every other aspect of life, we’ll call this a long-overdue break.
Of course, the media-induced hysteria isn’t limited to the youth. Pretty much everyone here is walking around in those white masks, the ones we used to ridicule Michael Jackson for wearing. So now I have to deal with an entire nation of Sub-Zero’s. My wife also implores me to wear a mask, but I hate them (makes it hard to breathe) and besides – if everyone else is wearing a mask, that makes me pretty safe from them, doesn’t it?
She also tells me that at her work, they have to take regular temperature checks, and anyone who clocks in at 37 degrees or higher will be sent home from the day. I started to recommend some fever-inducing strats from my college days, but my wife doesn’t want to take time off – she’s paid by the hour and we can’t really afford to take a hit in either of our paychecks at the moment.
Swine flu has even stopped my wife’s freight-train-like momentum on wanting to have a baby. I’d held her off for quite some time, but the pressure was getting to be quite strong, and I too wanted to produce some cute little offspring so I could train them in Street Fighter, send them to the entertainment world when old enough and then retire early. But with the swine flu, the wife has decided to hold off on baby-making until things calm down. Wow. Seeing my wife decide to hold off on baby-making is a lot like watching a 30-pound girl scout stopping a full-powered punch from Mike Tyson in his prime with only her pinky finger. In other words – that shit is completely unfathomable, yet here we are.
As for illnesses, this year its swine flu, but isn’t there something going around every year? Last year it was bird flu, we had SARS before that…next year its going to be hamster flu, I’m calling that shit now. If my wife is going to balk at kids every time some nose sniffle comes up…we may actually never get around to it. We’ll have to go the celebrity route and adopt. I’ve been giving the issue some thought – adopt domestic, or try to rescue a kid from a third world country? I’ve looked around and weighed plenty of options, and what I’ve settled on is – I’d like to adopt Amanda Bynes. …What? She’s too old you say? *checks birthday* Nope…I’m showing she’s nice and legal.
…Ahem. Anyway, for now, schools remain closed and people are walking around looking like amateur surgeons. I refuse to buy into flu hype. But if only I’d known that one can bring Japan to its knees simply by being a little sick. I’m already thinking of possible ways to exploit this. On the morning subway train, if things get a little too cramped maybe I’ll start coughing and then mutter to myself “Man, I knew I shouldn’t have taken that trip to Mexico…” I’ll probably get the whole train car to myself.