Anorak News | Swine Flu Kills The New York Air Kiss

Swine Flu Kills The New York Air Kiss

by | 3rd, May 2009

air-kiss-swine-fluSWINE Flu Watch: In which swine flu kills the New York air kiss…

The New York Times’ James Barron licks his finger, sticks it up high and takes the city’s temperature:

This is hardly the existential Shakespearean question. But for the outgoing types in a certain niche of society, it does have a lot to do with one’s own identity — and how one acknowledges others.

Barron does not say what “the existential Shakespearean question” is (Is that a blank page I see before me?). But he does tell us:

The question is, to air-kiss or not to air-kiss?

Old Mr Anorak applauds the end of the air-kiss. Kissing is never right unless it is between two Glaswegians in a pit or a man and his lead beagle.

Some air-kissers out there are wondering if they should be less demonstrative, what with all the warnings from public health officials to wash hands frequently and avoid cheek-to-cheek maneuvers [sic] because of the swine flu outbreak.

This is precisely the kind of thing an air-kisser would worry about. But why kiss the air when it is laced with swine flu and carbon monoxide?

They worry that whomever they peck — or whoever pecks them — could transmit the virus. What to do?

Forget air kissing and go straight for the **** **b? James Barron seeks to find out:

Julian Niccolini, an owner of the Four Seasons restaurant on East 52nd Street, says: “Everybody was still kissing everybody.”

Which can lead to other diseases, but not swine flu, which is the one in vogue just now.

“If I was going to kiss you before the epidemic, I will kiss you now,” said Somers Farkas, a philanthropist.

And then Anorak’s Tabloid Bingo game erupts over New York:

Meryl Gordon, a writer, said she did not stock up on Cipro after the anthrax scare that followed the 9/11 attacks. Nor did she pack a knapsack with emergency supplies, as some officials suggested back then. But after a serious bout of flu a couple of years ago, she bought a box of face masks.

The Joker!

She said that on Thursday, she asked her husband if she should wear one on the subway, on the way to Lower Manhattan, where she is covering the criminal trial of Brooke Astor’s son for Vanity Fair magazine.

He said “no”. But we say “yes”. All air-kissers should wear face marks, or Face Johnnies, condoms for the mouth. They should so be made to live in the Subway, sucking air in through staws pushed through grates in the street.

At the courthouse, Ms. Gordon reported something that a male reporter could not confirm: “In the ladies’ room, there was a woman obsessively washing her hands. It was almost Lady Macbeth-like.”

Out, damn Gloucester Old Spot. Out! And take yer finger out, too…

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Posted: 3rd, May 2009 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink