Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Flu Formerly Known As Swine Flu Virus


Dr. Erskine Palmer and R.E. Bates / Centers for Disease Control / Reuters

This guy looks like a tough little bastard.

I've been through flu pandemics in 1957 and 1968. If I got sick, I don't remember it. But in Germany, in 1964 I caught a flu I remember. For a couple of days I was dreaming or delirious. I seemed to be working in a Chinese laundry, boiling sheets in big tubs. The steam in the air made it so hard to breathe, I felt like I was drowning. I kept coughing up horrible gobs of dark green mucous and spitting them into the wash tubs.

In the 70's in Austin, Texas, I spent a couple of weeks in a poorly vented darkroom, making images for an art project, and ended up with a chemical pneumonia. Or maybe it was the legionnaires disease, or just the flu that put me in the hospital for a week. I was seriously ill, but inhalation therapy pulled me through. I remember hearing that when they cultured whatever the organism was that was trying to kill me, it was a cross between a plant and an animal. I'm sure it had a name, but I don't remember what it was.

8 comments:

quinn the eskimo said...

Jesus Billy. I think its ALGAE that are both plant & animal. What the fuck? You had LUNG ALGAE? Probably came from some experiment you were doing on Cyborgs and shit, didn't it?

Where's Tom? He'll tell us all about Centaurs and those sorts of things. Bet the Greeks didn't have any myths about Algae-Man though.

Billy Glad said...

The conflict between the polar opposites plant/animal was resolved in my body, as the plant and animal kingdoms united to lay me low.

quinn the eskimo said...

I wish the others would hurry up and get here - this is primo Made-For-TV stuff.

"Half man, half heavy-breather, hand me that puke bucket willya?"

"Planimal - The Billy Glad Story"

Ok. Let's be more scientific here. Put the Hive mind to work. If you had to compare the organism to any vegetable, which vegetable would you choose?

Billy Glad said...

Rhubarb.

quinn the eskimo said...

And the animal?

Think carefully now. You could be living with these choices for quite some time.

Miguel de los Huevos Jones said...

We've got an airborne fungus, (from soil), here in the southwest that can knock you out. Coccidioidomycosis,or valley fever as it's known locally. Flue-like symptoms which can result in pneumonia. Fungi are somewhere in the realm of a 'planimal'. Slime molds... very strange 'organisms indeed, (30 square meter undivided cell?). Damn! I've never heard of coccidioidomycosis being in Germany. Fun fact: Many viruses have ten or fewer genes. The simplest Bacteria have several thousand. So a single gene mutation in a virus modifies 10% of its' genetic code.

Billy Glad said...

Could be the culprit, Miguel. I was in Austin, Texas when the planimal got me.

Antepilani said...

Cauliflower cut in half

Looks like an overhead view of people from a spy plane.

It's not AIDS so we can beat it...