They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks’ own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women’s chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.
It seems that China is experiencing a Plague of Rats. Again. And this is of course a matter of some concern for us all, though I must confess that it doesn’t concern me nearly as much as the stories of a Plague of, well, Plague that is sweeping across the nation. And I’m half convinced the stories must have some truth to them, else why would the Government be denying them so strenuously?
What is it with China and Plagues, anyway? It’s all here, you know, from SARS and bird flu and swine flu, to Hand Foot & Mouth disease and half-a-dozen things labelled as being H-number-N-number. The CDC are currently talking about an outbreak of measles and go on to warn travellers to China of the risks of encephalitis, malaria, dengue, filariasis, tickbourne encephalitis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis and leptospirosis. They also warn that taking Chinese medicines is as likely to kill you as it is to kill the disease, but what do they know, really?
The BBC has been reporting on a mysterious HIV-like disease that is spreading like wildfire, with victims saying things like: “Twenty-four hours [after having sex with a prostitute] I had a strong desire to vomit. I had headaches, I was dizzy, I could feel my internal organs were swelling up. I was in intense pain. This lasted months.” The Pasteur Institute is taking this very seriously, and so far has confirmed that whatever it is, it isn’t HIV. Of course, on the other hand, the Government has made it perfectly clear that “their illness could be the result of a mental rather than a physical condition.” Okay, fine. If you say so. I reckon it’s just as likely to be the result of eating the disgustingly vile muck that passes for ‘food’ in this hellhole. I’ve heard rumours that pneumonic plague has escaped the quarantine zone around the north-western town of Ziketan, but for the record I’d like to state that these rumours are certainly malicious and untrue. Also, for the record, spreading or listening to rumours can get you shot, or so it’s rumoured.
China gave the world the Black Death, and that’s no rumour – it’s an historical fact (though not perhaps a fact one can find in a Chinese history book). A doctor friend of mine says it’s also a fact that China has the world’s highest rate of appendicitis, caused when poorly cooked rice is not digested and goes septic in the intestines. Mind you, removing internal organs is at least something that most hospitals in China have a vast amount of experience at doing. There is an incredibly high incidence of rabies, Hepatitis A and B (and probably C, D, E and F as well), AIDS, and quite literally dozens of unidentified influenza-type diseases besides.
There is, as we speak, a Plague of Boils, judging by what I see every time I take a countryside bus. And a Plague of Lice. I feel confident in saying that there is no Plague of the Death of the First-Born, however there is certainly a Plague of the Death of the Second- and even Third-Born, and sometimes of the Parents Who Didn’t Follow The One-Child Policy as well. It’s entirely possible that there is a Plague of Frogs, but really how would you know in a country where frogs get themselves eaten the moment they stick their heads above the parapet? Which brings us nicely back to the current Plague of Rats.
The Government, to be fair, is doing the best it can under the circumstances, spreading hundreds of tons of poison across the vast areas of land, and with some effect. That effect has been the death by poisoning of all the cats and dogs, though it must be said that the rats are still doing fine, thank you. And perhaps this is just as well, given how popular rat meat is in this country. Wet markets are reporting an enormous increase in the supply of rat meat, which is often used to make a spicy rat stew, and though in Beijing and Shanghai restaurants frequently mix rat meat with lamb fat to disguise the taste, the experienced gourmand can tell the difference (the difference being the small size of the meat lumps, the stringy gristle, and the pieces of lamb fat amongst the meat). But at least the snakes are doing well, what with all the rats to eat, and that means that snake is also on the menu at just about every sit-down meal in the land.
What the hell is wrong with you, Chinese People? If it moves, you eat it. If it doesn’t move, you kick it until it moves. I mean, honestly, Bird’s Nest Soup? What the fuck is that all about? It’s the nest of a cave-dwelling bird and it’s made from bird spit! Shark Fin Soup? I’ve had it, and I’m relieved to be able to say that the best one can say for it is that it is slimy and tasteless, a bit like the population of the country as a whole. Seriously, if you want slimy and tasteless, why not just use way too much MSG, the same as you do for every single other thing you cook. And don’t start on me with your tales of China World Famous Cuisines, because that’s bullshit and you know it. I know for a fact that I’m not the first to observe that your ‘Famous Cuisines’ consist of cabbage dumplings, cabbage and pickle dumplings, pickle dumplings, and shit (possibly in a dumpling). It’s no wonder you are all so weedy, weak, and pathetic, with your protruding teeth and sunken chests and titless women. In the name of all that is holy, just eat a fucking steak, and I don’t mean a thin strip of hormone-injected schnitzel with a few macaroni curls on top. That isn’t steak, not even close. If you don’t know that, you probably don’t even know what a purplised grumbler is. What’s a purplised grumbler? Exactly my fucking point. Get a grip.
Here’s some advice: take your ‘delicious food’ and your ‘very healthy’ medicines and your disease and dirt and disgusting culture and stick it up your arse, or at least keep it to yourselves. Because we don’t want any of it.
This post has been brought to you by the letters of the fucking Alphabet and numbers that don’t look like childish pictographs. I dedicate this post to Charlie_Sierra, who gave me the motivation I needed.