Some diseases are worth bragging about – how many times, after all, have we heard Denny Crane blame something or another on his Mad Cow, or seen Peter Griffin utilize a bizarre ailment to justify even more bizarrely cartoonish behavior? In non-tropical circles, certain maladies are conversation stoppers; it’s tough not to ask a follow-up question when someone tells you she was once afflicted with break-bone fever, nor to listen without morbid curiosity to someone telling a story of having a brush with African sleeping sickness.
There are other diagnoses, though, that we tend to keep to ourselves – and some these might be appropriate for an historiorant coming the week after many a misspent New Year’s Eve. Join me, if you will, in the Cave of the Moonbat, where tonight we’ll take a look at the odd story of one such affliction-that-must-not-be-named. Ladies and gentlemen, an STD that’s changed world history… Syphilis!