I do not fear any kind of flu, swine-based or otherwise. This is because I soak my hands in brine on a daily basis in order to keep them entirely gloved in a leathery callus. Those rocky ridges, bathed in salty water, prove to be a toxic, desertlike terrain upon which no infinitesimal life form could even begin to find purchase. Even if I did not keep my hands as tough as Governor Gregoire's harpy heart, I would not fear this swine flu because it is a hoax perpetrated on the long-suffering American public.

And the culprits behind this media terrorism, of course, are The Stranger's alarmist hacks, led by JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE, who is trying to convince the good people of Seattle to panic. Are you bored, Mr. Spangenthal-Lee? Were there no gun battles between children for you to drool over this week? Are you trying to incite riots so that next week you'll be able to scribble out a barely readable diatribe about the violence in the streets? I speak for everyone when I say that we are not scared, and The Stranger would do well to take note (with their nubby little crayons) that this Obama-administration style of control through artificial panic cannot work. We live in America. I expect better than leadership through fear.

However, it must be noted that this apocalyptic purple prose is not the worst thing to be published in this week's Stranger. Every time I imagine that I have seen every conceivable vice bandied about these pages, the misanthropic smarm-merchants who dare to call themselves "writers" manage to dredge up a completely new immorality to praise. Or, in this case, two of the deadly sins. First, that sexually confused dandy BRENDAN KILEY begins an account of his recent bender in Austin with a lustful description of paying "to see a man sodomized with a 12-foot pole." And he remains employed here? Of course. (I had to have a rider appended to my contract to specify that such behavior wasn't a job requirement in my case.) Next, morbidly obese Stranger books editor PAUL CONSTANT parades his shameful ardor for gluttony for all the world to see in a nauseating, tragically overlong "feature" about a charity eating contest that included local luminaries like my good friend Dino Rossi.

Dino, and all the other competitors, understood that the competition was an amusing lark to generate some funds for disadvantaged children, but Mr. Constant, ever unable to control his brain-damaged sense of "humor," brought a pistol—in this case, his horrific girth and seemingly bottomless appetite—to a knife fight. I hope none of those needy children were in the audience on the night of the competition, because they would undoubtedly have been scarred for life after watching Mr. Constant shove a gallon and a half of fried food—what amounts to over a half a pound of pure fat—down his sizable gullet. Congratulations, Mr. Savage: Your little weekly bathroom reader has somehow managed to find a new low. I am thoroughly and completely disgusted, and will be unable to eat for a week. recommended