So here we are again after a long hiatus (not the hernia kind, just a break of time...although I have been belching a lot lately). There are some serious questions that have piled up (in a cyber-sort of way), so let's get at them. ConstructionPikmin, from South Carolina asks the following:

What's the deal with Webkinz? There are signs all over saying "Webkinz are here." Should I be afraid? They are kind of cute, so I can't imagine they are that bad. What do you think?

Thank you, Pikmin, for asking such a timely question. Nothing could be more serious than the discussion of the Webkinz epidemic. MRSA, Flu, RSV, and other scary infections are nothing compared to the way in which Webkinz have rampaged through our communities.

Now, I am sure there are some readers out there who are unaware of the whole Webkinz phenomenon. Let me catch you up on the facts as I know them. My first sighting of a Webkinz sign was approximately a year ago, when I drove past a Walgreen's pharmacy with the sign "Webkinz are here." From sources that I cannot disclose I have since learned that Webkinz have been around for several years.

yoursign2 On the outside, it looks like Webkinz are cute little fuzzy animals that you pay in the neighborhood of $16 for. Each animal has a tag with a name and number on it which allows you to go the the website (www.webkinz.com) and access various online activities that you can do with a cyber-form of your stuffed animal. It sounds innocent; in fact, it sounds like an incredibly clever marketing scheme, as the more Webkinz you buy, the more stuff online you have access to. Wow. Only in America!

Not so fast. Doing more digging has revealed to me the sinister truth about the whole Webkinz phenomenon: it is a viral infection that is the result of a genetically manipulated form of the Ebola virus (done by Dr. Fred Webb and Dr. Natalie Kinzy). The Webkinz virus causes one of the most contagious and persistent infections known to man.

The reaction to this infection depends greatly on the age of the Victim. Adults infected with the Webkinz virus are prone to do the following:

  • Easily give in to requests of little girls
  • Think that spending $16 on a stuffed animal is reasonable
  • Be oblivious to long hours spent online by children
  • Crave sardines.

For some reason, young boys and teens seem to be immune to this infection, although there have been some reports at irritability and nausea whenever around those infected, so some theorize that the Webkinz infection is just milder in these demographic groups.

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Young girls, however, have the most dramatic signs of infection of any group. Symptoms of a Webkinz infection in these patients include the following:

  • Frequent utterances of "awwwww" whenever stuffed animals are nearby
  • An insatiable appetite for any variety of stuffed animals, including dogs, cats, horses, gophers, amebas, sea-cucumbers, unicorns, wraiths, hippos, worms, and fruit flies (to name a few).
  • Ever increasing lapses into the "Webkinz Frenzy," where the patient becomes fixated on a certain stuffed animal (a walrus, for instance) and gives up eating, sleeping, and other important bodily functions while being entranced with the thought of this animal and begging all who can hear for $16 to buy them.
  • Foot odor.

    Word_PuzzleThe astute reader may notice the similarity of this infection to other phenomena in our past, such as the great Cabbage-Patch infection of the 1980's, in which adults would find the sudden urge to buy an extremely ugly doll, being willing to maim and kill anyone who got in their way. This was actually a result of one of a Soviet-made virus, and it nearly succeeded at destroying the culture in the west. Other similar infections in the past thought to be the result of sinister genetic engineering experiments include:

    • Teletubbies Encephalitis (causing severe brain damage)
    • HRPufnstufH. R. Pufnstuf Toxicosis (as pictured on right)
    • The Barney Mutation (Grotesque)
    • The Olsen Twins (Scary one, that one was)
    • Precious Moments (The minions of Satan, as we all know)
    • Milwaukee Brewers Fever
    • Pink Eye

    So is there a cure or treatment for Webkinz? Sadly, there is no known treatment, so the epidemic runs unchecked. Some have suggested that this will fade in the same way as the Cabbage-Patch infection did, but others fear that it may first bankrupt the west. At least 70% of the current credit crisis is felt to be due to money spent on stuffed animals.

    Researchers are looking at a possible immunization against this infection, but unfortunately the research labs have gone broke as the scientists themselves spent all their grant money on stuffed monkeys.

    yoursign

    So, little Pikmin of South Carolina, I suggest you run for your life from this infection. The consequences of not doing so can be devastating. Trust me on this one.

    Gotta run now. I have to go to Walgreen's. Anyone got $16 I can borrow?

    Thanks for the Question! Remember to send your questions to: dr.rob.questions@gmail.com

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