The WHO (the World Health Organization, not the band that sings the CSI theme song) is working desperately to save the pigs. Apparently, the Egyptian government slaughtered over 30,000 pigs in an effort to stem the tide of the Swine Flu pandemic that’s sweeping cities and towns by the…well, single digit numbers everywhere but Mexico. The WHO (whose members may or may not moonlight at PETA) have taken quick action to assure us that Swine Flu doesn’t come from pigs!
Apparently, this latest version of “Swine Flu” is not technically Swine Flu. It’s a new strain of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 that derives from one strain of human influenza, one strain of avian influenza, and two separate strains of swine influenza. If my math is right, that makes it Flying Pig Flu, Now New And Improved for Human Beings! I think we should call it Flying Pig Flu for short though.
The WHO (once again not the band) disagrees. In a marketing effort that seems completely unlikely to fail, they want us to call this new strain by it’s scientific name: "Rather than calling this swine flu ... we're going to stick with the technical scientific name H1N1 influenza A,” said WHO spokesman Dick Thompson (not to be confused with Pete Townsend spokesman of the actual Who).
Obviously, while Flying Pig Flu may be fun to think about, it just doesn’t roll off the ole tongue like H1N1 Influenza A does. You wouldn’t be very likely to find a group of coworkers huddled around the water cooler talking about Flying Pig Flu whereas talking about H1N1 Influenza A seems commonplace to the point of absurdity.
“Hey Bob, did you hear they closed another school because of H1N3 Influenza A?”
[chuckling] “Actually Donna, I think you mean H1N1 Influenza A, but yes I have heard! In the future, it’ll be easier to say if you just remember that H1N1 was the original name of R2-D2 before the Flu lobby sued George Lucas for trying to use the name!”
“Oh silly me Bob! Thanks for the helpful hint!”
I suppose you just can’t argue with the logic of the WHO. By giving what we currently call Swine Flu an easy to remember name like A1N1 Influenza A, all pigs, even flying ones will be safe from harm and as a Cubs fan, I’m very interested in the health of all of the flying pigs in the world.
Now the Egyptians can leave the rest of their pigs alone and no one will bother to kill any more pigs—after all, it’s not Swine Flu, it’s A1N1 Influenza A! If we’re going to needlessly slaughter in the name of health, let’s slaughter numbers and letters! Ha! Not possible huh!?!? Take that!
Obviously the WHO knows what their doing. Who could ever forget A1N1 Influenza A? Still…something keeps nagging at me. Somewhere deep down I keep coming back to Flying Pig Flu. It might be kind of cool too.
“Oh, he’s at home. He has a nasty case of Flying Pig Flu.”
“Why is school cancelled Mommy?”
“Because dear, Flying Pig Flu has invaded the area and we must be cautious!”
Think of the tee-shirts! I Survived Flying Pig Flu—2009! Think of the public safety ad featuring Jennifer Aniston, “…so please, wash your hands, cover your mouth when coughing and keep your distance from any and all pigs you see that have wings.”
I know what you’re thinking. It’s not as much fun as the A1N1 Influenza A conversations, tee-shirts and commercials would be. They could probably get Brad and Angelina to do the A1N1 Influenza A public safety ad. It’s just more respectable. Sorry. A guy can dream though!
Well the WHO may want to call this A1N1 Influenza A and maybe they’ll get all of you to follow along. I certainly don’t want pigs to be needlessly slaughtered, but I think I’m going to defy them and call it Flying Pig Flu anyway. I encourage you to do the same. Since when do potentially deadly strains of influenza need to be taken so seriously anyway?
Flying Pig Flu it is then—I hope you don’t get it, but if you do, have a little fun with it huh?