I don’t have a life like yours – unless I do – and I don’t think like you think – unless I do – and I certainly don’t have a home or family like yours – unless I do. Anything’s possible. For instance, it could turn out we’re exactly alike. I would love to do a project in which I make baseball cards of the humans born on the same date I was, in the same county, and I would like to do this because I wonder odd things like if they’re having an astrologically dictated wild ride like mine, and if they elude capture. Stats:
Spouse(s): 1 (ex)
Children: 1 (current)
Major Illnesses: Is my insurance company listening?
Hobbies: Moving and unpacking, dating New Jersey, reading anything with punctuation.
Personal statement: “Where am I?”
And I’d like to know in a more certain sense if it is my job in this lifetime to watch what other people are doing and do something else. If ten people were born in Bergen County, NJ on 15 February, 1963 and all of them have not-found-in-nature-red hair and bejeweled slippers, that might be an interesting fact, I think. Unfortunately, that’s not really the kind of information public servants are anxious to disseminate. This is, however:
In a remarkable speech over the weekend, Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt recommended that Americans start storing canned tuna and powdered milk under their beds as the prospect of a deadly bird flu outbreak approaches the United States.
Under your bed. Got it? The Onion’s got our back:
A Perdue spokesman said the chicken will soon resume her duties pecking at grain and being oblivious to her future as a cordon bleu sandwich.
What a relief! The chicken’s not sick and we can stock up on tuna as a precaution.
Listen, I am not a genius. Yesterday, I locked myself out of my house. I can’t grocery shop without a first grader who can add and subtract. My brother-in-law tells me how to buy automotive coolant by color. Even so, every so often I have to stand up and be the Voice of Reason. Brace yourself.
The thing we’re worried about is bird flu. Even if tunas take to eating birds, chances are pretty good buying tuna might still be possible if we have a bird flu epidemic. Maybe. In any case, if there’s preemptive purchasing and stocking up to be done, shouldn’t we stock up on perfectly healthy birds? How about a case of chicken soup? Maybe you’d prefer turkey? One of each? Frozen turkey breast? Frozen duck? For our vegetarian brethren, veggie stock and legumes? If you’re worried that soon foul, you know, will be, lay some in now, some bottled water and don’t panic. The worst thing that happens if there’s no epidemic is you have delicious chicken soup.
If the epidemic comes here, that will be another story. I hope we can all behave in a patient and sensible manner, sharing our resources with the poor. It’s hard to plan ahead for famine or plague when you can’t feed your kids today. So maybe when you stock your own pantry you put by just a little extra for people who can’t, and you drop that at a food bank near you if the avian flu empties our grocery stores.
Now, I’m returning you to your regularly scheduled enjoyment of my antics. Got your nose!