Evening had come and, the lab was quiet. Doctor Herbert Stienhoffer and his faithful interns had gone home over an hour ago. The lights had been extinguished, no equipment beeped, no gages registered, but in the darkness, there was movement. On a table towards the back of the room, a careless intern had forgotten a petri dish, and though the room was still, the translucent, yellow-green liquid the dish contained was swirling in a tiny whirlpool of intense activity. The liquid congealed, and the spinning stopped as a creature took shape. His tiny reptilian eyes glowed as he rose and shook the stiffness from his body. Sliding easily over the edge of the dish, he began his trek towards the metal tower that the humans called microscope. Pausing for a moment at the tower’s base, he scanned the room about him. All was quiet. Only the click of his tiny talons against the desk’s Formica surface disturbed the silence. His mission? To implant a false image on the lens of the tower. The world could never know that his kind not only had a brain, but a purpose, and a destiny. They would implant their young into every human being, congest airways, leave human brains in an empty, oxygen deprived state, and thus create an army of mindless drones enslaved to do their bidding! This micro-villain chuckled as he brushed the slime from his oozing nostrils, and began the upward climb that would ensure his race’s superiority. Yes! In the end, the common cold would rule the world!
Okay, so I’m being melodramatic, but there has to be some intelligence behind the germ that causes the cold. Thanksgiving is swiftly approaching. The house needs cleaned, plans need made, but instead of cheerfully dreaming of the holidays ahead, I’m sitting at my desk in a mindless stupor, seriously considering taping a Styrofoam cup under my nose. I really should be up doing something to prepare, but standing makes my head feel like it’s going to roll off my shoulders, and with the condition of the house at the moment, Thanksgiving would be over before we found it. My brain is so numb that last night I threw a handful of tissues in the laundry basket and my socks in the toilet! An army of germs capable of making such an organized attack surely must have a strategic mastermind at its head… And why now?
This cold had ten months to make its attack on my system, but it chose Thanksgiving week. Mere chance, or is it something more insidious? What better time to plan the infection of the human race than Thanksgiving, and what better people to first infect than the cooks?
“Take heart,” my family tells me, “You still have a few days.” But my sister-in-law has been fighting this cold for three weeks. I came down with this two days ago. Thanksgiving may be recorded as the day that the common cold took over the earth.
Hmmm… Sounds like I’m not getting enough air to my brain again.