Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Inflamed wieners

A few weeks ago I walked through the better parts of the Loop behind a backpack with the following words printed on it:

6th World Congress on Inflammation
In·flam·ma·tion n.

1. The act of inflaming or the state of being inflamed.
2. A localized protective reaction of tissue to irritation, injury, or infection, characterized by pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes loss of function.

Not to be confused with:

Flambé v.
To drench with a liquor, such as brandy, and ignite.

This is just speculation, but I’m thinking more than a few flambĂ©s have led to some unexpected inflammation. Oui?
Just think: These folks gathered at least six times to talk about – of all things – inflammation.

And it’s not a simple meeting or conference. It’s a World Freakin’ Congress, for pity’s sake.

What do they talk about? Isn’t inflammation just a symptom of some other problem like a burn or cyst? And is there a special session on boils?

[Editorial note: Boils are my favorite type of inflammation. What’s yours?]

“Are you going to the WCI this year, Betty? It’s gonna ROCK! David Blaine is the keynote. He’s gonna soak in a brandy-filled aquarium for three days and then set himself on FIRE.”

They party it up, watch a slide show and do shots of Jagermeister every time somebody says “inflamed.”

“Oh, look at THAT one, Stanley. That one’s REALLY inflamed.”
“Is that the frank or the beans?”
Speaking of franks, yesterday afternoon I found myself walking through the Loop again, this time behind a backpack with “Johnsonville” on it.

Johnsonville. As in bratwursts.

Again, fascinating. What did this person have to do to get a Johnsonville bratwurst bag?

Send in proofs of purchase? Win a brat-eating contest?

The obvious answer is that she works/worked for them. But that would be too easy.

I prefer to imagine the following:

“Keep eatin’, honey! Just 12 more to go and Momma gets her bratwurst backpack!”
“Brats for dinner again? I want some chicken, Momma!”
“Shut UP and EAT your BRAT, brat!”
I looked up boil, just to be certain it qualified as an inflammation. I think it does:

Boil n.
A painful pus-filled abscess on the skin caused by bacterial infection of a hair follicle.

On the way past boil, I discovered:

Car·bun·cle n.
A multiple-headed boil

Ew. Completely lost my appetite for brats.
I am listening to: Wire Train – Last Perfect Thing
I am reading: Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
And I am: Neither hungry nor inflamed