Sunday, August 2, 2015


I hear that leprosy cases are way up in Florida this year, and it is not even an election year. (That is a dig at somebody. I haven't figured out who yet.) Local scientists suspect that rising contact with armadillos is causing the uptick.

(Side note: I saw Leprosy Uptick at the Troubadour in '79, back when punk was still punk.)

"What's new in your state?" "Oh, we're having a leprosy uptick"...said no governor, ever.

Imagine if the entire U.S. itself were undergoing a leprosy uptick. The president would be blamed immediately for being "soft on armadillos."

They are adorable. Have you seen the babies? Like little grenades with faces.

Did you know that armadillos are the only other animal known to carry leprosy? I decided to compile a list of other traits which only humans and armadillos share:
  • Indifference to U2
  • Thick armor which even Oprah combining forces with Deepak Chopra cannot often pierce
  • The enjoyment which only comes from spitting
All right, "enjoyment" is perhaps a strong word, but yeah. Armadillos spit when riled. Their spit contains the bacteria which causes leprosy. As armadillo habitat is destroyed for subdivisions, more armadillos are coming into contact with humans, and humans do not always use the greatest judgment, especially if they are Floridian humans.

The incubation period for leprosy can be between five and twenty years! Suddenly you are experiencing odd symptoms—skin lesions, claw-like hands, collapsed facial features—and you go, "Oh yeah, back in '95 you dared me to kiss that armadillo outside Hooters. What are the odds that would come back to bite me?"

The Center for Disease Control admits you are unlikely to contract leprosy from an armadillo, but recommends you avoid contact with them "when possible," which is always. It is always possible. Even after Jello shots, people. As the saying goes, if it's close enough to spit on you, it's probably already got a boyfriend anyway.

Luckily, in the U.S., leprosy cases are mostly found in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, states which can be easily avoided if you have a smart phone. I only know one person in those states, and she is unlikely to rile armadillos. Unless the armadillo is a Democrat.

Anyway, antibiotics can take care of it nowadays. Leprosy, I mean, not liberals. Donald Trump has been working on a cure for liberals for years. Trouble is, nobody wants to kiss him.