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“The halls are awash with the sound of mucus …”

This story offers a new slant on how the USA is preparing to deal with a smallpox terrorist attack: Smallpox: A Musical:

St. Cloud, Minn. – Here’s the way doctors in St. Cloud imagine a smallpox outbreak. Panicked hospital employees scurry about in a blaze of blue scrubs. A doctor dons a biohazard suit and sprays bleach everywhere. The beleaguered workers wring their hands and then belt into song, to an oddly familiar tune.

“Smallpox, smallpox, what a challenge for our docs,” they sing to the tune of “Charleston.”

It’s a performance of Smallpox: A Musical. Covers of hit musical tunes are cleverly revised to tell the story of mucus – that nefarious transmitter of smallpox.

Suddenly, the familiar sounds of music are back.

“The halls are awash, with the sound of mucus. And everyday ills, are now shown the door. ‘Cause deep in our hearts, what has so confused us, is fevers and pustules and festering sores,” sing hospital workers to the melody of “The Sound of Music.”

The musical is the brainchild of Dr. Daniel Whitlock, vice president of medical affairs at St. Cloud Hospital. But these days, in addition to his administrative role, Whitlock is busy making casting calls. His eyes twinkle as he runs a hand through his silver hair.

“I thought you’d be a good one,” he says to a perspective recruit, “because you have stage presence. And you’re dynamic.”

The medical profession has always been a bastion of bad taste and gallows humour. It seems to be my day for confirming stereotypes.

2 comments to “The halls are awash with the sound of mucus …”

  • Zacek

    Why not? Urinetown was a hit. Bodily functions and contagious disease could herald the renaissance of musical comedy.

  • mt

    Being from the area, it doesn’t suprise me that it’s in St. Cloud, as that is a college town, and pretty soon it would come to the Twin Cities, and be at the University of Minnesota.