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Editorial September 4, 2003
You’re Not The Same, Damnit!
By Fred Hiatt Browse author
Page 3 of 3
Where was I? Oh yes, herpes. Normally I don't even respond to such defamatory rumors, but here I feel it is necessary to set the record straight. The fact is that I first contracted the herpes in 1997, right around the time that wonder-boy Boris Nemtsov was named Deputy First Prime Minister. At first I wasn't sure what the painful open blister on my penis was. So I called our youngest daughter into my bedroom and asked her to blow on it. She brought our dog, Judas, into the room, and he licked my sore in order to clean it out. Dog's mouths are supposed to have healing powers. Later, Judas licked our children's faces before they went to bed. They woke up with herpes sores on their lips. We had the dog put to sleep because we were afraid he would infect other children. Eventually, we had both of our children put down as well. It was a sad time, but I was freer to do what I love most: writing editorials.

The herpes outbreak was not a cause for crisis in the Hiatt household. As a matter of fact, I penned an in-house editorial on the matter and posted it on our refrigerator, so that we were all clear on the matter. I believe, as an American, in the spirit of transparency, even on matters as private as sexual diseases.

"Dear Sandy, Steve and Meredith: For too long now, we in the Hiatt household have lived a life free of the kinds of diseases that afflict average Russians and peoples around the developing world. This must change. Starting today, we believe that it is time someone in the house carried with him a non-life-threatening sexual disease, one which would cause more pain and humiliation than actual danger.

"We must not shy away from danger, but rather we must confront it. For this reason we believe that our son Steven Hiatt should show his committment to the Hiatt household by agreeing to cut the lawn and rake the leaves. Furthermore, Steven must not avoid going to soccer practice.

"The international community has overlookd Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction capabilities for too long now. We Americans cannot wait, as the events of 9/11 showed. Action must be taken, on every level.

"This is why we propose that our younger daughter Meredith join the Girl Scouts as she has been asked. She must stop playing her Marilyn Manson records, and she needs to get with the program.

"This will be a long-term commitment with many ups and downs. But in the end, it is a test of our resolve. Will we meet the challenge? Only time will tell."

It's now been five years since that note was written. A lot has changed. Yet some things have remained the same. Like Russia. Russia. God damn Russia. Why can't you call yourself something else, like "Ricks Island" or "Positivia." Anything but Russia.

Anything but Russia.

Fred Hiatt is the Opinion Page editor of the Washington Post. He contributed this article to the eXile.

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