So, the slang name for the H1N1 swine flu is “hamthrax”. Pretty funny. I suppose it could be called spamthrax as well.

As a kid I lived for a time in an Iowa town that had a Hormel Spam processing plant. During the winter in particular, the town of Fort Dodge, Iowa, would smell like cooked Spam. Ft Dodge sits atop the Des Moines River valley. During the cold months the valley would fill to the brim with the odor of Spam. It was an odd experience to drive into town and be overwhelmed by the smell of potted spiced meat.

Ft Dodge was (is) also known for the vast gypsum deposit that sits underneath the area. The word was that hair from the hogs at Hormel was blended with the gypsum to add strength to the sheetrock that was produced. I don’t know if this is true, but it made a great story for countless toe-headed farm kids who drove by the gypsum plant and pondered how they got the hair from the hogs and into the wallboard.