I recently took a five-day trip to New York City, which you may remember from the news as the place where all the things happen, or as the setting for the gay prostitution film Midnight Cowboy.
And during my time in that greatest of cities, my only safety concerns involved getting mugged, a homeless Dustin Hoffman trying to befriend me, and being in the same quadrant of the United States as Gladstone.
Never once did it occur to me to shield my genitals at all times from a vast miasma of air-borne junk diseases. What a fool I was.
The linked study has found that a full quarter of NYC residents have Herpes. Not STDs in general; just Herpes. They tried to run a study on how many people had Gonorrhea and Crabs, but renting warehouses large enough to accommodate the corresponding bar charts became cost prohibitive.
And so it seems the myth of the chic New York socialite sipping champagne as their limousine deftly navigates a grid of steamy Manhattan streets en route to a penthouse cocktail party has been shattered. Or at least become swollen, red and itchy.
Now all that I heart New York merchandise I bought has taken on a seedy, unclean feel, as if I should have worn condoms on my hands while purchasing them. Which is to say, Im glad I did.
Even my memories of the trip have been tarnished. For example, while in New York we met and hung out with the members of Poykpac, a Brooklyn-based sketch troupe, and had what I thought at the time was a blast.
We went to bars, saw their place, laughed, hugged, brought our various packages into close proximity; it was a true bonding experience.
But now that I know that statistically, at least 1.5 of them had Herpes, the whole thing just makes me queasy. Especially when I think about the time when Maggie, completely unprompted, swore that she didnt have Herpes right before jumping into the group bathtub.
Now all Im trying to figure out is if one of them had a half-case of Herpes, or if someone was hiding the fact that they were actually half a person.
Half a person with raw, blistered privates that is. Although between you and me, my moneys on Maggies Herpes being so raging that they qualified as a set and a half.
So if youre planning a trip to New York, be forewarned: about a quarter of the massive throng of people smearing their bodies against yours every time you try to walk anywhere downtown could very well fire off a crusty yellow discharge at any time.
I recommend gloves and goggles.
Get on this, New York. You may have cleaned up Times Square, but Im still not bringing my kids there as long as I know the Statue of Liberty grimaces in pain whenever she pees.
For that matter, Im not even having kids until cyborg technology has some more major breakthroughs. But thats a post for another day.
When not blogging for Cracked, Michael volunteers on the Public Health Advisory Board as head writer and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!