Why do people like having vicious dogs for pets? You know, those breeds poised to tear your throat out if you so much as glance in their general direction? A recent incident involving one of these hellhounds led to my latest epiphany: Let’s make killer viruses into household pets. (This week’s post includes a special guest illustration from Mónica Lalanda!)
Some dear friends of mine had been complaining about their neighbor’s new dog, a Mengelian mutt that mixed Doberman Pinscher, Pit Bull, Rottweiler, and Middle East dictator. They invited me to view the beast from their backyard porch.
Before we stepped outside, my friend stopped me. “Here,” he said, and handed me a pair of Depends. I gave him a puzzled look as I strapped on the undergarments, but his motive soon became clear. Out on the porch, my bladder released at first sight of the monster.
The dog, named “Hades,” stood eight-feet tall and had fangs the size of yardsticks. When he walked, his claws aerated the lawn, and he frothed at the mouth incessantly. “They told us this type of dog is born rabid,” my friend informed me. “Part of the breed’s allure, I guess.”
Hades was “fenced” in by a fourteen-foot high wall of concrete, with rolls of barbed wire lining the top. Two armed guards sat in turrets. They swept a spotlight along the grounds, even though it was one in the afternoon.
After a few minutes, a door opened from the house, and a deer carcass was pushed out. Hades chomped it down in five bites. Apparently Bambi was not filling enough, so he scaled a nearby turret and consumed a guard.
“Fourth guard this week,” my friends told me. “They go through a lot of Per Mar guys over there.”
I asked why a person would make a killing machine like Hades their pet. “Some people aren’t drawn to cuddly little doggies who sit on your lap,” my friend replied. “For whatever reason, they want the land-bound equivalent of a Great White Shark.”
“Perhaps they enjoy the constant threat of death,” I reasoned. And my latest epiphany clamped onto me like Hades’ iron-jaws.
Adopting a Cuddly Killer Virus
If it’s death you want to domesticate, why waste all that money on fencing, dead deer, and a soon-to-be-dead security guard? Why not just adopt a killer virus?
I visited the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, and pitched my epiphany. I asked them to let me adopt a killer virus as a pet, and explained how it was be a welcome alternative to man-eaters like Hades.
The Center’s director said it was the stupidest idea he’d ever heard of, yet he would do it. Sequestration budget cuts had forced his hand. “We just don’t have the room to store all this stuff anymore,” he shrugged, handing me the smallpox virus.
I took the virus home. I had purchased a nice little lead-lined safe at the CDC gift shop, and I placed him in it with a nice little blanket. I named him “Smallfry.”
I soon felt the joy of having a potentially lethal force at my disposal. Once neighbors discovered I had the smallpox virus, they called police, city council people, and the National Guard. No one would help, citing sequestration budget cuts as the reason.
Scared s—less, neighbors put their homes up for sale and moved away in droves. Within a year, the entire neighborhood was cleared out.
All that was left was me, Smallfry, and Hades’ family. We began meeting in the park on occasion to let our pets play together. Hades’ family would sit in a Sherman tank, watching their hellhound capture cars and devour the drivers. I sat with Smallfry in his case, content with the knowledge that his release could kill millions.
Man’s worst nightmare had become man’s best friend. Don’t you love it when that happens?
Special thanks to Mónica Lalanda for the guest illustration. Click here to learn more about Mónica!