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by Bud Buck, 1/14/00

Dc: This is DCR, news meant for amusement. Medical authorities are reporting a vicious outbreak of influenza worldwide. Pockets of intensity include Great Britain and the American Midwest. Hospitals and clinics are jammed with patients seeking relief from the flu that one observer described as the "Godzilla" strain. Bud Buck has this live reports. Bud?

(sfx: hacking, coughing, wheezing crowd)

Bud: This is Bud Buck, here in the waiting room of the Cheerful Valley Clinic in Eastern Iowa ... a room packed to the rafters with the messiest, most miserable looking collection of humans I've ever seen. Let's make our way around here ... Maam? What brings you here to the clinic?

Sufferer 1: (cough, cough) I've been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer and I'm here for another X ray to see how much time I have left.

Bud: Oh! Sorry. I had no idea. Good luck to you. Pardon me. Sir? Sir, what brings you to the doctor's office today?

Sufferer 2: Me?

Bud: You've got something hanging off your nose there.

Sufferer 2: Do I? How's that?

Bud: Better.

Sufferer 2: Why am I here? Heart trouble. Clogged arteries.

Bud: Oh really?

Sufferer 2: I could have The Big One at any moment.

Bud: Excuse me then, I don't want to excite you too much. All I need is a couple of flu patients. You'd think in this crowd ... I'm gonna strike out here in search of the right patient. This waiting room is full of sick people, maybe back here in one of these smaller rooms ...

Nurse: (fade on and off) Sir ... you're not supposed to be ... do you have an appointment?

Bud: It's OK ... I'm on live's public radio news! There's gotta be someone back here ... which door?

(sfx: door open)

Sufferer 3: (eeeeeeeeek!)

Bud: Sorry maam. Pardon me. It's only radio.

(sfx: door close)

Those clinic robes just aren't decent. How about this one?

(sfx: door open)

Sufferer 4: (off mic) Yes?

Bud: Sir? Bud Buck reporting live. Are you suffering from the flu?

Sufferer 3: (miserable) Yes.

Bud: Thank God.

(sfx: door close)

Did you realize you're part of a worldwide epidemic? How does that make you feel? Like you're not alone?

Sufferer 3: No. I know I'm not alone but that's no comfort. I'm about the same.

Bud: Please don't put your mouth so close to the microphone, OK? How does this feel compared to other flues you've had? Is it worse?

Sufferer 4: It's the same. No better. No worse.

Bud: What's the worst part of this particular flu? Is it the coughing, the sneezing, the runny nose, the fatigue or the achiness? (pause) Is it the questioning?

Sufferer 4: Yes.

Bud: O.K. Almost done. What do you hope to get from the doctor today other than the usual advice to rest and drink lots of water?

Sufferer 4: I am the doctor.

Bud: Oh. Sorry. Why are you at work?

Sufferer 4: I've got patients who have brain tumors and heart trouble. Any more questions?

Bud: I guess not.

(sfx: paper torn off pad)

Sufferer 4: Take this to the front desk. Thank you. Drink lots of water.

(sfx: door open)

Bud: Forty five dollars?

Sufferer 4: Standard clinic visit.

Bud: I didn't get anything!

Sufferer 4: Wait til you get home! You may have the flu!

(sfx: door close)

Bud: And so ... the flu epidemic has spread so far and wide it has engulfed the caregivers themselves ... making them exhausted and testy and not a little bit sarcastic. Where will it end? Time will tell! This is Bud Buck!

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