Ebola Like An Oil Change, Says Lyle Shove-It, Hollywood’s Famous Bum & Oracle
ADAM MICHAEL LUEBKE
somewhere in LA
I wrote four years ago that 2010 would be the best year to die, because the subsequent years would only get worse until a full collapse of civilization would be upon us. I was halfway joking at the time, but looking back, I might have been onto something.
So what do you fear most in 2014? ISIS? Drone / robot warfare? Disappearing passenger planes? Militarized police? Ebola outbreaks in the United States?
An unidentified patient recently tested positive to the horrifying illness. The patient had been in contact with at least five children, all of whom went to different schools and had been in contact with many other children. “We’ll contain the disease,” CDC health officials told news anchors. It’s a shitty situation, is basically what they said, but there’s enough Clorox and Lysol to spray down every nook and cranny, so we’ll contain this buzzard.
LYLE SHOVE-IT: “I could use a good flush”
I asked Hollywood’s most famous bum and oracle about Ebola, and if he or anybody he knew was alarmed about the spread of the disease in America. For years I’ve come to Shove-It for the type of pragmatic advice Americans crave. So he was the obvious source of natural wisdom I needed about such a sensational topic.
Lyle only shrugged his thick shoulders. Despite the Los Angeles heat, he still wore his tattered, stained, dark green Army jacket and his black snow pants.
“But come on,” I said, “you only shrug? This is serious. The majority of Ebola victims die, I’ve heard. And it’s not a pleasant death. The headaches, the chills, the nausea, the relentless diarrhea, and then the bleeding from the eyes. There’s a lot at stake here.”
Lyle Shove-It lifted his hat, which quaintly matched his jacket, and rubbed the rim over his sweaty hair. He pulled the hat over his head again and said, “I haven’t had a decent bowel movement in a decade. I could use a good flush. If I survived, I’d feel like a million bucks.”
Shove-It is an old German at heart, and stubborn as a two-by-four. It’s difficult to budge him on his staunch viewpoints. “It’s not just a bowel movement,” I told him, “it’s life and death.”
“Sounds more like an oil change for humans,” he said. “But don’t let it change your plans to live forever.”
APPLYING THE SAGE’S WISDOM
When I returned home, my neighbor said hello and asked if I’d heard about the outbreak of Ebola in Dallas.
“It’s going to spread,” he told me. “It’s going to hit hospitals, and at the same time rip through the schools like wildfire. We’re going to be quarantined even for having a cough. Neighbors will by spying on neighbors, reporting them to local health officials, tasked specifically by the UN to monitor neighborhoods in large cities.
“They will cart off those with even the mildest symptoms of illness. Like I said, you’ll be put away for coughing, for any basic allergies, for a cold or a flu. For a goddamned hiccup. They’ll fill the FEMA camps with the healthy and the sick, and everybody will perish behind ten-foot high barbed-wire fences. People say I’m paranoid, but I say I’ve got a good head on my shoulders.”
I slid the key into the lock of my apartment door. I thought of what Shove-It would say, and I passed on the wisdom. “Don’t let it change your life!” I said, and shut the door behind me.
“Well, it’s not,” I heard him say from behind my door. “I’m still planning on taking my kids to the water park this weekend.”
I opened my door a crack and stared at my neighbor’s face. I lifted my eyebrows high. “Gee whiz, the water park?” I asked. “That cesspool of filth and germs? I said don’t let it change your life, I didn’t say to risk it all on something stupid.”
I locked my door behind me.
[Nun visiting graves of Ebola victims, 1976 photo from Center for Disease Control (CDC) — ID# 7070]