When Suzie Porcine went to the “swine flu” assembly she asked questions. Word got back to her dad what his daughter had asked. Mr. Albert Porcine kept stressing how lucky they were to already have a family plan purchased from California Health Insurance agent Matt Lockard. But he was sensitive about certain matters.
Escondido High, where Suzie Porcine attended, held an assembly to educate students about H1N1 influenza, also called “swine flu.” Sample bottles of Purell and surgical masks were handed to each student as they entered the auditorium.
The Principal, Mrs. Viscera Wormwood, stood poised on the stage prepared to introduce the health official who would be discussing his “swine flu survival guide,” whatever that was. But Suzie raised her hand. “What is swine flu? I had nothing to do with it no matter what anybody says.”
“What do you mean you have nothing to do with it?” asked Mrs. Wormwood.
“Everyone says it’s my fault!” Suzie yelled back. Murmurs turned into snickers.
“Porcine means pig,” taunted Bill Roberts. He was a tenth grader with hairy arms.
Anticipating a potential legal crisis, Mrs. Wormwood asked Suzie to leave the auditorium. After the assembly had ended, Mrs. Wormwood called the Porcine home. Mr. Albert Porcine picked up. After Mrs. Wormwood explained, Mr. Porcine squealed with indignation. “I hate this politically correct anecdotal name for H1N1 influenza,” he ranted, “Is your school asking to be sued?”
This was the response Mrs. Wormwood had feared. “No,” the principal said. But she had no clue about how to contradict the man until … Suzie began sneezing and coughing, and phlegm started flying.
“What’s going on?” Mrs. Wormwood couldn’t help asking, “Is it Suzie?” The phlegm kept flying.
Mr. Porcine was speechless for a moment. “Yes,” he said, “she’s sick.”
“Could it be swine flu?” Mrs. Wormwood bleated in the manner of a sheep.
“Don’t call it that!” Mr. Porcine screamed into the receiver. He hung up immediately, but once he did, he headed off with his daughter to the nearest Urgent Care. “Don’t worry princess,” he said. Suddenly California Health Insurance agent Matt Lockard crossed his mind. At least we have a policy for emergencies, he figured.
“I hope I don’t have swine flu, Daddy,” Suzie rasped, her throat clogged with unspent mucus.
Albert Porcine started to correct his beloved daughter, and then stopped. “Let’s hope you don’t,” he managed, on the verge of tears.