A Pox on Your Arm

Thursday night, our conversation before bed…

NavyGuy: I got my smallpox vaccine today.

NavyWife: Oh yeah, in which arm?

NG: My left – see right here (pointing).

NW: (Reaching to touch it) Does it hurt?

NG: No! Don’t touch it.

NW: Jeez big baby, I wasn’t going to jab my fingernail into it.

NG: No, it’s that there’s live virus on it.

NW: Huh?

NG: They stick a needle with live cow pox virus into your arm several times, and that’s how the vaccination works. It’s like any other vaccine, you know, so there’s a little bit of the virus on my arm. Hence the bandaid.

NW: WHAT! Agh! Pox on my hand! Pox on my hand!

NG: Oh dear God.

NW: So wait, does that mean you’re gonna have small pox on your arm?

NG: Well, a scar from it.

NW: OH MY GOD! I’m gonna get the pox!!! You let me touch your pox arm! You’re like a human smallpox blanket! Shouldn’t you be quarantined?!? My GOD!

NG: This is why I don’t tell you things.

I’ll spare you the rest of the conversation, but it went on with me making irrational claims and predictions for some time. (For instance, I may have suggested that all NavyGuy needed was a vaccine against dysentery and he’d be set to travel the Oregon Trail for life!)

But now, three days later, his small pox arm doesn’t look right. There’s no pox scar. And there should be. So now I’m a little worried that the U.S. government is testing some crazy drugs on naive junior lieutenants in the Navy. I shared my theory with NavyGuy, that perhaps much like how the U.S. Public Health System tested syphilis on unsuspecting African-Americans in Tuskegee, Alabama, now the government is using the guise of smallpox vaccinations to test god-knows-what on Navy officers who just get told, “show up here, at this time, for a medical thing.”

Now NavyGuy says I’m not allowed to answer the phone if a FBI agent calls to do NavyGuy’s background check for his security clearance. Which must mean I’m on to something…

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