Battling Bugs and Keeping-up with the Joneses

A few weeks ago, I got a standard seasonal influenza shot. None-the-less, a bit over a week ago (more than two weeks after the vaccination) I became ill with what seems an awful lot like a flu. It can be hard to distinguish a bad cold from a flu, but a even a bad cold should be over in a week or less. It’s also possible that I’ve been hit by more than one infection (one opportunistically following on another), but Ockham’s razor argues for one cause. So I’d say that I contracted a flu that was not covered by the vaccine.

I’ve tried to get some work done; but, mostly, I’ve felt that the last week-and-something has been lost.


During this episode, while dreaming in a feverish state, I invented a very fine pair of characters for Li’l Abner. (An immediate problem is that Li’l Abner ceased to be an on-going story in late 1977.)

One of these characters is Amicable Jones, who is known in Dogpatch as someone who has always been able to settle any dispute amicably. The other character is his father, who was unfortunately unnamed in my dream but whom I’ll here call Irascible Jones. Irascible Jones has not been in Dogpatch for a great many years. He’s instead been all over the world, creäting conflicts or involving himself in disputes that are never subsequently resolved.

Now it has been learned that Irascible Jones is returning to Dogpatch. Amicable Jones doesn’t much want a reünion; not so much because he has some generalized fear of new conflict, but specifically because, to settle his own disputes amicably, he has often given the other party something that, in fact, properly belonged to Irascible Jones.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael Wurl on 24.01.2011 at 14:35 (Reply)

    Hello, Daniel.

    I have two stages to my comment.

    First, whether you experienced a fever dream, a lucid dream, or a self-induced coma, I can't help being whole-heartedly enamored with the characters Amicable Jones and Irascible Jones. That they can be blended into the Dogpatch mythology so seamlessly, regardless of said time-frame, is a testament to your understanding of Al Capp's vision. Perhaps some might imagine it is a simple act of creation to invent such Li'l Abner type hillbillies by simply adding random adjectives or such to various surnames, such as 'Fart Face' Fenster, 'Slobbering' Smith, 'Amorous' Alice McGee, or 'Hirsute' Hillary, etc.. What causes your idea to be elevated from these rudimentery examples is the dynamic existing between the father and son.

    The second point is that of flu shots. I have not gotten such a vaccination in decades, and that is by my choice. I have family members who regularly receive flu shots, and my understanding is that they quite often do get sick soon afterwards, while I rarely contract such viruses on my own. When you consider that along with various recent news reports ( as well as considering certain population control conspiracy theories) one needs to seriously reconsider the entire logic of it all. I saw a report that stated several (hundreds perhaps - I can't recall exactly) young children near preschool age had experienced seizures along with flu-like symptoms. Certain vaccines have been found to be tainted in some way and destroyed. I feel there are enough additives in the food we consume regularly, as well as airborne pathogens released into our atmosphere daily by various secretive government agencies, that I for one will never voluntarily let anyone inject me with an unknown substance.

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