Pigs don't wear pants.

My son Mack has nightmares.  I very often wake with a start at 2 am to find him standing next to my bed just staring at me like an extra from that "I see dead people" movie.  I have tried to explain to him that this freaks me out and I'd rather he just say my name or something. In his defense the monsters in his head are arguably less scary than I am when someone wakes me up.

Sometimes he remembers what he dreams, sometimes he doesn't, but let me say this - the ones he's told me about would make Stephen King wet himself.  Once, Mack had a dream that he was at a fair, and he saw a clown with balloons.  Clown? Fun. Balloons? Fun.  Skeleton with an evil laugh?  Not so much.  Which is what the clown became once he got close enough to claim his balloon.  FYI- there are a lot of child therapists on the Google, be specific when you search.

Because of the nightmares, and the fact that I am loosing valuable mattress space to a combination of scared children and my rapidly expanding girth, I encourage my kids to avoid things that kindle fear of any kind.  Admittedly, this can be inconvenient as it eliminates even things like the daily weather forecast since my daughter is convinced that, sooner or later, we are going to be hit by a Kansas style tornado.  We aren't.  Also we are not the site of the next hurricane Katrina, or a Thailand style tsunami.  She remains unconvinced.  Unfortunately she, like so many people, believes that if the TV shows it happening to someone, it will eventually happen to her.  This is why, at our house, we never watch "the news".

I firmly believe that the point of network news (or any news for that matter) is to scare people bad enough to make them feel like they need to watch the scariest newscast so that they will know exactly how scared they should be.  The more viewers these scary broadcasts attract, the more sponsors the networks can land.  The more sponsors they have, the more money they make... and knowing full well that the only way to keep their viewers/sponsors/money is to keep up the scary, things quickly devolve into pictures of  (just for example) an endless line of people queueing up for some mystery vaccine, complete with masks and gloves and various other "necessary precautions".  Don't believe me?  Two words.  Swine Flu.  Actually, a few more words:  SARS, West Nile Virus, Bird Flu.  Seriously.  Who knew that in my life I would survive so many a pandemic.  I must have the best immune system of all. 

Don't get me wrong, I believe swine flu exists and can make a person sick.  Also I don't want it.  I don't like the name (it just sounds gross) and I'm pretty sure that when a person contracts it, it looks like that scene from Pinocchio where the lazy kid that smokes cigars and cuts class, grows ears and a tail and turns into a donkey... except you would turn into a pig  - obviously, duh.  Also, from then on, when people referred to you in conversation they would always say "you know, that kid with swine flu" even when you're 35.  Having thrown that out there, I hardly think that 64 total (US) cases of some random strand of flu is cause for me to start wearing one of those ugly surgical masks and stock piling MREs.  All I'm saying is that if this thing is that contagious, then why aren't the families of all of those spoiled little Mexico Spring Breakers all sick too?  As I see it, if this was 1918 all over again, those folks would already be getting a bulk discount from the local undertaker.  Luckily though, America, we're going to spend like a million dollars on swine flu stuff - because we have tons of extra room in the budget... and things like not sneezing on other people, washing our hands and staying home if we're sick seems a little too... rational...and free.

So, the pandemic coverage viewing ban is now in full effect at our house.  The last thing I need is more nighttime visitors with visions of killer pig attacks and giant dancing surgical masks.  FOX, CNN, OPB, ABC, NBC, et. all., be warned, I need my rest.  If you take that away from me, you'll be hearing from me - and trust me- you'd rather face a skeleton clown with swine flu and SARS than me with sleep deprivation.



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side of fries said...

How is it possible that you're the funniest person I know. Really.... every blog post makes my day.

The Laundry Queen said...

I totally know what you mean about people never forgetting about it if you get swine flu-- I mean, will they somehow treat you as though you are part pig? Forever swine-tainted? Laughed as usual. Thanks.

grammy said...

I still have to watch the news, you know so I can sound like I know what is going on in the world. "So, how about that swine flu?" and other newsy questions as ice-breakers....