Global shipping and transport should be brought to a complete standstill due to the vicious, though not especially virulent, disease of Ebola, recommended an independent panel of ‘experts’ convened at an airport bar in Detroit, Michigan.
“It makes ya shit out yer eyes.” Stated an unnamed dignitary in a rumpled polo shirt with a bland and utterly forgettable company logo on it. Something like ‘Enertech’, with a swoosh that wrapped around the name, and made you want to have lived in a time before the corporate age came and sucked the life out of humanity.
“I heard you can get it just by saying the word. You know, the word for the disease. The one we’re talking about. Don’t make me say it. The one that makes ya shit out yer eyes.” Added the high-level meeting’s moderator, whose name badge indicated he was, ‘Joe – Bartender’.
“That’s right. And ‘Ebola’ backwards spells “Irrational Fear Of The Unknown”, and lord knows no one likes that.” Chimed in a representative of the airport’s janitorial staff who was emptying bins adjacent to the think-tank deliberations.
With these significant factors in mind, and many other pertinent facts available only to the auspicious panel due to their high-security access to ‘CNN Continuous Coverage’ and various web-based forums such as fearmongers.com and undereducatedpeoplewithoveractiveimaginations.com, the emergency convention declared a moratorium on all movement by sea between nations to be extremely likely, and very necessary.
“Udderwise The Disease spreads by the ships moving. Ya gotta stop the ships. From moving around.” Said a second travelling salesman with a strange accent, a depressingly plain company name on his shirt and a gaze that seemed permanently fixed on five-minutes ago.
“All of ’em”. Rejoined a woman from deep in the pages of the menu, as she proceeded into minute eight of trying to decide whether to have the club sandwich with fries or with salad. Her flight was going to serve dinner shortly after takeoff, plus she was on a low carb diet, and what is a ‘paleo’ anyway? She opted for the fries, and loudly restated her contribution to Joe – Bartender, “All of them!”
At this frothy juncture in the meeting there did arise one lone dissenting voice. From the furthest end of the bar, and without introduction, an unbranded contributor stated, “You do know that stopping all ships would bring the global economy to a standstill, and start an economic downturn that would make the depression look prosperous. The fallout of such an action would have much more dire consequences than a disease which, while certainly serious, lethal, and spreading, has a relatively low contagion rate and will be brought under control.”
“What?” Said the woman with the menu, still holding it as she was reconsidering her choice. The uninvited guest speaker just nodded grimly and with raised eyebrows returned to his book entitled ‘You Herd Me: How People Freak Each Other The Fuck Out’.
“Whatevs.” Continued menu lady, “Ya gotta stop the ships. Even the little ones. Y’know, people in their sail boats, and those big fancy yachts, ya gotta stop all of them because they could bring the eye-shitting disease over. That’s how things spread. On ships!”
The meeting erupted into loud and unanimous agreement at this stage, much of it pointedly directed at the high-brow with the book. Through the din a number of resolutions were made:
1) All shipping should be stopped by mid-2015.
2) Small vessels to be limited to staying within sight of their port of registry, or just be chained to the dock cause no one needs a boat, not really. Especially not when they spread The Disease.
3) The word ‘Ebola’ to be banned in favour of any term that is graphically descriptive of the symptoms of the same, real or imagined.
4) All emergency committee members needed ‘Joe – Bartender’ to get their bills immediately as their names were being called over the airport’s PA system, and it was an 8-48 minute walk to their respective gates.
The meeting was hastily adjourned. Before rushing off the respective representatives wished each other well on their individual journeys to international destinations necessitated and paid for by a global economy. As they went, all felt a deep sense of satisfaction at having solved another international problem, and fervently hoped that they never caught the disease formerly known as Ebola. Or, spelled another way, An Irrational Fear Of The Unknown.