Ebola Is Famous
I was driving home from a night shift at the newspaper where I work last week, about 10 p.m., and I passed the string of three or four street prostitutes who work out in front of the public library and I thought, "at least they don't have Ebola."
If they had Ebola, I'd have to pull over and interview them or be afraid of them, two reactions no one has to $20-a-throw junky prostitutes.
Of course, they're dying. Hepatitis C. AIDS. The long term effects of shooting heroin five times a day and eating maybe three times a week, stuff like that, good usual, not-to-worry kinds of death.
Skinny as snakes, most of 'em. Sucking on cigarettes and hacking up thick balls of flem. Tight jeans and hair pulled back.
Too bad they don't have Ebola. That stuff gets you off the street REAL quick. No wait in the emergency room, a free ride to Nebraska and you get to see the best doctors they can find.
This beats the care you get in the local emergency room if you're a junky and they see you maybe six times year. In fact, if you are even suspected of having Ebola in most towns, the ambulance carrying you will go siren-ing by homeless people who are maybe three, four days from being dead.
Ebola in America is the Kim Kardashian of diseases; it's famous but no one knows why.
You wanna know something I know?
Heroin addicts, when they are very badly addicted, no longer really get high from shooting up.
Don't see that trembling little fact on the television news much, now do ya?
Hell, Renee Zellweger got more attention for getting her plastic surgery done by a guy with a jackhammer than you get if you're hungry and old and sick and living on your own in a crummy apartment in a lousy neighborhood and you die in bed and they don't find you until one of the other tenants smells something.
And you didn't mean to die that way. You just got old and your family didn't come around anymore and you couldn't change your bed by yourself so you slept on dirty sheets and you had ulcers on your legs and the prescriptions were too expensive.
And you used to work in a factory and go dancing on Saturday night.
You should have had Ebola. You get some respect with Ebola. You get clean sheets fast with Ebola. You got Ebola, every half hour some television reporter with a red tie around his gym-built neck holds up a microphone and gives an "update" on your condition.
This is not to say that you shouldn't be worried about Ebola at all. Like I said, Ebola is the Kim Kardashian of diseases. Look what happened with her. One day no one was worried and a couple months later, she'd gotten out into the general population.
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's book of Pulitzer Prize-nominated columns, "Between Wealth and Welfare" is available for Kindle and Nook.
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