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Monday, July 31, 2006


Every Breath You Take

This morning, I was made aware of a health threat facing our nation. Workers in snack factories around the country are developing serious illnesses from breathing in the powdered butter that is sprayed on bagged popcorn.

I am horrified by this. That in our day and age, we can have so little regard for our workers that we allow them to be sprayed with deadly powdered butter. What kind of world, I asked myself, do we live in? And then I answered, "Apparently, the kind where people get powdered butter in their lungs." I decided to do a little research (mostly on Wikipedia, because I'm lazy and I don't really care about getting actual "facts".) I found a growing number of work-related pulmonary illnesses that, if action is not taken now, threaten to decimate our country's workforce over the next decade.

Cheese Lung--Workers in a Lean Cuisine plant in Raleigh, NC have been reporting an increase in workplace accidents involving the cheese the Stouffers company has been using in it's Pasta Prima-Tasty entree. Some Lean Cuisine employees have inhaled a significant amount of the crumbled parmesan and have reported symptoms including difficulty breathing and a delicious pizza-esque smell every time they sunbathe.

Pube Lung--Arthur McNab, an employee at a small pubic toupee factory in San Francisco, is suing his employer for health problems stemming from his daily exposure to dangerous pubic hairs. In his deposition, McNab says, "Two weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't breathe. I then coughed up a hairball the size of a tangerine that landed in my wife's lap."

Bullshit Lung--Mel Gibson's personal assistant came forth yesterday, after revelations about Gibson's anti-Semitic rant while being arrested for drunk driving. The assistant, who did not want her name released to the press because she's always thought it sounded too butch, says that she's developed asthma-like symptoms after two years of working for Gibson, during which time she's been forced to breathe in all of the rancid bullshit that streams forth from his mouth on a daily basis.

Dada Lung--Almost a dozen employees of New York's Museum of Modern Art have been hospitalized with a condition that seems to have been caused by their close proximity to works of art by Tristan Tzara, Hugo Ball, Marcel DuChamp and other abstract artists from the post-WWI era. Doctors at Columbia University Hospital have speculated that the museum workers inhaled dust and paint flakes from the art work. When asked how she was feeling, one MoMA employee replied that she was "elephant wheel".

Ling Ling Lung--Zookeepers at the National Zoo in Washington are coping with an outbreak of this disease which is caused by the inhalation of panda feces. Victims suffer from obesity and an overwhelming craving for bamboo.

We need to do more to protect our nation's workers. And the government needs to provide incentives for our medical research companies to find cures for these diseases. Only through strict regulation of industry and rigorous scientific experimentation will we wipe out lung diseases.