Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Germ Theory

By C. L. Beck

Germs—bad, bad germs. I once knew a doctor who told his patients he didn’t believe in the germ theory. It was a joke and if I didn’t have an awful cold right now, I’m sure I’d find it funny.

Have you ever thought about germs? It’s never been proven, but I believe they’re part of an insidious plot. Nowadays everything is thought to be a conspiracy, so why not the common cold?

Can’t you just see it? A scientist with wavy hair, a polka-dotted bow tie and black glasses is sitting on the stool in his lab. Chemicals bubble in beakers, heat rises from his Bunsen burner, the scent of formaldehyde and sulfuric acid mixed with the smell of a bologna sandwich wafts through the air. He ignores it all in his effort to train a germ to do its duty.

“Now go on out there, find every LDS writer that you can, and give them a cold right before their publishing deadline.” The scientist lovingly pats the germ on the head.

“Yes, my master,” the germ replies.

“And don’t forget book signings. Lay them low as they sit at the table, hoping to impress the masses.”

“Yes, my master.” Apparently this germ has learned how to divide and multiply, but he doesn’t have very good language skills.

“Cloud their minds so they forget to use a handkerchief when they cough,” the scientist continues.

“Yes, my master.”

Hold on a minute. This cold germ is starting to sound like Darth Vader talking to the Emperor. Maybe we’d better beef his character up a little.

“When they go to church, impress them to shake hands.” The scientist’s eyes gleam with insane pleasure behind his Coke bottle glasses.

The germ blinks in confusion. “My master, I don’t need to do that. We’re in Utah, which is an ancient Native American word for ‘people who can’t meet without shaking hands’.”

“Oh, I always thought it meant ‘people who can’t meet without refreshments’,” the scientist replies. He slicks back the germ’s hair, straightens its little polka dot tie and sends it off into the big, wide world.

You might think I’m making this up in my illness-fogged mind, but I have living proof. That very same germ showed up at my writers’ group on Tuesday and managed to infiltrate its way into my life, giving me the wretched cold I have today.

I’m onto the germ, though. Knowing that I’m contagious, I’m not going to church or shaking hands with others. I refuse to cooperate in spreading the monster around. I’m not sending it by computer to my writer friends, either. Before starting this blog, I sprayed my keyboard with Lysol.

Hmm, maybe that explains the zzzzzt, zzzt, zzzt sound and sparks flying as I type.

Despite my burning fever, hacking cough, and legs that feel Pinocchio’s, I wanted to warn you about it. Germs—they’re more than a theory. They’re out to get you. Pass it on.

1 comment:

Triple Nickel said...

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