RANK: ANIMAL ILLNESSES
This is the Frank Sinatra of animal-themed sicknesses. A timeless classic, although the younger generations might not appreciate it. I remember fondly going to a Fourth of July Parade as a child, just recovering from the pox, and my mom not letting me look around too much lest other parents see my pox and get upset for contaminating everyone else. I also have a few choice scars from the ol’ poxy. Drawback: Some children are getting ‘vaccinated’ for this. Wimps.
While this is the hot disease of the moment, it still can’t measure up to the grandaddy, pox del pollo. I don’t know much about this disease other than that I saw a Chinese man piling handfuls of live chicks into garbage bags on “Today,” so I think it’s gross. Downside: While I don’t really care about full-grown poultry, I’m never happy to see cute baby chicks fall ill with the flu. Do they get little bowls of vegetarian chicken soup?
This was the disease du jour a few summers ago, but I think that most people just liked saying “Monkey Pox,” and maybe imagining a sad little chimp with a heating pad and tiny thermometer, than really knowing what the disease was about. Downside: Things are sad on the planet of the apes.
Prairie dog pox
This was a form of monkey pox passed on by pet prairie dogs, and what I want to know is, who has pet prairie dogs and where can I get one? For scientific research, of course. And oh yes, terrible about the disease, just terrible. Downside: Too many syllables.
(Originally published on April 25th, 2005)