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Amoeba (noun) is a medical term that names a bacterial infection that is unique to humans and, fortunately, very rare. The symptoms of amoeba include a runny nose, a fever, a headache and the irrepressible urge to scream “garsthamandala” at every passing car. If any of these symptoms are absent then you are probably suffering from something other than amoeba. Either that or the disease has not yet reached the height of its incubation period. Likely the latter.

Because garsthamandala is not a word in any known language, yet it is unfailingly screamed, without variation in pronunciation, tone or cadence, by every amoeba-sufferer every time a car passes them, many people believe that the as-of-yet unnamed bacteria that causes amoeba was genetically engineered by aliens from another galaxy and foisted upon us as a means of mind-control. Then again, the judgment of the people who assert this hypothesis is often subject to intense ridicule because of their penchant for wearing tinfoil hats and shrieking at invisible people on the street, which is not to say they are wrong about the source of amoeba.

There are only two known successful treatments for amoeba and at least thousands, and possibly millions, of known unsuccessful treatments.

The first of the two successful treatments is an antibiotic made from a naturally sourced blue-green algae that grows only in warm, phosphate-laden waters that have been excessively polluted with heavy-metal toxins. A ten-day course of eight 500-milligram antibiotic pills a day is required to ensure that the bacteria is completely cleared from the patient’s body. The patient should take the full course even if he or she stops shouting garsthamandala uncontrollably before the end of the ten days.  Otherwise, some of the bacteria may hide out in the body and evolve into a drug-resistant form that might carry a broader, but equally ridiculous vocabulary.

If, after treatment, patients stop shouting garsthamandala uncontrollably and start shouting it controllably and frequently—not just at passing cars, but also completely out of context—simply because they enjoy doing so, other professional help that involves lying down on a couch and talking about their feelings about their mothers might be in order.

The other successful amoeba treatment involves checking yourself into a lovely resort in a wilderness area where there are no passing cars or motorized vehicles of any kind. Not having any cars (or any other vehicle that might be mistaken for a car) to bark at, the bacteria eventually become bored and leave your body for less-green pastures, so to speak.

For this treatment to stand any chance of success, the resort must be far away from any roads. All guests and staff must hike to or ride a horse or mule to the resort and the resort must carry in supplies in backpacks or on pack animals. Furthermore, the resort should be in the middle of a forest that is dense enough to block the passage of any off-road vehicles that might disrupt your treatment if they get too close.

You should stay at the resort for a minimum of two weeks, and preferably three or more weeks, to ensure a complete cure.

Despite usually being considerably more expensive unless you’re crazy enough to want to rough it in a tent or rudimentary cabin, the resort treatment is generally preferred over the antibiotic treatment if you can afford it because the rare (occurring in fewer than 37.5 percent of patients), but definitely possible side effects of the antibiotic include coughing, sneezing, dry throat, hives, swelling of the limbs, paralysis of the legs, paralysis of the arms, paralysis of all limbs at once, comas and death. The only known side effect of the resort treatment is that people who had previously been constantly angst-ridden might achieve something vaguely approaching a relaxed state.

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