SEATTLE, February 3 -- Dan Savage-father, nationally syndicated sex advice columnist, associate editor of The Stranger, and author of two books-is on the lam after hearing he could be charged with felony assault and perjury in Iowa. In an article in last week's Stranger ["Germ Warfare," Jan 27], which also ran in the online magazine Salon, Savage detailed his undercover stint for the Gary Bauer campaign in Iowa last week, and his efforts to infect the Republican presidential hopeful with the flu. Savage sneezed, coughed, licked, and spat on every available surface and person at Bauer's campaign headquarters in Des Moines, after seeing the candidate on television speaking out against gay marriage. According to Savage's article, he wanted to get close enough to Bauer to infect him and "lay him flat" before the New Hampshire primary.

In an article in the January 28 New York Post, Rod Dreher attacked Savage for his piece, calling it "fevered propaganda." Dreher went on to describe his last Thanksgiving, when the writer and his wife spent several days in the hospital watching their "flu-infected newborn gut it out with tubes coming out of his feet." Dreher spoke with the Iowa attorney general's office and found that Savage's prank makes him liable for felony charges. And, because Savage -- a resident of Washington state -- signed an Iowa voter registration form, he committed perjury.

Dan Savage is unavailable for comment, and currently under "deep cover." But Tim Keck, The Stranger's publisher, issued this official statement this morning: "Tell that Iowa pig-farmer of a governor and his inbred State Patrol that if they're going after Savage, they better bring a lot of body bags. They so much as look at him funny, and it's gonna be toe-to-toe thermonuclear war with the Iowans."