Death Toll Soars in Quagmire



The death toll in Quagmire continues to rise as plague spreadsBird Flu ad unabated through the region. In just three short months, a quarter of the population (pegged at 27 adults the last time census workers felt safe enough to count) has died of the illness that now threatens all of Down County.

Aid workers, a lunatic and six convicts, insist they’re overworked, under staffed and untrained to deal with the deadly virus. Many have threatened to walk off the job unless agreement is reached to ship basic humanitarian supplies (morphine and a hypodermic) to area hospitals. Others have left to care for loved ones or flee to the surrounding Miasma foothills.

Addressing the disaster, Quagmire mayor, Franklin Delano Bwanghana, whose fireside chats have won him the praise of critics who earlier chastised his move to Rilesville, appealed to Down County’s Health and Human Services Director, Ethel Axelroot, for assistance.

“I need cash and I need it now,” Bwanghana said. “And I need a plane out of this hellhole.”

But by week’s end agreement with HHS seemed far from certain.

ethel-axelroot-HHS-Director“We ain’t sending cash, and we sure as hell ain’t sending this guy a plane,” said Axelroot, annoyed at being woken at two in the afternoon. “If anything we’ll send a deputy to see why he never paid for the last shipment”

The mood at the State Capitol in Balto was less confrontational.

“If we don’t give this guy what he wants there’s no telling what he might do,” said Poison Wells’ Selectman Charles “Two Buck Chuck” Sumner who ties the outbreak of plague to the county’s refusal to lower the minimum wage. “He’s got an army of plague-riddled zombies who know the wages and care are better in Balto. What happens if they come here?”

But according to Leyden “Ben” Butler, congressional hopeful from Pook’s Addition, that’s already happened.

“The Dem Bones employee who died last week had recently traveled from Quagmire to Hormel,” said Butler, stunning reporters who gathered outside his office for free bird wings from Moxie’s. “Flubug Memorial knew he was from Quagmire, they knew he had plague, they knew he was contagious. Yet they did nothing to protect the community.”

Calls to Flubug Memorial Hospital went unanswered (though that’s far from unusual).

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Eight New Cases of Plague


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.

All eight have been moved to a makeshift morgue at an undisclosed location pending review of their insurance coverage. All are considered highly contagious.Oswalds Buffet - eat till your tummy hurts!

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.

walton-dickwadd-sr“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.

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Plague Confirmed at Dem Bones


Nafta Superhighway – Officials at Flubug Memorial Hospital have confirmed that a Dem Bones employee who recently returned from Quagmire is infected with bubonic plague. The employee, who “showed no sign of illness before he collapsed,” was rushed to a vacant lot near Flubug Memorial Hospital where he will be kept under observation until his ability to pay can be ascertained.

At a press conference held in a parking lot in Graphite Cornerz, to prevent anyone from discerning the hospital’s location, officials in plague masks played down the risks of deadly airborne viruses and urged the community to “remain calm.”

plague-press-conference“Let me assure you,” a muffled voice spoke through an odd-looking mask. “We no longer live in the Middle Ages. We can treat the Black Death.” A coworker nudged his ribs. “I mean, plague. There’s absolutely no cause for alarm.”

He pulled a cat from behind the lecturn. “And I think you’re gonna find these little guys indispensible.” He held the dazed feline by the scruff of its neck. “Cats are an important first line of defense for your family and friends, and if you haven’t already, you might head down to VetsMart today and pick up a dozen or so.”

The cat leapt from the stage.possum-ad

Fletch Kettlefish, back at his desk at The Bugle after starring in the 118th season of Possum, asked the question on everyone’s mind: “You mean cats are your only recommendation for addressing this major health disaster?”

Potential disaster,” added another official, stepping to the mike quickly. “And they’re actually not our only recommendation. Bloodletting, flagellation and Jew-bashing have come a long way in the last six centuries.” Continue reading