There's a story I remember from my childhood -- and whether it was a Twilight Zone episode or a short story I remember not -- about a man who had an earwig in his brain. It'd crawled in from his ear, and he went mad. Miraculously, the earwig crawled all the way through and out his other ear! He stopped being mad. Then they told him it was a female and had laid its eggs in his brain and he went mad again.
I was reminded of that story when I read in the paper that a woman had died of a prion disease, but that the hospital hadn't yet said anything to "approximately 12 patients who had brain surgery after the sick woman — but before the hospital super-sterilized the surgical instruments used on her." Golly.
I live in the land of denial where prion stuff is concerned -- particularly Mad Cow Disease. Officially everything is hunky-dory. It's a Canuck problem, eh? As if. The man who slaughtered the lone* identifiably-infected cow has turned mad-cow-disease-awareness-activist, and refutes the official line that she was a "downer." The Stragner**, a humorous and hot-headed Seattle weekly proclaimed that "We're all going to die," on the cover of their mad cow issue.
*Great idea: Don't test so as not to be burdened by those P.R. nightmares
**The Stranger, but I always call it The Stragner, especially since an issue boldly entitled "The Stragner" some years ago.
posted by - 3:46 PM