Cabin Fever

(This column first appeared in the January 24, 2000 Buffalo News.)

    As partial responses to the cabin fever -- or even real flu -- that always seems to set in at this time of year, I offer two palliatives.

    First, I just came across a copy of a survey of important science news in 1999 which some wag had annotated. Consider a few of the items together with the additions:

    Meanwhile, this item appeared on the internet:

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    Football playoffs are also underway in the Animal Kingdom and the following episode occurred in the Supper Bowl game between the Big Animals and the Small Animals.

    The Small Animals were losing 26-0 by the time they kicked off to begin the second half. On the first play from scrimmage the elephant was brought down for a gain of only one yard. On second down the hippo tried the line again and was tackled for a two yard loss. With third and eleven the giraffe, the Big Animals' coach, substituted his best running back, the rhino, but he was downed at the line of scrimmage. The Big Animals had to punt.

    As the Small Animal defense trotted and bounded and slithered off the field, the snake, their defensive coach, asked who it was who downed the elephant.

    "It was me," responded the centipede proudly.

    "Who tackled the hippo?" asked the coach.

    "I guess that was me too," answered the centipede.

    The exchange continued: "Did you get the rhino too?"

    "Uh, yes I did."

    "Great but where the hell were you in the first half when we needed you?"

    "Sorry coach, I was having my ankles taped."

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    Spring will be here in just a few months. I hope we all make it.-- Gerry Rising