My brother and his wife teach in a school in Bang Mot (literally "city of ants"), a southern suburb of Bangkok, Thailand. They've had an unusual number of days off this semester, thanks to cases among the students of a flu strain officially designated as H1N1, more commonly known as swine flu.
Many people in America, Europe, and the Media (which I can't seem to locate on a map) seem to be quite concerned about this swine flu, possibly because of the extra scare power inherent in largely antiquated terms like "swine." More sophisticated people (me), however, are worried about other, scarier diseases. A quick ranking:
5) Bird flu. Because, as Alfred Hitchcock has shown, The Birds are scarier than pigs. (Babe: Pig in the City doesn't count. It's too twisted.)
4) Cholera. When it comes to deciding what to fear, who do you trust--the Media, or Oregon Trail?
3) Lima Beans. On a plate, they seem innocent enough. But what if they started growing inside your body? (I have similar feelings regarding watermelon seeds and cancer.)
2) Hypochondria. Because I am afraid of fear itself.
1) Pneumonia. When it killed Jim Henson, my childhood ended. The nightmares, however, did not.
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