Teammates Finding It Increasingly Difficult to Ignore Carlos Zambrano’s Swine Flu Mask
May 4, 2009
(Chicago, IL) – The nation is awash in fear. The H1N1 virus, commonly known as the “swine flu,” is spreading around the globe, fanning concerns that it will lead to another pandemic.
No community is insulated completely from the threat and the associated fear – including the Chicago Cubs community. And it’s hit some folks harder than others.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano says he began wearing his swine flu surgical mask the day he first heard of the outbreak in Mexico last week.
“You cannot take these things too seriously,” Zambrano said from behind his mask. “I learned my lesson with SARS, avian flu, MRSA, and the ebola virus. Those were a disaster for me. Well, I mean, I didn’t actually get any of them, but I was constantly worried that I wasn’t worried enough. Never again.”
Zambrano says he has taken a variety of steps to protect himself, and doesn’t care if they are considered irrational. “I know I am risking my reputation as an even-headed, relaxed person, but my baseball gloves tells me it’s worth it this time.”
“And the truth is, I didn’t strain my hamstring trying to run out a bunt,” he says of the purported injury that recently sent him to the disabled list. “I knew I had to figure out a way to get out of that crowded clubhouse for a couple of weeks until things die down.”
Zambrano has offered teammates a series of “tips” to avoid contracting the swine flu:
- Check all bacon for a fever.
- Instead of shaking hands, consider fist bumping – but do not “blow it up.”
- Feel free to sneeze and cough into hand, but then remove hands using properly sterilized hacksaw. Have a friend remove the second hand if necessary.
- Avoid gratuitous trips to Mexico except for hookers, drugs, or hooker drugs.
- Resist the urge to make out with a pig.
- If necessary to make out with a pig, avoid pigs with runny noses and/or persistent cough.
Regardless of the wisdom of Zambrano’s advice, teammates say Zambrano’s mask and attitude about the flu are becoming hard to ignore.
“He won’t celebrate with us after wins,” Carlos Marmol says. “He says we’re all unclean, and carriers. And now that he’s always got that mask on over his mouth, I can’t tell if he’s talking to me, or the mask.”
“With Z, you never really know.”