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Published September 16, 2011

Cooties (Complex Organic Olfactory Total Internal Ecchhh Syndrome) is a very serious infectious disease most commonly found in schoolchildren.

Just the Facts

1. 99% of cooties are spread through casual human contact with the opposite gender.

2. Cooties can cause runny noses, stuffy noses, dandruff or peeling skin, boils, pimples, pustules, rashes, or warts, inability to smell, sweatiness, weight gain, urinary incontinence, random belching, extreme flatulence, strange social behaviors, tics, tremors or convulsions, blindness, and blurred vision.

3. Symptoms to cooties often include ridicule and exclusion from peers.

Cooties Origins

Cooties (Ickyus Pediculus Humanus) have been around forever. This does not, however, mean that they have kept the same appearance over all these years. When cooties originally formed into an infectious bacteria circa 5000 BC, they looked much more like a plastic '50s children's toy than their formation now. After nearly 6000 years of its original appearance, the cootie came to the dreaded realisation that small children were discovering them spreading throughout the United States. In hopes of multiplying more peacefully than they were at the moment, cooties evolved in an approximate ten year time span to a hopefully more "goofy" and "silly" appearance, so as not to be seen as menacing and disgusting to young children. Although the cootie's new transformation made adults believe children even less about their being extremely infectious and dangerous, it made absolutely no impact on the children's approach to them. Although origins of the word "cootie" ("Ickyus Pediculus Humanus") are unclear, it was most likely entitled by a child, since people above the age of seven typically acknowledge the topic of cooties at an extremely low rate. Proof of this pops up in many places, especially in the case of when clueless soldiers mistook the lice of the First World War trenches as cooties trying to breed in their hair. Although other adults heard of this term and eventually it became another definition of the word "cootie," many grade-school children sat back and smirked at how such a big mix-up could have happened.

Prevention and Treatment of Cooties

If you want to make sure you never get cooties, you can simply limit any physical contact with other humans to a minimum, but if you are worried about a person with cooties coming too close, a high powered rifle should do the trick. If you already have cooties, you're kind of screwed, but there are a few tricks you can try. In America some people are lucky enough to get the cootie shot, while others claim they can pass on the cootie to another person by touching them or through use of the anti-cootie spray. And even still, sometimes a person with a piece of paper handy could fashion themselves a cootie catcher that catches all the cooties from the other person (these are also known as "fortune tellers"). Although cootie shots are not literal shots stuck into the arm, they are just as effective as liquid vaccinations. One person typically administers the shot by reciting the rhyme "circle, circle/dot, dot/now you've got the cootie shot" while using an index finger to trace the circles and dots, releasing the cootie vaccination, on another person's forearm. In some cases if someone has a more severe case of cooties, the other person may continue to then say "circle, circle/square, square/now you have it everywhere," in which case the child receives an immunization throughout his or her entire body. Some extra careful people may even still continue to a final shot where the child then says "circle, circle/knife, knife/now you've got it all your life." To make the scratches for this, one may use their finger or a real knife if preferred. Alternatively, if this version is foreign to the administrator or the administrator does not feel comfortable giving it, there is a large variety of other techniques, such as "circle, circle/fire, fire/now your shot will never expire," or "nickel, nickel/dime, dime/now you've got it all the time" (a less affective one, to be noted), OR "circle, circle/penny, penny/now you have it for infinity" while using their index finger to draw vertical lines on the other person's forearm. Another immunization against cooties is the cootie lock, created by John William Alexander James Albert Justin Gary Michael Thomas Daniel Mark Gilles Brown LeBlanc of Canada. The technique is the same exact thing as that of the original cootie shot, except that the word "lock" is substituted for "shot." After the lock is administered, the patient must touch together the index finger and the thumb on each hand, interlocking them, for at least 24 hours. This is to prevent the patient form accidentally touching an infected person before the vaccine can take effect. Alternatively, cooties can also be immunized through one child creating a square using his or her index and middle fingers (making a peace sign in each hand and lying one on top of the other). The other child then pokes his index finger through the square, at which point he becomes immunized from the cooties infection. In other medical services for cooties, the power of a cootie shot is not limited to use as an immunization. The victim of cooties may receive a cootie shot as treatment also,m at which time the cootie shot may cure the disease. Yet another treatment is the use of cootie disinfectant spray. This is an aerosol which has proven effective in eliminating cooties bacteria and viruses, as well as external cooties toxins. This aerosol must be administered within ten seconds of exposure. However, there is a disagreement among scientists - some claim that the spray can be self-administered, while most claim that it must be administered by another person. To apply it, the victim uses a can of the anti-cootie spray (most commonly found at medical centres for cooties, such as the Center for Cooties Control) and immunizes whatever an infected person touches, be it body part, personal belonging or surface, depending on the victim's degree of Cootiephobia. If you are unable to do any of these procedures, the last resort is Cootie First Aid, however if you are infected we strongly suggest finding a sharp piece of metal and hammering it into your skull before you infect your friends and family. If you do not wish to do this, follow these instructions very carefully:

1. Scrub infected area immediately with hydrogen peroxide and/or a Brillo pad. You may notice some redness at first, but it should subside.

2. Keep infected area dry.

3. Whatever you do, DO NOT scratch.

4. If condition persists, consult your local physician or a reliable entomologist, whichever is more convenient.

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