For EEMB40: Ecology of Disease class at UC Santa Barbara.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
In 1991 Lyme disease was certainly in the headlines but I don't remember when the issue of chronic Lyme disease started to appear. Hard to believe it was 20 years ago but a show called the Simpsons was renewed for its second season and for episode 19 an uncredited Dustin Hoffman provided the voice of substitute teacher Mr Bergstrom who Lisa has a big time crush on. Of course setting this all up involved the temporary removal of regular teacher Miss Hoover.
At the start:
Miss Hoover: [shakily] Children, I won't be staying long.
I just came from the doctor, and I have lyme disease.
Principal Skinner will run the class until a substitute arrives.
Ralph: What's lyme disease?
Pr. Skinner: I'll field that one. [goes to blackboard] Lyme disease
is spread by small parasites called `ticks'. [writes `TICKS'
on blackboard] When a diseased tick attaches itself to
you, it begins sucking your blood...
Miss Hoover: [not calmed] Oh...
Pr. Skinner: Malignant spirochetes infect your bloodstream, eventually
spreading to your spinal fluid and on into the brain.
Miss Hoover: The brain!? Oh, dear God...
and at the end:
Miss Hoover: You see class, my Lyme disease turned out to be psychosomatic.
Ralph Wiggum: Does that me you were crazy?
Janie No, that means she was faking it.
Miss Hoover: No, actually, it was a little of both. Sometimes, when a
disease is in all the magazines and on all the news shows, it’s
only natural that you think you have it.