What was your costume for Halloween?

I dressed up as an H1N1 vaccine! And boy, did I get a lot of candy!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. H1N1? Don’t you mean swine flu? Well why didn’t you just come out and say swine flu? How can I, as a young adult, sitting squarely in the most at-risk population for incurring a terminal reaction to the flu, get scared about something, H1N1, that sounds like a boy band? Well, actually, I can be afraid of that. Catching that. The sores. Ew. Bad example.

But swine flu. Swine flu! Come on. If you’re not absolutely terrified of sprouting hooves and mucking around in the mud before going hopelessly mad, puking your guts up, watching your skin melt off and pool at your feet until your eyes crust over with bloody resin before you finally, mercifully, explode into a ball of puss, you should be now (note: not all of the listed above may be symptoms of swine flu).

So I went for Halloween as a vaccine. How in the world did I pull it off? Well, I happen to know a thing or two about vaccines.

Typically, vaccines against a virus are made from parts of that virus – in many cases, from dead or deactivated remnants. Your body gets a whiff of that deceased nastiness and is like, whoa, hold on a second there, I’d better come up with a damn fine defense against this plague’s living relatives! Examples of this stunning bit of evolutionary (read: Godly) magnificence include the polio vaccine to cure polio, the cholera vaccine to cure cholera and blindness to cure masturbation.

To dress up as a vaccine, I did what any good scientist/dedicated trick-or-treater would do. I lived in a pig refinement facility on the Texas-Mexico border for several weeks, eating feces, rolling in the mud, sleeping hock-to-hock with my sow mother, eating feces.

And lo and behold, I caught, then immediately conquered, the swine flu! I was, from that point on, a walking vaccine. All I needed for the big night was a simple full-body syringe suit, easily purchased online, in most alleys or at babyGap.

Halloween night finally arrived; that is, the autumnal event of ghouls and spirits taking place on the 31st day of October; that is, nearly a month after the Obama administration’s flu counterattack squad, led by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, began rolling out vaccines and saying that there would eventually be 250 million doses on their way; that is, the evening when barely 23 million doses had actually been delivered. I have no doubt, dear readers, that you can imagine what happened next?

Hah! You’re right, as usual. All of those Choose Your Own Adventure Goosebumps “novels” have served you well! I was politely but insistently beaten on the doorstep of most every house I visited, drained of a not-insignificant volume of blood and propped up on the sidewalk with all of the KIT KATs I could eat. Between the forced exsanguinations and copious candies, at the end of the night, my blood sugar … was sugar! People sure did want some vaccine!

Now, I do understand that this is not a viable option for most people out there. After all, for one thing, there’s only a single night of Halloween each year, and by the time the next eve rolls around, we’ll probably be fighting some new disease that’s totally different and way worse, like the avian flu that terrorized Hong Kong in 1997 or that gas that spewed out of the baby’s mouth in The Rock before Nicolas Cage defused it.

Second of all, not everybody lives in my neighborhood on my trick-or-treat route.

Third of all, not everybody gives out candy, and to all those creepy people who hand out toothbrushes or loose change or those delicious apples with the razors inside, I say you will have no vaccine from me! Not forcibly extracted from my veins as I bleed out next to the cornhusk dolls and carved pumpkins on your stoop.

Ultimately, then, I guess what might be best for all concerned is if you write/e-mail/call/shout crazily at town hall meetings (like those will ever happen again) and get a hold of your elected representatives. Tell them that winter is coming, tell them that the swine flu is coming, tell them to deliver the full number of vaccines that were promised because please, pretty please, you’d prefer not to die.