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When I was in my teens I was taught predomintly by Salesians. Many of my teachers had been in some fairly severe and austere posts before they came to the little school in Cedar Lake.

One, in particular, had worked at leper colonies in Hawaii and in Loisiana. The idea of isolating lepers in colonies would seem ludicrous to us today, and indeed there are many people walking around with leprosy now, not quarantined.

it is not easy to transmit leprosy, that is true. It was quite a social stigma, and at the time, it was frightening to many people simply because there was no treatment. So quarantine and isolation were the only things considered to be useful for containing it. As is still the case for:
Infectious tuberculosis
Yellow fever
Viral hemorrhagic fevers
Severe acute respiratory syndromes
Flu that can cause a pandemic.

Note that this means quarantine and isolation of the people known to have the disease and people known to have carried it.

Not the general public.

I am not happy about being told I need to isolate myself because by any account I am neither contaminated nor communicable. I am FINE with social distancing, I always HAVE been.

I am less happy with people who would trade their freedom for imagined protection from an overhyped, imagined threat. Piss up a rope, you monkeys. I’d always rather take my chances with freedom.

Some things don’t change

One of them is the nature of my digestive system. It obviously has been a while but there have been many crapblogging opportunities. Here’s a memory I hope you enjoy.

Out on a job, I visit some friends locally who invite me to dinner rather than meet me at a restaurant. I’m always up for a home cooked meal and they are very gracious hosts.

Later that same night I wake up to some intestinal pressure which I hope is gas. I switch to the shit fart detector circuitry to red alert and crack off an exploratory fart. It seems as everything is in the proper third state of matter so I carefully loosen the sphincter and I’m rewarded with a resonant note that Trails off into a deep staccato. I relax because I am please not to have soiled another hotel bed. And then the aroma wafts up from beneath the duvet.

You wouldn’t think that pork chops and collard greens could turn into something that smelled that bad, but it definitely can.

And here I am in a hotel room in Poughkeepsie, breathing my last poison breath, and I never even got to say goodbye to my toaster.

Uncle Jack!

After the success of Monty Python’s Flying Circus the python crew went around doing other projects many of which made it to American television. One such project was ripping Yarns, a series of stand-alone programs each with its own theme. My favorite was the curse of the claw where Michael Palin plays himself and his pestilent Uncle Jack. Michael describes his strict upbringing and his monthly visits to his Uncle Jack to learn of what new tropical diseases he has acquired which seems to be his Hobby.

At the time I laughed at the comical figure of Uncle Jack but these days I’m not so sure that’s not me. I travel a great deal and in my travels I go through a good deal of minor discomfort, usually involving gastric distress or upper respiratory. You can’t eat in the places that I eat or sit in Endless airplanes without doing the same sort of thing. And because I am not especially germophobic it is not my nature to be excessively careful. I would rather just catch whatever the hell it is, get over it and move on.

Anyway here’s the episode of ripping Yarns in question. Most if not all of them are on YouTube and if you’re a python fan and you have missed these you owe it to yourself to check them out. The previous one to this in the series is about a man who crosses the Andes with his frog collection.

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