Saturday, October 08, 2005

Blame FedEx

Within minutes of its take off, a small Cessna 208 Caravan cargo plane for FedEx Corp – including six vials of research virus – tragically crashed in downtown Winnipeg this past Thursday. Shit, that particular news item reads like the opening lines of a Richard Preston novel. It makes me want to take a decontamination shower and scrub my body with steel wool just thinking about it.

I know, I know, it’s a very tragic accident indeed and thankfully there was no further significant body count apart from the unfortunate Morningstar Air Express pilot. It was a real-life Tom Hanks movie plotline. But the real curious thing to me, apart from the crash itself, is that among the 2,200 pounds of cargo aboard the Federal Express cargo flight bound for Thunder Bay that fateful evening were four frozen vials of herpes and two vials of Influenza ‘A’.


Ummm, winter storm or no winter storm, does anybody want to speculate as to why anybody would ever want, or need for that matter, to Express ship frozen samples of herpes and Influenza to Thunder Bay of all fucking places? I find that down right disturbing as a Canadian! Something is rotten in the province of Manitoba. So, besides the fact that I can also scratch Thunder Bay off my list of “Possible Future Vacation Destinations”, I am becoming increasingly concerned that our Big Brother south of the 49th parallel is going to build an enormous wall separating us completely from the rest of North America.

Luckily, all the samples were reported to be completely destroyed in the ensuing fire once the plane slammed into the icy ground. However, the substances were not actually considered dangerous in the first place, according to health and safety regulations issued by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, but are only considered dangerous goods for air transport purposes simply because they have to be handled in a different way. Different way? You mean transporters are required to wear condoms or something?

And pardon me for asking, but didn’t Influenza ‘A’ also just happen to cause a lesser-known event in history known as the “Spanish Flu”? That little pandemic only managed to kill more people than in the Great War, at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people? More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as "Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe" the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster. Helloooooo? Anyone?

Local Federal Member of Parliament, Pat Martin expressed concern with current procedures, saying: "There are weak links here, and we won't tolerate it in our community." Ahhh, aren’t we downplaying this just a wee bit Pat? This practically sounds like Sadam Hussein’s mysterious cache of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ we’re talking about here! What goes on in Winnipeg that they have so many viruses? Christ, had I know this a little over a year ago; I would NEVER have eaten that order of fried rice w/ garlic chicken from the ‘Fork Market’. And considering that only last March, another FedEx van carrying anthrax, Ebola, tuberculosis, hepatitis bacilli, and other biological agents collided with a car on its way to the Arlington Street lab, we might want to reconsider the methods in which we choose to mail our seemingly endless stores of deadly viruses and toxins. Apparently, FedEx isn’t exactly the preferred choice of couriers when shipping Level 4 bio-containments. Well, duh!

Now maybe this is a moot point, but you just fucking know that the US 'Food and Drug Administration' would never allow something like this! They've probably already assigned an entire covert containment team of scientists to the Manitoba border to prevent the possible outbreak of yet another plight of contagious infection.

The fear has now been raised that these kinds of careless transportation methods could expose Winnipeggers, not to mention us schleps 2000 km’s away in St. Catharines, Ontario, to fatal viruses or unwelcome attacks from terrorists. Isn’t is bad enough that we get blamed for every little fucking thing fucking thing that goes wrong in North America as it is, that we also have to give our nosy neighbors to the south a further validated reasons for concern as well? That’s just what we need.

Just in the last few years: the Ohio Blackout; SARS; Monkey Pox*; Mad Cow Disease; providing easy access and staging grounds for terrorists and terrorist attacks; and now biohazards are falling from the sky. It's like whenever the shit hits the fan everyone's first response it to point the finger in our direction (until further investigation realizes different that is). Robin Williams was even nominated for an Oscar for singing a song based on this misguided American accusatory reflex. Shit, ever since the Toronto Blue Jays won baseballs for two consecutive years in 1992 and 1993 (during which a U.S. Marine color guard accidentally carried a Canadian flag upside-down at a pre-game ceremony), Americans' have had a hard-on for beating down us Canadians in the media. Their overall tolerance for cute and cuddly Canada has fallen considerably, the relationship now having chilled to a temperature slightly frostier than a March midnight in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. They’re practically begging for an opportunity to invade us!

