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March, 2007


I seem to meet up with the oddest people these days.

Recently I was quite surprised as I took a brisk walk in my neighborhood. There on the sidewalk near the bus stop was a regal woman who looked as if she had stepped out of a bus from Las Vegas.

As I drew nearer I saw that she seemed to be burdened with some interesting objects.

"Well," she said dramatically. "I was beginning to think nobody would stop. But now here YOU are!"

"Well, hello," I said. "Welcome to the neighborhood. MY name is Wanna and I live a couple of blocks over. And you are ....?"

"Fluenza," she said. "I don't live here, but I pass through periodically. I haven't made my rounds through this area in quite a while, and knew it was time."

"Come closer, dear," she said, with a mysterious smile, "and let's get acquainted."

Well, frankly I didn't know what to think, especially when I got a little closer and really looked at what she was carrying. It appeared to be a basket made of glass, or was it ice? And It was filled with strange red flames and a vial of some bright blue something-or-other.


"Oh, don't pay any attention to that," she said. "It's just a little something I use to amuse myself periodically. I like the contrast of hot and cold, don't you?""

As if the basket weren't strange enough, I noticed something else that she was dragging around by a chain. I peered more closely. "1 ton," I read aloud. And then I really took a good look at her.

"Excuse me, ma'am; I don't mean to be rude, but what in the world are you doing with these things?"


She turned to look, and seeing that no one else was around, whispered with a throaty voice, "Wanna Honey, haven't you ever just felt weighted down with aches and pains?"

I nodded, mystified. "Well, yes, last year ...."

She smiled enigmatically, and jingled her chain. And then I saw a strange tool lying atop a block of ice. "What in the world ....?"

She sighed. "My goodness; you certainly are suspicious! Well, if you must know, I come fully stocked when I travel. Chills and fever, aches and pains, icy feet, and a pounding headache...."

And then I noticed what she had in her other hand. "Oh, ick!" I cried. "Is that what I think it is? Post nasal DRIP?"


"Well, so what if it is?" she asked huffily, dropping her chain in exasperation. "A person has to have a little amusement to make life worthwhile, doesn't she?"

I quickly looked up and down for traffic, and then began sprinting across the street. "Now where are you going?" she cried, stamping her foot and picking up her chain. "Why, we've hardly had time for a decent conversation!"

As I reached the sidewalk across the street from her, I gasped for breath. Turning around, I saw with relief that she hadn't followed me, but was already greeting another evening walker.

And boy, was I ever glad I had gotten that shot, because that's when I realized that when people say the flu is going around, they aren't kidding!


NOTE: You can read about the creation of Fluenza here.




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