Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Classical Pieces Always Sound Like They Are About to End, But They Don't

            Every weekday morning, from when I turn the radio on just after 5:00 until 5:30, classical music is playing on Radio Canada. Like a long speech that seems at the end of every sentence that it’s about to make it’s point, a piece of classical music always sounds like it’s about to end.
            I spent a lot of the day on my essay, editing out repeated or unnecessary phrases and organizing the ideas into sections. I managed to knock at least a page off of it but I’m still five or six pages over.
            I broke a big glass salad bowl that I use for washing grapes when a cereal bowl fell on it. I have another nicer and stronger glass bowl the same size anyway, so I’m not heartbroken about it. I found both bowls during different bike rides.
            I watched an interesting Alfred Hitchcock Hour teleplay about a public health department doctor trying to track down the source of an anthrax epidemic. It begins a pickup truck racing along the highway with a woozy woman behind the wheel and a very sick man in the back holding a Mexican drum. In his delirium he leans too far over the side and when the driver suddenly lurches the truck sideways he falls off without her knowing, rolls into the ditch and up against a fence. The body is taken to the morgue but when the young doctor does the autopsy he finds anthrax, so everybody that touched the man has to get a shot of penicillin and have their clothes burned. Meanwhile the drum is found by a worker that picks up garbage along the highway. The drum is stolen from him by some punks in a hotrod. The highway worker dies. The punks roll a drunk. The punks get sick. The doctor tracks down the woman driver after she is misdiagnosed with pneumonia but inadvertently cured of anthrax with penicillin. She tells him they had brought back a drum from Mexico. The rolled drunk dies of anthrax. One of the punks crashes the hot rod and dies. The police identify the punk and the other two he hangs out with. The doctor busts into the home of one of the punks who is dying in bed and manages to save him. He tells them that the third hoodlum has the drum. They finally catch him and burn the drum.
            They weren’t very consistent in the idea that clothes had to be burned. Lots of times the doctor would come in contact with anthrax with his regular clothes on. Properly he would have worn disposable medical clothing with every contact.
            The reason the drum was the culprit is because it was hand-made from a burrow’s stomach. But the pneumonia-like symptoms they showed the victims having were those that one would get from inhalation anthrax. From touching an anthrax infected drum they would have gotten cutaneous anthrax, which has skin related symptoms like blisters, but only if they already had cuts on their hands. If the victims had inhalation anthrax, chances are that just the shot of penicillin wouldn’t have saved them. Treatment of cutaneous anthrax, if it happens before it spreads to the blood has a much higher success rate. So the writer of this story didn’t have the internet to research anthrax because it was 1963.

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