Eight new cases of plague have been diagnosed since Sunday when a Dem Bones employee suspected of spreading the deadly disease was removed to Flubug Memorial Hospital from his post at the fry cooker. The unidentified man was discharged today when his insurance ran out, but officials insist “he poses no health risk” to the community “except those in the immediate vicinity when he coughs.”
The same can’t be said of the other eight cases.
Nikki Bartlett, Director of Cotton Swab Replacement at the CDC in Stateline, says she think she’s discovered a pattern. “They all bought food at the same restaurant. They all had fries. They all used the drive thru window. I’m no detective, but I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a connection.”
Officer Roy, recently promoted when he gave up his job at The Bugle, is a detective. And he agrees with Bartlett: “The Dem Bones restaurant on Old Road is definitly the culprit. And if it were up to me, I’d shut the place down.”
But it isn’t up to Detective Roy. It’s up to the Down County Health Department. And that agency is headed by Walton Dickwadd, Sr., patriarch of the Dickwadd clan and CEO of Dickwadd International which owns the Dem Bones Family Restaurant chain and most, if not all, of Down County (including an ever so tiny piece of this newspaper). We caught up with “Wally” outside the mayor’s office where he had just endorsed Mayor Ornery for a ninth term in office.
“Look,” he said bruquely. “If there’s any chance our restaurants are placing Flubuggers at risk I’ll shut ’em down. But everything we know suggests this employee was a lone nut. Plague literature was found in his apartment. Caged rats. A Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. He was obviously planning this thing for a long time. The police should’ve never let him go.”
But it wasn’t the police. And Sherrif “Big Dog” Ramsey takes issue with Dickwadd’s comments. “How the hell are we supposed to know what they’re up to at Flubug Hospital? I don’t even know where the damn place is! By the time we figured out this guy was wack job, he was gone. For all I know he’s back in Quagmire, infecting rats or whatever they do out there.”
This is a developing story. For information, contact Jips Driscoll at The Bugle news desk.