Wise up, Canada! Americans have already secretly labeled us as being part of their precious ‘Axis of Evil’ and they’ve had their weary eye on us for a LONG time now! The American colonial concept of ‘Manifest Destiny’ is not dead my fellow Canucks, it’s only hibernating like a coiled dragon ready to rise up and take a severe bite out of our bacon sammich if we’re not careful. Consider the following past tensions we’ve had cast on us already:

1. Title III of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act -- sponsored by America's No. 1 loon, Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C. -- not only gives Americans the right to sue foreign companies that own property in Cuba seized from Americans during Fidel Castro's revolution but also prevents executives of such companies and their family members from entering the United States. (This law has kept many Canadians from gaining entry to the States, and Canada officially complained that the law violated the North American Free Trade Agreement.)

2. An additional piece of legislation, a 1996 bill known as "IRA IRA" (a nickname for the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act), contains a hotly disputed passage, Section 110, that would subject all foreigners -- including Canadians -- to odious border checks before entering the United States. Presently, most Canadians are simply waved through, but if Section 110 passes, officials in both countries are predicting up to 20-hour traffic tie-ups at border crossings, which could cause irreparable damage to the $1 billion worth of business that Americans do with their No. 1 trading partner, Canada, every day. (The act was to go into effect in 1998 but was postponed until the end of 2001.)

3. In 1997, a concerned shopper in a Winnipeg, Manitoba, Wal-Mart noticed that some of the pajamas on the shelves were made in (gasp!) Cuba. Again with Winnipeg! Is this province capital the staging ground for American “Anti-Canadian” propaganda or something? Amazingly, tensions between Washington and Ottawa rose over this incident, and anti-Canadian sentiments on the other side of the border stirred as Wal-Mart vowed to continue selling the pj's in its 136 Canadian stores. The pajamas were actually on the agenda when Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien visited the White House that year. Thumbing his nose at Washington, Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy later paid a state visit to Cuba, in further bold defiance of the American-led boycott and isolation policy. So he had a few cigars and worked on his tan – so what?

4. The Malaspina incident also strained U.S.-Canadian relations over the summer of 1997, and things got even worse in December of that year, when Canada attempted to take center stage in the international political arena by hosting a landmark convention intent on banning land mines the world over.

The United States snubbed the Ottawa Treaty, denying Canada its moment in the sun and embarrassing the Chrétien government. More than 120 countries signed the treaty, while the United States joined Yugoslavia, Libya, Iran and Albania (a regular terrorist dorm party in the coming years) of among the 30 or so countries that did not.

5. President Dubya travels to the nations capital of Ottawa and then on to Halifax in December 2004 to discuss, among other things, Canada's liberal stance on marijuana usage. While still not being legal in Canada, 'ol Dubya was concerned enough that we're all a nation of evil reefers that he felt the need to come and lecture us on enjoying a little pot before 'Hokey Night In Canada'. So concerned was he, that he assigned an advance security team to secure the Parliament buildings and plan out his travel arrangements with military precision prior to his arrival. Unfortunately, all that really turned out to gawk at the presidential Idiot Child from behind the placed military barricades were a few old ladies with placards and shoppers who had strayed from the Rideaux Shopping Center looking for cinnamon 'Beaver Tails'.

It just goes on and on. So we’d all better start watching our collective asses and stop shipping our viruses by carrier pigeon like irresponsible retards; lest we should wake up one morning to find American paratroopers parachuting into our backyards and stomping all over our proverbial patio lanterns. Sure we could kick the pasty asses of any Danish sweetarts or starving Africans that may ever dare threaten us, but the Yanks would utterly and completely piss in our maple syrup - make no mistake about it! These are people who riot for used computers for god sakes!

But thankfully, if that ever does happen, we can take comfort in the fact that none of the invading American forces will ever want anything to do with us physically since, to them, we’re all a bunch of walking germ laboratories. We have the same charm and appeal as a roastbeef sandwich that has been left out in the hot sun for over a week.

* Which, in a miraclulous act of natural predisposition, was first blamed on migratring prairie dogs journeying thousands of miles down from the Canadian prairies.


Blogger Theresa said...

you need to take a break and laugh at my's good you might like it.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

I believe that the Canadian equivalent of the Centre for Disease Control is located in Winnipeg. It's also where you send any dead crows you find in your neighbourhood to get them tested for West Nile. So I'm not surprised there were herpes and flu vials on board that plane.

Re. Helms-Burton: Go Cuba! Hiss USA!

You can have a lovely vacation down there for super cheap, and no American tourists to groan about!

3:48 PM  
Blogger Your Fearless Leader said...

u make me pee myself... lol


5:11 PM  

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