Thursday, August 12, 2004

Predator: A Field Guide to the things that are killing us this week.

On the Virginia side of the Metro area, residents are scared poopy over the recent assaults visited upon their children by what appears to be a rabid fox, possibly Arlington politico Andy Rosenberg, but we are declining to speculate at this time. From the reports, it seems like most residents of the affected area are happily settling into one of the advanced stages of blown-out-of-proportion terror. Dig the Post's purple prose:

It was a hot, quiet afternoon at the Crestview townhouses in Herndon on Monday, so Jacqueline Elliott let the five children at the day care she runs from her home eat popsicles in the back yard. She won't do that again.

Seriously, it's like they did a find and replace with their 9-11 coverage.

One resident, however, was keeping it in perspective: "I don't want my kids to be too afraid of it," she said. "It's lower on my list of worries than . . . gang violence."

That list:
1. Gang Violence
2. Running out of toilet paper before a snowstorm
3. Anacondas
4. Getting raped by the ice cream man
5. Robert Novak
6. Foxes
7. Not really getting why THE DaVINCI CODE is so popular
8. What is that thing on John Edwards' lip, anyway?
9. The CHUDS
10. Free-floating existential anxiety.

Norwalk Virus:
That scourge of Carnival Cruises has waded to our shores this week, infecting over 100 teens who were in College Park to attend a Student Leadership Conference at the University of Maryland. Officials have little idea how the Conference attendees came to be so afflicted--The Deceiver prefers to believe it will be one of several plagues visited upon Governor Ehrlich and his guests. Symptoms include nausea and severe diarrhea--which could explain how the virus got so widespread--since nausea and the runs affect anyone who comes in contact with the University of Maryland, no one probably noticed until it was too late. Health professionals are doing what they can to stop the spread of the disease. Frederick Corder, Prince George's County's health officer, has stressed: "The key here is hand-washing." Not coincidentally, proof of handwashing automatically qualifies UMd. students for "cum laude" status.

People who ride Buses:
Apparently, the number of incidents of assaults on bus drivers has spiked in recent months. Explanations vary: METRO says that more drivers are reporting incidents than before, I guess because they're rejecting METRO's most recent training series: "Just Tough It Out, You Fucking Crybaby." We don't have an explanation--The Deceiver likes riding the bus--except the 38B. The 38B is for suckers. With this rising concern for their personal safety, many bus drivers are striving to get promoted to rail operator. As Transit Police Chief Polly Hanson, whose never seen The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, attests, "Rail operators don't get assaulted." Which is true, but bus drivers probably get laid 5 times as often.

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