Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Swine Flu, Julie, and her Blessing

News of Swine Flu reached The Confederacy of Dunces. Although there are no reported cases of the flu in the Confederacy, citizens are taking decisive steps to protect their pigs.

Simon and Samantha Best worried the Swine Flu would sicken their prize pig Julie. She would be competing for a blue ribbon in the Shire Fair in September. They took her to Dr. Filmore, Cloverdale’s Vet , to get a vaccination. The doctor’s response was unsatisfactory, even bordering on ignorant.
“Dr. Filmore said the Swine Flu was a threat to humans and not pigs,” Samantha explained. “Well I ask you this. Why is it called Swine Flu if it makes humans sick? Does that make sense to you? Why anyone with half the sense of a flitterbug would see that.”

Simon and Samantha thought if science wouldn’t do anything for Julie then religion might. They brought Julie to Sunday services at Cloverdale’s First Baptist Church hoping the pastor would pre-heal Julie from the virus. Pastor Baynard's response wasn't very Christian. He read somewhere on the internet that Egypt slaughtered their pigs to keep the flu from spreading. The next day he read that Russia and China stopped importing American pork out of fear the pork would bring the flu to their nations. Pastor Baynard is in the business of believing so why should he doubt what he reads? When he saw the Bests walking Julie down the sidewalk toward his office that Sunday afternoon he took out his handkerchief, put it over his mouth and nose and stepped outside meet them. The pastor explained the situation and urged them to have Julie put down in the interests of the entire community. His suggestion didn't go over well with Simon. The Bests left when the Pastor’s concerned turned to outright cursing .

Simon and Samantha didn’t give up. After going through all the churches in Cloverdale and getting nowhere their Buddist neighbor suggest Khenpo Ugyne Tenzin, a Buddhist Lama. Surprisingly he was willing to bless the pig. After the blessing, the Lama enlightened them on Julie's previous life as a human mother of six in Cambodia. Apparently she had problems with gluttony and enjoyed distilled spirits. Her current swine state was the consequence for those decisions in her previous life. The Lama promised Julie that if she was a good pig in this reincarnation she would get another chance in human form in the next as she struggled for Nirvana.

Simon and Samantha are now reconsidering their decision to butcher Julie in the fall. She was going to provide their Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

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