Victim of Political Pandering
HOBOKEN, NJ- Due to a botanical mix-up, The Hoboken Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) has issued a recall of potted plants given by two local politicians to their constituents.
The mix-up lies with the similarity in appearance of leaves of the Euphorbia pulcherrima (Poinsettia) and those of Toxicodendron vernix (Poison Sumac).
It appears that dozens of these poinsettia-look alike Sumac plants ordered for Mayor Dawn Zimmer, City Council minority members and several local bloggers were delivered instead to various retail locations in the 2nd and 3rd Wards to be given as gifts to constituents.
The cause for the mix-up is unknown, but retailers are advised to stop dispensing all toxic political gifts immediately.
The deceptively festive plants, decoratively wrapped with clear cellophane, offer victims a "Happy Holidays" and look like this:
If you think you have received one of these political bio-hazards, the HHS asks that you exercise extreme caution in handling it and to wear rubber gloves at all times.
In case of contact, wash affected area immediately with soap and hot water and do not touch your eyes or house pets. Victims of politicians bearing gifts should call the American Association of Poison Control Centers' toll free number, 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
The HSS requests that politicians refrain from giving constituents live or edible gifts. Instead they suggest donating to organizations which serve the entire community and work for the public good like The Jubilee Center or The Boys and Girls Club. The HHS believes such selfless and generous giving will not be interpreted as buying votes or cause rashes and infection.
In the meantime, dozens of potted poinsettia plants intended for 2nd and 3rd Ward constituents are now festooning City Hall, the homes of Carol Marsh, Ravi Bhalla, Dave Mello, Peter Cunningham and several bloggers.
The politicians behind the purchase of the potted plants, toxic and benign, declined comment for this story.
(Updated, 12/22/10 9:20 am)
hbknprincess, this should tell you everything you need to know: I went to the doctor recently for a physical.
Here's my chest x-ray: