Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tapeworm Tales

When the riots in Greece were ongoing I noticed the events bore an eery similarity to an old joke told by med students about how to remove a tapeworm.

Tapeworms are notoriously hard to get rid of.  The method recommended in the joke is;  Step 1: Anally insert a banana in the patient's rectum daily at exactly the same time each day for 7 days;  Step 2:  On the 8th day the doctor arms himself with a hammer and pliers, positions the patient for insertion and closely observes the patient;  Step 3:  After a moderate delay, the tapeworm, conditioned to receiving its banana precisely on time each day, becomes angry and aggressive and exposes its head and shoulders outside the rectal opening and loudly demands "where the hell is my banana?" at which point the doctor is able to grab it with the pliers and beat it to death with the hammer.

Obviously, the tapeworm, if given the opportunity to escape, or if mollified by additional feeding, will be doubly hard to catch and kill if this first opportunity is botched.  Therefore, it is important to seize the opportunity the first time.

Greece is being bailed out by the EU.  Oops.

Lets make sure we kill the tapeworm in Wisconsin.