Column: Watch out for women (and parasites) on the road


Or is that achoo! Or heyyou!

However you spell your sneezes, we all know allergies are the most ruthless disease known to man with the possible exceptions of cancer, AIDS, smallpox, and any other disease that can actually kill you.

My allergic scourge is the cat. Don’t get me wrong. I love the thing. I’ve raised her since she was a kitten. But is a ball of fur really worth a box of Kleenex a day?

I should be thankful. It could be worse.

Much worse.

A Czech scientist bored with explaining to people how to pronounce his nationality did some actual work and discovered that owning a cat can lead to recklessness and friendliness in women and jealousy and moroseness in men. In other words, women who are married and own cats are cheating on their men with…you guessed it…a parasite in the cat who goes by the name of Toxoplasmosis Gondii. Or Steve.

The parasite that causes these strange behaviors like friendliness can be found in cats, rabbits and raw meat. Anybody who owns a pet cat, a pet rabbit, or pet raw meat is at risk of contracting this parasite and all the baggage it brings with it.

“It is not much fun,” scientist Jaroslav Flegr told Reuters. “Our research has shown that toxoplasmosis raises 2.6 times the risk of a traffic accident by prolonging the reaction time of infected people.”

This brings up an interesting point. If we could convince Jaroslav to replace the f and r in his last name with ph and m, then his full name would be Jaroslav Phlegm. That boy could go places with a name like that. Hopefully, places where he wouldn’t be studying parasites in people’s pet raw meat.

According to Phlegm’s research, this Toxoplasmosis fellow is much more interested in wrecking your car than your marriage. Specifically in women. The gender that is best known for being perfect behind the wheel is suddenly turned into a rabid driver when infected with the parasite. She begins driving too close to the car in front of her, talking on the cell phone, and yelling obscenities at that crackerjack who cut her off.
Meanwhile, when guys contract the parasite, they simply become very jealous at other people’s possession while driving…possessions like grass.

They don’t, however, become bad drivers.

So there we have it. Scientific proof that women are worse drivers than men, and better yet, bear no responsibility for it. All the pleasures of sexism with none of the drawbacks of chauvinistically blaming women for society’s woes like children. It’s not women’s fault they can’t drive. It’s that dang dingo. I mean toxoplasmosis.

Phlegm said he did not know why the parasite caused different reactions in men and women. Why would a disease cause women to become reckless and men to become jealous? Maybe the disease doesn’t affect men, and that is what they’re jealous about. But then again, maybe the world is run by monkeys.

I feel bad for the women. How terrible it must be to have something inside you forcing friendliness when you’re trying to place an order at the drive-thru.

Speaker: So that’s a cheeseburger and fries?

Woman: No friend. I ordered a chicken sandwich pal. You sure are swell.

Speaker: So that’s a cheeseburger and fries?

Woman: You are so cool. But that’s not what I ordered.

Speaker: So that’s a cheeseburger and fries?

Woman: I have a parasite in me and I will run over you in a friendly manner.

“It is not only about driving accidents but also about the probability of being run over by a car,” Phlegm said.


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