The dreaded (over-hyped) H1N1 virus - the Chitlin' Cough, the ol' Bacon Lung, the Pork Rind Plague of Mass Paranoia - may have indeed hit the local community, with as many as 25 suspected cases of Influenza A reported on campus by Friday afternoon.
Wow. Twenty-five whole cases. In a city of around 20,000 or so.
At a university with a slight on-campus housing shortage - dozens of students, at week's end, were living in temporary barracks-style units created out of residence hall lounges and cubbyholes.
A contagious disease that, well, flies around a college town full of not-exactly-hygienic college kids.
Never mind that other universities around the country are reporting similar numbers, that there are 10 Alabama football players quarantined because of test results, that there are cases being reported at Colorado-Boulder, at Xavier, at other colleges and secondary schools who start classes before Labor Day.
Twenty-five kids reported. Probably two- to three- times that number currently infected who just don't feel well enough - or who weren't turned into ranting hypochondriacs last year - to rush off to the doctor or campus clinic to take a test for a virus that, really, has no 100 percent treatment beyond a few OTC medications and bed rest.
You know, as several members of the African diaspora in this country have pointed out since this whole thing began, the U.S. leads the world in pointless fretting over a virus that will, well, kill you if it kills you.
Africans should know. Hell, their home communities are dealing with cholera, malaria, genocide, starvation, AIDS, basic sanitation, lack of clean water that the Most Industrialized Nations have only given mere humanitarian lip-service to for decades ... and now the Great Super Power's media-saturated masses sweat the flu.
Some might call it irony.
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UPTOWN OXFORD (ZP) -- I've decided to write off a recent occurrence as a blog lurker drinking game. Or as a really awkward momentary lapse in judgment caused by too many Red Bull and Vodka cocktails - and too much time online.
I've been dealing with Ohio's strangest stalker - a woman who hunts her prey by running up, grabbing a guy's ass while bumming a cigarette outside of a random bar, licking/kissing his neck mid-sentence, and then wandering off without so much as giving her real name.
Same very weird girl. Very cute but very, well, creepy.
At one point, we're talking three nights, consecutively. Three or four run-ins a night.
The only information she would give me was that she "knew my O-M-G, like, so not a secret," that she was an upperclassman who's "major wasn't important," and that '[Whispering] One night we're hooking up, right, like, here on the motherfucking street."
Same weird girl. At least a dozen separate run-ins in alleys, on patios, even, a week ago, at a soon-to-be demolished local watering hole during the local band Look Afraid's last set (Great show, guys!) in their favorite longtime, soon-to-be-demolished, college town venue.
Seriously, how fucking drunk and/or stoned does a junior or senior undergrad have to be to just walk up to a 31-year-old librarian leaning against a bar during a loud-ass rock concert, ask for a cigarette, then tell him she's "got a motherfucking mystery" she's planning on showing him at some future time, when he's drunk enough, and that I "can just call her Raylene" in whatever I write?
Just a little creepy.
In all honesty, it's probably my fault to some extent. I probably egged it on a bit at one point ... ah, um... well, okay... I was sorta tipsy enough to kinda...you know...
... Well, if a random 21-to-22 year-old licks your lips for you, while tipsy, most guys are going to lick back, okay? My bad. I was a bit tipsy myself.
But in all seriousness, I REALLY don't roll that way, Mystery Lady.
Ever try something like, "Hey, I hope you don't mind me saying this, but I like your blog... My name's ______?"
Something less creepy?
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CINCINNATI (ZP) -- After years of being accused of ignoring folks in the Queen City - I rarely leave the comfy bubble of life in Oxford Fucking Ohio without some motivation, to cut down on my carbon footprint - I was finally talked into hanging out with probably the most fun group of college students in Ohio.
I'm talking, of course, about the Local U.'s longtime rival in football and in scholarship, the University of Cincinnati.
There's a whole houseful of absolutely gorgeous girls down there who, well, know how to make amazing vegan food, who picked my brain about all sorts of things, in terms of both my former community organizer and [admittedly vague/sketchy] "information analyst" consulting days, in person, over way too much wine and grilled tofu.
I forgot I promised those wonderful Bearcat ladies a shout-out.
So, well... here it is.
Here's the fascinating thing: one Local U. alum, upon hearing the PG-13 version of that tale from earlier this summer, accused me of "cheating on" Oxford.
Yep, local students, my Ex-Other Man nature does sometimes lead to stepping out on ol' Oxford and its residents. And, I guess I should be honest here, I've also "cheated on you" with kids in Muncie and Bloomington, Indiana, even up in Columbus and down in Lexington, Kentucky.
I'm such a bad monkey. I know. Please forgive my cheating ass.
But when you can grill organic farmer's market corn and discuss Post-Marxist theory, Global South debt to various Industrialized nations, and culture-jamming like those lovely ladies, well, call me. I may let you spank me...
- Welcome back, college students. Be glad you're still in school, else you'd be another degreed kid in the Unemployment Line.
- Don't drink the Kool-Aid. That's for corporate media news junkies. Put a little booze of truth in it.
- Why, yes, I have been too busy to blog a lot. Don't I get a summer vacation, too?
- Apologize for calling Democrats and Republicans terrorists? Um, why the fuck would I do that?
- When I see real "health care reform," I'll be sure to write about it. But until then, well, I'm content to watch the U.S. Congress and the owners of both parties' collective balls duke it out like bullies on a playground.
- I respect the Dead Kennedys, sure. Oh, you're not talking about the punk band, are you?
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