[PW] Quote: Life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease

Claire clairefromclare at gmail.com
Mon Jan 30 07:26:36 PST 2017

More a threadjack than feedback, but in his 1971 novel *Another Roadside
Attraction*, Tom Robbins posited that the two most enduring life forms on
the planet are the cockroach and Gonorrhea.  He then imagined a
post-nuclear world in which they were the only survivors*:

*"Suppose," said she, "that there is an all-out nuclear war. And suppose
that the cockroach, that tough little fellow with the frantic antennae, is
the sole survivor among living things. The cockroach would rule the Earth.
He would survive because he was the fittest, and with that justification he
would be master of the world. Quite so. But germs and viruses--many
varieties of them, perhaps--also would endure the holocaust. Right, Marx?
Right. And if some germs survived, surely gonorrhea would be among them for
it is so resilient. Right, John Paul? Right. Now suppose the surviving
cockroach, lord of the planet, caught gonorrhea. Could he withstand it?
Would gonorrhea fail with this insect where it has triumphed with man? Who
would conquer whom? Or would it simply be a case of the immovable object
meeting an irresistable force? They might lock in an eternal stalemate,
unable to budge one another throughout the whole of time. Years after man,
over some childish politico-economic misunderstanding, has obliterated
himself and turned the green Earth into a cinder ball, then the *real* battle
will begin. Gonorrhea and the cockroach fighting it out for ultimate
domination of the universe. Now there's your armageddon.*

*  The web site from which I lifted this claims to be in compliance with
copyright law; I have no clue.

On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 3:32 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> A list member kindly helped me to explore the provenance of the saying
> in the subject line after I received an inquiry. Now there is an entry
> on the topic:
> http://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/01/29/life/
> [Begin acknowledgement excerpt]
> Special thanks to Dan J. Bye who identified important citations in
> 1980 and 1981. He also verified several citations in “The Observer”.
> In addition, thanks to Charles Doyle for accessing Guy Bellamy’s book.
> Also, thanks to Nigel Rees for his valuable reference “Graffiti 2”.
> [End acknowledgement excerpt]
> Here is a summary of the results:
> 1943: Some people think of life as a fatal disease. —Francis T. Cunningham
> 1968: Life is a hereditary disease. —Anonymous Graffito
> 1980: Life is a sexually transmitted disease. —Anonymous Graffito
> 1981: Life is just another sexually transmitted social disease. —Margaret
> Atwood
> 1982: Life is a sexually transmitted disease. — attributed to Posy Simmonds
> 1982: Life is a sexually transmitted disease. —Guy Bellamy
> 1984: Life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease. —Marilyn Duckworth
> 1985: Life is a sexually transmitted disease & there’s a 100%
> mortality rate. —R. D. Laing
> Feedback and interesting citations welcome
> Garson
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