I’m happy to hear that the first likely Tarrant County case of swine flu, a 12 year-old girl, is recovering with what seems to be minor symptoms. Given the way cable news outlets have shamelessly relied on the formula “big hysteria = big ratings,” I hope health officials didn’t react with similar vehemence:

Time: 12:15 Monday April 27. Place: Middle School, FW. Source of Infection: Health officials have labeled her “Heather X” to shield the child from weekend mall retribution.

Capture Scenario: Three county health officials landed via helicopter atop the lunch room. All wore large white infection-proof suits complete with boots, gloves, and noisy air-filter apparatus. They stood in the lunch line with trays to avoid suspicion.

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“Heather X” spotted at Table 3, Seat 6. She had a Spongebob juice box and Miley Cyrus stickers on her notebook. Three health officials with their trays surrounded the table until her peers leave. They sat on either side and in front of “Heather X.”

“Who’s the cutest Jonas Brother?” health official 1 asked. “I vote Nick. He’s hot and mature at the same time!”

“Nick’s too obvious!” declared health official 2. “Kevin’s got, like, amazing eyes!”

Before health official 3 could swoon over Joe, an annoyed “Heather X” stood and offered her wrists for handcuffs.

“Oh no, that’s not what this is about,” said health official 1. All three lead her out to the quarantine care flight, declaring to the stunned lunch room: “Nothing to see here, nothing to see…”


  1. This reminds me of that “south Park” episode where the whole town got SARS, and cured themselves with chicken soup and sprite.