Down Memory Lane

Unreal gives prom-goers a hand, visits with cute 'n' cuddly intestinal parasites, and celebrates the confluence of BBQ and protective eyewear. Plus: A local blogger strikes out.

Unreal: Is it Bark in the Park's intent for visitors to perceive roundworms and hookworms as disgusting, harmful parasites?

Dr. Ed Migneco: Yes. They're disgusting in a couple ways: They're harmful to the pets, obviously. At the same time, most people don't realize that these parasites can be transmitted to people. That's one of the things that Heartgard wants to make the public aware of.

How does letting kids have their pictures taken with giant cardboard cutouts of "Harry the Hookworm" and "Rusty the Roundworm" accomplish the objective of worm prevention?

Dan Zettwoch

We're just trying to raise awareness. How you make a parasite cute, I don't know. Hopefully we're going to put the thought into their heads that dogs and cats can carry intestinal parasites. You want to make the topic lighter, but also educational.

Wouldn't the natural reaction of a kid to this sort of approach be to ask her mommy if she can have a hookworm or roundworm for a pet?

Hopefully, the message of keeping your pets protected from parasites will come across at the same time these kids are seeing these characters.

Mightn't it be more effective to have a giant pooch mascot called "Saint Bernard" stomp the hell out of a worm farm, killing all the worms? Isn't that the goal of roundworm and hookworm prevention: to kill the worms?

Yeah, but in essence, the Saint Bernard doesn't kill the worms. It's the Heartgard Plus that protects the dogs from the worms.

Let's say, hypothetically, that Unreal is hosting an event similar to Bark in the Park, except for gonorrhea prevention. Would it, in your opinion, be out of line for us to have a giant cardboard cutout called "Burning Piss Barry" shooting a blazing stream of fire out of a hole cut below its cardboard belt line into a crowd of enthralled children?

Ohmigosh! What kind of answer do you want for this one? I don't think that would be very effective -- not if you're trying to educate children, anyway.

Now See Here

Oh, how Unreal aches to avoid all the post-winter precautionary primping required before we bare our flesh on a sunny patio. Between shaving the big toes, self-tanning the elbows and polishing the belly-ring, there's so much to be done!

Imagine the horror when Daniel Garrett, a senior vice president of Chicago-based Prevent Blindness America, recently reminded us that May is Ultraviolet Awareness Month.

Unreal: It has come to our attention that May is also National Barbecue Month.

Daniel Garrett, Prevent Blindness America: Mmmm. Who knew?

Do you think there's any correlation between the two holidays?

I think not. Of course, when you're barbecuing you want to be safe and not stick your face down in the grill.

There are several ways to barbecue, including smoking and grilling. What kind of protective eyewear should be worn during each?

That's an individual decision. But a person could wear safety goggles, like if they were doing home repair. That certainly couldn't hurt anything.

Good idea. Now, say you didn't make it to Home Depot for your goggles and you have a utensil malfunction while standing at the grill, and you get some Jack Daniel's barbecue sauce in your eye. What should you do?

Quickly rinse it out, and if it's still hurting and burning the next day, you might want to see your eye doctor.

Tell him you caught some stray ultraviolet rays?



"It's Jim"

Author: Jim

About the blogger: Jim lives on the other side of the river in a subdivision, with Rooty the Dog. He has a penchant for McDonald's, quirks of language and stupid signs.

Recent Highlight (May 9, 2005): A Picture is Worth a Thousand Sour Grapes

Now this is sad and pathetic: About a week ago I decided that I needed to meet some new people so I signed up at an online singles site. (Wait, that isn't even the pathetic part.) I filled out all of the online forms about interests, etc. I may have shaved a few pounds but otherwise it was all the truth. I also uploaded a picture of myself from the webcam. Then I waited. And waited. Nothing, not a single response all week. (Still not the pathetic part.) So, this morning, I deleted my picture from the site and posted one of my second cousin, age 21. The only other things that I changed (downward) were height and weight. That was at 8:30 AM. (Get ready, here comes the pathetic part.) By 10:00 AM, I had over 20 responses. By noon, it was close to 50. They were pouring in so fast I could not even keep up responding to them. And, how was your Monday?

Know of an Unreal-worthy local blog? Send the URL to [email protected].

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