Plum assignments

Some homework assignments are more pleasant than others.

My son has a great fascination with infections of many sorts – video game, horror movie and real life. When the newsroom received several guides from Homeland Security and I brought home my copy, his eyes lit up when he saw the biohazard symbol on the cover. He hasn’t pondered yet the impact of being injected with live yellow fever in preparation for a summer trip, but I’m sure that’s coming.

He piled into the car one day announcing that for biology, his class had to write papers on viruses.

“I bet two-thirds chose HIV,” I said.

“Guess what I chose?”

I thought it was a no-brainer, given some of his previous recreational reading.

“Ebola,” I replied, sure of myself.

He shook his head and grinned. “Marburg,” he said, pleased at the prospect.

Sure, he has favorite colors and NHL players. He also has a favorite hemorrhagic fever.

This post originally appeared on, the online home of the Midland (MI) Daily News. Republished with permission.

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