“I’m patient zero,” I told my wife when she answered the video call.
“I haven’t even had coffee yet.”
“This is serious. I’ve put all the pieces together now. Get coffee. I’ll wait.”
She went off screen briefly and I sat listening intently to her morning routine. It contained more prayer than normal I think. I kept hearing things like “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” and “Lord you made him…” and some mumbled plea about answering calls in the future that began with “Good morning”.
She sat back down. “Patient zero?”
“Zombie apocalypse? Duh.”
“This should be fun. Please. Enlighten me.”
“So if you remember, I was raised with cats. Now throw my mad cow into the mix…” I began.
“You do NOT have mad cow,” my wife informed me. “And Moosa isn’t a real thing either.”
“Then explain my erratic thought processes. HA! You can’t. So much for your psych degree, Doc.”
“You’re just bizarre.”
“No. I’m misunderstood.”
“Einstein was misunderstood,” she incorrectly corrected.
“He couldn’t make correct change for the bus, either.”
“But You can most certainly make change for the bus.”
“Tell that to the Korean bus driver who had to make correct change for me when I put ₩ 10,000 in the thing to pay for my fare yesterday.”
For those unfamiliar, ₩ is the symbol for Korean won which makes more sense than our $ for dollars. Double strike-through W for Won versus a double strike-through S for Dollar. In regards to the origins of double strike-through S for Dollar, I blame the French influences on the early development of the written English language. Kind of like the superfluous K in knight or knife. It’s a working theory. Back to Won (₩). It is Pronounced wan but spelled w-o-n. Lost in translation, I suppose. Anyway, 1,000 ₩ is like 90 cents. Cents: (¢). Boom! Take that Frenchie!
“It was all I had on me. It resulted in me having about six pounds of Korean coins in each pocket. After that I just dumped the contents of one pocket into the thing (what is that called anyway?) every time I got onto a different bus. The driver would then make change and the machine would spit a new set of coins out weighing slightly less than six pounds. It was exactly like paying a percentage to have my money laundered. I felt like I was in the Triad.”
“That’s exactly nothing like having your money laundered, and the Triad are Chinese.”
“Right! But they are also foreign to Korea, so it works.”
She placed her left thumb on her cheek and covered her eyes while shaking her head.
I explained to her for perhaps the hundredth time in twenty years how I came to be afflicted with the first of three bovine sicknesses. The second is from a mandatory series of anthrax vaccinations and the third is from an Army mandated small pox vaccination. I know that you are thinking that small pox and cow pox are two different pox (poxes?), but if you are thinking that, you are mistaken. Apparently, small pox was eradicated except for weaponized versions stockpiled alongside weaponized anthrax in Russia and sold off to any number of belligerent states. So the US engineered something out of cow pox to administer to us so we can’t get either type of poc. Milkmaids seemed to be immune to small pox, so why not? What is it with Russians and cow disease weapons? Weirdos. I digress.
Removing her hand from her face she asked me what Einstein had to do with all of this?
“You brought him up.”
“Oh my god, would you just get to your point?” she pleaded.
“As I was saying, when I got exposed to MRSA, that particular disease was outmatched by preexisting conditions and teamed up with the mad cow, cow pox, and anthrax. Voila! Moosa.”
“And your cats had what to do with this?”
“I’m glad you asked. Being raised with cats is what started it all. You remember that manipulative parasite they carry?”
“Toxoplasma gondii. Yes, but that affects women and causes birth defects or something.”
“It makes them more promiscuous so they have more babies and perpetuate the cycle, yes. But it also makes men less risk averse to put them in the way of the big cats we once lived alongside so that when we became cat scat we could also spread the bacteria.”
“Is there a point to this?”
“Of course there is. The Toxoplasma gondii explains why I was chasing that cat in Panama and got stuck in the sticker patch which is where I picked up that fungus that controls the minds of ants in South America.”
I held up my arm to show her the sticker wound I’d gotten when I was nine years old. There is a still visible brown mark much like a tattoo. Maybe it is more like the pencil wound on my left leg I got when I was thirteen following a leg spasm while I held a pencil point down under my desk. “It got in at this point.”
“So you have fungus for brain. That explains things.”
“No. I’m just saying I’m not in full control of my mental faculties.”
“No argument there,” she shrugged.
“You can’t insinuate that I’m stupid after calling me Einstein.”
“I most certainly did not call you Einstein.”
“You said I was bizarre and through the whole misunderstood money laundering Triad thing, we established that bizarre is basically a synonym for Einstein when we talk.”
“I’m pretty sure having mushrooms in your head is no basis for zombification,” she suggested. “That fungus is not the same thing as magic mushrooms.”
“The point is that when the MRSA wins out over the mad cow, it will erupt in my skull at which point the fungus will take control due to Moosa diminished mental facility and I will become a zombie with bacteria that draws people to me. Cycle repeats. Zombie apocalypse.”
“I am going to choke your mother next time I see her.”
“I would too. This is all her doing. First the cats, then the willful spread of mad cow. I told you she was the Mesopotamian goddess of the underworld,” I gasped at a sudden realization. “I am a demigod! I’m like Hercules, king of the zombies!”
“And I am hanging up now.”