viral marketing


Believe it or not, but in the 31st week of our pregnancy, we’re switching doctors. Not because our old doctor was bad or anything – in fact, he is world-famous at his position – but the thought of going into labor in Park Slope, Brooklyn and trying to get through the worst rush hour traffic in America to 168th Street in Upper Canada, Manhattan was too much to fit into our puny four-dimensional minds.


While at the new doctor’s waiting room, I was sitting near this gigantic old woman who erupted into that wet, gargantuan, disgusting Medieval cough that was SURELY laced with typhoid, cholera, yellow fever and The Grippe. It was one of those coughs where you try to hold your breath for a few minutes to let it dissipate; if my pregnant wife weren’t so damned hearty, I would have whisked her out of there and sprayed Purell into her lungs.

All of which reminded me of my Favorite Places to Get the Flu. I’ve lived a little while longer since I made the first list, so I’d like to add a few sites that might do the trick:

1. the sneeze guard at the Elizabeth, NJ Ikea cafeteria

2. the M23 bus pole during morning rush hour along 23rd st

3. our pediatrician’s office on Joralemon Street

4. the pen for signing Visa bills at the Yaffa Café on St. Marks Place

5. the copy of New York Newsday on the seat of the 2 train heading out of Manhattan

6. the cab door handle out front of the Chelsea Clearview Cinemas

7. the divot where the cashier tosses you a subway token at the 125th St. A-train station

8. the game basketball at the W. 4th St. courts

9. the “START PRINTING” button on the Rite Aid copy machine on Hudson Avenue

10. the open vats of salsa at La Taqueria

11. the enclosed Room of Plastic Balls at the McDonald’s Playland

12. the “going up” button on the elevator at Columbia Presbyterian Hosptial

13. the public phone, platform 2, at the LIRR station on Atlantic Avenue

14. plastic tub of not-individually-wrapped forks, 8th Avenue Deli

and yes, the best is still

15. tonguing drunk sailor at the Manhole during Fleet Week!

Have I missed any?

0 thoughts on “viral marketing

  1. Andrew

    Can you actually still get The Grippe? My 96 year old grandmother claimed to have it a month ago. I asked her what symptoms she had. Runny nose, cough, etc. I diagnosed the common cold but she said, “oh no dear, its The Grippe.”
    And now you’re talking about it. I can’t get away from The Grippe. I am destined to catch The Grippe. Help.

  2. Sean

    First of all, thank you for mentioning Fleet Week as many times as possible.
    Secondly, apparently, the poles and metal handles on public transportation are not nearly as full of germs as you might think. Metal is not very porous, and, especially in winter, those poles drop to about 40 degrees and nothing really stays alive on them for long. If you grab a really cold pole, you’re actually decreasing the number of bugs on your hands.
    The rubber hand hold on the escalator at Macy’s… (((shudder)))

  3. Salem

    Add one itchy booger to any of the aforementioned scenarios and your odds of survival are significantly diminished.
    Shoe beers.

  4. Caroline

    While we’re on the subject, you should never let you kid play in the Enclosed Ball Room at McDonald’s. According to what I’ve seen on the news, a child can be attacked by boa constrictors and the excrement of other children, lurking under cover of the balls.
    Just fyi.

  5. Ishtar

    “According to what I’ve seen on the news, a child can be attacked by boa constrictors and the excrement of other children, lurking under cover of the balls.”
    Excrement can attack people????

  6. Peter Rukavina

    The one and only time Oliver visited the Mcdonald’s “ball room” he and I came home and immediately both of us came down with the Norwalk Virus and were flat on our backs for 4 days.

  7. mom

    Any fight to anywhere of any length on any airline. Airplanes are like Petri dishes full of active viruses and microbe.
    Unlike the past when people were not as mobile, and the Black Death cut a swth in certain places and never reached others, now everything from a minor case of sniffles to AIDS can travel and spread across the world at warp speed.
    But on a smaller scale. I always wonder what I might come down with a day or two after going OAK-JFK, sitting one seat away from some guy sneezing every four minutes all the way.

  8. Kelly in NC

    The handle of any shopping cart at any store but especially at Walmart.
    If you really want to get the viral willies you need to read “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston.

  9. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Oh God. I have been stricken with the flu since last week, and I am near death — your post was very timely. Don’t know where I picked up these germs, but I would be willing to bet it was Helen’s kindergarten class.
    Don’t feel badly about changing doctors. It happens. I stuck with the same ob/gyn throughout my pregnancy, only to be told on the day Helen was about to be born that he had delivered too many babies the day before and was sending in another doctor from his practice. At that point, I did not care if the hospital lunchladies delivered my baby — someone was gotta get this project going!


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