A word of warning: do not fly with United Airlines and their 18th century aviation technology. Our plane was taxied down the runway by horses. They gave us goggles to stop the bugs from getting in our eyes. I wanted to order a coke, but the call button was Morse Code, so instead I drank my own tears. Oh and we didn’t have personal TV sets, so the in-flight entertainment was horrible. No, “entertainment” is the wrong word. Seven Pounds was showing, and I wouldn’t call anything with Will Smith in it entertainment.

Unlike my flight, my holiday in America was great, and an excellent learning experience. Did you know, Americans aren’t even aware that the rest of the world exists? At best they’re suspicious that we might, but they can’t confirm or deny. Proof: one guy asked me if Obama was the president of Australia too. One girl could recite to me all 50 states, but thought Rome was in “The Roman Empire”. Another girl had flown through Berlin airport the week before, but when I quizzed her on the capital city of Germany, she weakly offered Copenhagen and asked why we were talking about “geometry”.

But whatever Americans lack in geometrical knowledge they make up for in ability to prepare fatty foods. The problem is that food in America is four times cheaper than it is in Australia, the portions are huge by comparison, and every restaurant has free drink refills.

To top it all off, the word “small” has never passed through the lips of any self-respecting American. In Vegas, I went for a “small” breakfast (two eggs, bacon, fried potatoes and a sausage) because I knew that a few hours later we would be going to a restaurant for a “big” lunch – and if you’re wondering what “big” means in American English, I’ll give you a clue. That meal was the first and only time I’ve eaten five courses. “Big”, as you might have guessed, is the American word for “elephantine”, a lesson I should have learnt after ordering a “Monster Burrito” and being delivered a small Mexican child in a corn tortilla. Americans just don’t understand small.

There’s a reason the continent’s named after America, not Mexico. It’s because America is by far the greatest country in North America – Mexico smells like sewerage and I don’t even know what the other country is. Speaking of Mexico, please stop being afraid of Swine Flu because I’m getting jealous of how much money the media is making off this disease. As much as I cringe every time I hear the words “media” and “conspiracy” used in the same sentence, Swine Flu is a media conspiracy. Why? Because I turn on the radio and all I hear is Swine Flu. I buy a newspaper and the headline says Swine Flu Kills Millions – Crisis Imminent. The media is trying to scare you so that it can sell more newspapers. It’s a vicious cycle:

Now, the facts. There have been a grand total of 17 deaths due to Swine Flu, 16 of them in Mexico. There are 4,600 people in the world who have the disease, but be very afraid, because there is a very strong chance you might encounter one of the ZERO people in Australia who has it. That’s right. Not a single person in Australia has the disease. Want some more facts?

“World Health Organisation officials noted on April 29 that the majority of people infected with the virus have made a full recovery without need of medical attention or antiviral drugs… some virologists believe that this strain is unlikely to cause as many fatalities as earlier pandemics, and may not even be as damaging as a typical flu season.”

Up to 500,000 die every year from the normal flu. That means the regular flu is thirty thousand times more dangerous than Swine Flu. Did someone say “media conspiracy”? And yet I’ve seen people in surgical masks. One train was stopped and evacuated because someone was coughing. I’ve heard of people stocking up on food so that they don’t have to go into public. Pork prices have dropped dramatically, despite the fact that the disease is not transmitted by pigs and cannot be contracted by eating pork.

“On April 30 the World Health Organization stated that no pigs in any country have been determined to have the illness, but farmers remain alert due to concerns that infected humans may pass the virus to their herds.”

That’s right. Pigs should be more afraid of getting Swine Flu from us, than we should be of getting Swine Flu from pigs. The funniest reactions, however, have been from Egypt. Note: Egypt currently has a whopping ZERO suspected cases of Swine Flu.

“On April 29, the Egyptian Government decided to kill all 300,000 pigs in Egypt, despite none of them having been suspected to be infected. They have also sent medics to vaccinate farmer families against the common flu, which has no link with, nor provides protection against, the current Mexico epidemic.”

Clearly the Pharaoh of Egypt is acting a bit rashly as far as Swine Flu is concerned. It doesn’t matter though, because Egypt is a Muslim country, so they don’t really need the pigs anyway. If you’re wondering why they had them in the first place, my guess is that this Egyptian dude, Ramses, went to the supermarket one weekend but forgot that he’s Muslim and doesn’t eat pork. So he comes home to his pyramid with 300,000 pigs and his roommate Tutenkhamen says to him “Shit, Ramses! What are you gonna do with all these pigs?” And Ramses is like “I have an idea!” So they get in their chariot and go to the hardware store, trade them in for some Jewish slaves and make a killing in the pyramid-building business.

Note: At the time of writing this, all statistics were correct. However, as of the 16th of July 2009, there have been approximately 100,000 reported cases of Swine Flu, resulting in 29 deaths in Australia. Swine Flu is not a media conspiracy, but at the time of writing this, it definitely was, thus not changing the fact that I’m always right about everything.

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