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Of snow and flu

BY BEAU ELLIOT | NOVEMBER 03, 2009 7:20 AM

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The snows of Kilimanjaro will likely disappear in the next 20 years, according to a new study.

George W. Bush is now a motivational speaker. (No, really.)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai won re-election without the election actually taking place. (Yes, I know; he also “won” the first round of “voting” without an election actually taking place; apparently, Karzai and his brother are keen admirers of the first Mayor Daley of Chicago.)

And there’s a blogger out there (There’s always some blogger out there somewhere, isn’t there? I think we’re getting blogged down.) who devoutly believes the H1N1 flu vaccine is a vast global conspiracy to depopulate the world.

What’s next? you wonder. Well, the Hawkeye football team could play like complete (or incomplete, in terms of the passing game) doofuses for three quarters against a team that City High could beat, then morph into the Super Bowl version of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter and win by 18 points. (As a baseball fan, I have to admit, that football game on Halloween turned out to be so exciting that it was almost as interesting as an average baseball game. Which brings up an interesting point: If the Philadelphia Phillies could just play an average baseball game, they could beat the New York Yankees.)

(Once, anyway.)

Who cares about the snows of Kilimanjaro? you say. We have an undefeated football team. We don’t need another lecture about some inconvenient truth.

True enough. The snows of Kilimanjaro are pretty far away. And, you have to admit, getting farther away by the minute. Or the year. Whatever.

But most of you of college age will probably have kids at some point. (Just a wild guess; I’m going to go out on a limb and bet sex doesn’t go away anytime soon.) And 1 or 2 percent of those kids will grow up to read literature. (Yes, I realize I’m wandering into the realm of science fiction here; but by the time your kids are old enough to read literature, reading literature will be so retro that it will be a cool, cult thing to do.) What are you going to say when they ask you about Hemingway’s famous story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” and say, There’s no snow on Kilimanjaro what was this guy smoking?

And that conversation will devolve into what you might have been smoking back in the day, and that’s the place no parent ever wants to go.

So the snows of Kilimanjaro might be worth saving.

I’m just saying.

Speaking of saying, it’s true: George W. Bush is now a motivational speaker. And I don’t see what’s so funny about this. I always thought George W. Bush was a motivational speaker. Every time he uttered a word, practically, I was motivated to write. Speak on, George. Tell us again that most of our imports come from overseas. (Hmmm — don’t most of our imports come from Canada and Mexico? Neither of which is exactly overseas. I mean, if you wanted to, you could walk to Canada. Kind of a stupid time of year to try it, though.)

And the flu vaccine as a global conspiracy to depopulate the world? What is this — The Da Vinci Code with needles? With the CDC standing in as the Catholic Church?

Well, now that you bring it up, you could probably pitch the movie idea and get some serious upfront money (though I wouldn’t try this in Iowa right now). As far as I can tell, there’s nothing Hollywood likes better than making the same movie over and over and over. Again.

Me, I don’t normally believe in conspiracy theories. (I don’t do anything normally, my friends tell me.)

But I have heard those vaccine makers were spotted on the grassy knoll in Dallas.


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