Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reporting from the Uncommon Cold Front

Officials from The University of Iowa, US Center for Disease Control and NASA confirmed today that an Iowa woman had been quarantined with an uncommon strain of the common cold.

“It's not like anything we've ever seen before,” Dr. Gus Undheit, UIHC, said. “Really. It's snot like nothing ever reported.”

The hallmark of this uncommon cold appears to be a particularly viscous strain of mucus. “It's like rubber cement right out of the bottle, but with more elasticity,” Undheit explained.

“And more slimey,” added CDC spokesperson Tia Shue. “It's just plain gross.”

Researchers have dubbed the new virus “Yo-yo Cold,” in light of the progression of symptoms and the stretchy nature of the mucus.

“It began as congestion in the left sinus cavity, advanced to irritation of the throat, and then lodged in the upper respiratory system,” Undheit recounted. “Just when we thought it was under control, it reversed direction, once again irritating the throat before withdrawing up into the right sinus cavity. It's a tenacious little booger.”

The mucus reportedly also displays enhanced tensile qualities in resisting the patient's efforts of blow it out via nasal extraction.

“The mucus seems to originate so deep in the nasal cavities, it has actually grabbed hold of and wrapped itself around the patient's brain stem,” Undheit says. “Any attempts to remove it by force – by blowing her nose – causes the mucus to respond like a recoil starter on a lawn mower. As the lead end of the mucus advances out the nostrils, the main stream of mucus uncoils, spinning the brain at approximately 33 1/3 RPM. Just when we think we have a tissue full – fwoop! A goodly portion snaps back into the sinus cavity, slapping the brain stem silly. Obviously she becomes quite light headed and dizzy.”

“It's really weird, man,” a lab assistant reported on condition of anonymity and the promise of an extra-large box of lotion tissues and a warm blanky. “I listened to a recording of the blow played backwards, and I heard a voice saying 'the walrus is Paul'.”

It was the extreme elasticity of the mucus that captured the attention of NASA officials. In light of recent budget cuts, researchers for the space program have been struggling to find low-cost alternatives to the conventional solid fuel rocket engines used for launches. Unconfirmed rumors suggest researchers plan to use the mucus to create a giant sling shot.

“Currently she's producing more than enough mucus to create a new sling shot every day,” said Robert Band, who claims to be a NASA spokesperson. “We have high expectorantations for Operation Sling Snot.” Other NASA officials claim not to know Band.

Government officials would neither confirm nor deny reports that the virus is being considered for use as a low-tech, non-lethal biological weapon.

“It would certainly be an effective way to incapacitate the enemy,” General N. Fluenza said. “It would be really easy to track infected enemy combatants by their tissue trail, too. But this illness makes the affected very crabby, and a crabby enemy is an unstable enemy. And our enemies are unstable enough as it is.”

Senators Conrad Gestion and Dray Nage, (I; CO, FL) unrecognized members of the Senate Committee on Ethics issued the following joint statement on the subject:

“Mild as it may be, knowingly infecting a sentient being with this communicable contagion would be an unspeakable act of cruelty, bringing to mind Nazi experiments on par with the horror of the small pox epidemic unseen since the proliferation of Disco and home perms. In short, at this pivotal point in mans' epic struggle for humanity, clarity and freedom from personal responsibility, it would be irresponsible and reprehensible to introduce this particular weapon in the ongoing, unending and literal, Cold War.”

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