Weapons of Terror

Mysterious Death 94-Year-Old Keels Over In What May Be Canada's First Germ Warfare Victim

COBOURG, Ont. 4 Nov. A vigorous 94-year-old man keeled over today and police have called it a "mysterious and suspicious death". Mr. Frank Overheath, who, according to his son, "never had a sick day in his life," collapsed after breakfast. When attempts to revive him failed he was rushed by ambulance to the nearest hospital, Port Hope General, where he was pronounced dead at 10:37 AM.

Mr. Overheath's death came as a shock to the townspeople of Cobourg who had considered him indestructible. He had been Cobourg's town crier from 1935 until he retired in 1972.

Mr. Overheath's son, Jim Overheath, 75, told police that his father had started the day like any day in the past fifty years. Arising at his usual time, he had a cup of tea while he read the Cobourg Morning Chronicle including the various flyers that come with the paper. Among them was the usual Bay flyer, which contained a 'scratch and sniff' advertisement for a certain perfume. Mr. Overheath rarely reads the ads especially those directed at women but his son noticed that his father had followed the directions and took several large sniffs. During breakfast, he consumed his usual dish of prunes and saucer of wheat cakes and no one noticed anything unusual. But after the meal he stood up and announced to his son and his son's wife that he would go pottie. He had taken but a few faltering steps towards the bathroom when he suddenly collapsed.

Police say that an investigation is underway. They refuse to speculate on the cause of Mr. Overheath's death and say they have no evidence that it is related in any way to the mounting germ warfare panic that is originating in the United States. Though there is talk that this is just the first wave of a terrorist attack on Canada, Det. Sgt. Ben Smith, spokesperson for the Cobourg Town Police, said that he didn't think you can get anthrax or smallpox by sniffing a perfume ad, but "we're not ruling anything out," he said (see related story, below).

Missing Anthrax Bacteria Causing 'Great Concern'

TRENTON, N.J., Nov. 4. A lab in Trenton, New Jersey, can't account for 27 anthrax bacteria that were being cultured in an attempt to develop an antibiotic agent against anthrax. The laboratory, Germs 'R Us, is only one of two US laboratories outside of those controlled by the FBI and CIA engaged in developing new antibiotics and vaccines to counter the growing germ warfare threat. According to a government spokesperson, a massive search is on to find the bacteria before they fall into the wrong hands.

Dr. Muhammed Abd al - Wahib bin Hassan, the Director of Germs 'R Us said that the lab discovered that the germs were missing during a routine germ count before the lab closed for the weekend on Friday night. Dr. Bin Hassan said, "a culture slide containing the 27 microscopic bacteria was probably just mislaid somewhere and I have every confidence that it will be found."

Others are not so sure. In an editorial, The New York Times thundered that Bush is getting slap-happy with germs just as he is with security at US airports where he wants private firms rather than federal agents do the security checks. Stung by the criticism, the administration said that the germs are so small that you need a powerful microscope just to see them wriggling around on the slide. "Even if they were stolen by a terrorist, they are unlikely to be a threat to the nation's health. You can't just sprinkle these little buggers around like confetti," said Josh Friedland, Mr. Bush's  press secretary.

Epidemiologists contacted by the Notional Pest said that the missing bacteria are only a threat if you feed them and then they multiply "about a trillion times". Even then, they're no threat unless you stop feeding them. When you take away their food they shrivel up and become deadly anthrax spores. "That's when you better watch out,"  said Israel Amanpour, germ specialist at the Kettering Institute. "About a trillion of these little fuckers in your lungs and you're dead man, dead as a Best of Open Mike With Mike Bullard re-run."