Sunday, January 23, 2011

Simpsons classic

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...
   Class:       Wow 
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.

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