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Saturday, October 2, 2004

Casting Call: Wanted Exotic Diseases Willing to Travel

NBC's new television series Medical Investigation is a serious "who done it" mystery. Every week the CDC's disease detectives attempt to figure out what disease or malady is killing or making people sick. The technical consultants and writers on this show have an interesting job as they cook up mysterious outbreaks and cast exotic diseases as the sinister villains.

Unfortunately, for every winner in Hollywood there is a loser. We have to feel sorry for some of our old diseases that just might not make the cut with the new show. Some perhaps if they are very lucky might get a cameo as a suspect. But some new and old faces might land plum parts. Here's a short list of the gossip on who's up and who is down and out in the disease community:

Sal Monella (Salmonella) - has had long successful career in the restaurant business. Had a steady gig on TV series Alice in the late 70's and early 80's - worked in "Mel's Diner". Currently looking for work in a realty show with a chef or kitchen theme. A possible cameo on Medical Investigations as a suspect might be a possibility. His people are working on it. Many often wonder what kind of germ is Sal. Truth is he's a real dirt bag.

Rick Ettsia (Rickettsia) - Rick Ettsia is his given or real name, but most know him by his more famous stage name: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Rick or Rocky may have to wait a couple of seasons to get on since his close cousin Coxiella Burnetii (Q fever) had the lead on the show recently (Sept. 24, 2004). Pals around with the "Arthropod Vectors" gang [Variety called them the "New Rat Pack"] and hangers on like Borrelia Burgdorferi. Currently spends most of his free time hiking on the trails around Vail and Aspen. Winters in Mexico.

Borrelia Burgdorferi (Borrelia burgdorferi) - best know for his role as Lyme Disease. Great shot at 2nd or 3rd season. Hangs out with celeb's like Paul Newman and Martha Stewart in Westport, CT these days. Currently making a bundle on syndication deals while wasting away in Marthaville.

Ty Phoid (typhoid) - 1st cousin of Sal Monella. Both are old timers who broke into the biz years ago. Does the occasional guest shot these days in some foreign films. Had a famous road show gig with a gal named Mary Mallon back at the turn of the century. Mary was a great cook. Does not realistically have much of a shot for MI the next several years, but would take a cameo if offered.

Po Lee Oh (polio) - Asian fellow, walks with a limp, near the end of his career and the death pool has him as a marked man. Hasn't worked in this country since 1979. Insiders are wondering if the MI writers would risk bring him back even for a cameo given his prior record of messing with children.

Hem O'Rrhoid (hemorrhoids) - sorry Hem you'll have to stick to making commericials.

Jock Itch (Tinea cruris) - Sorry Jock, like Hem, you and all your lowly ring worm friends will not be working on Medical Investigation.

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