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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that can’t imagine a cooler name for a disease than “monkeypox.”

Heck, it’s so cool that, if it weren’t already a disease name that had been completely overused by the media, it’d be the name of our next punk band. We can see it already – the bright lights around the marquee at Madison Square Gardens proclaiming, “Tonight! And Tonight Only! MONKEYPO with special guest PRAIRIE DOG PLAGUE.” And we would rock.

But back to our original point, again, how cool is the name monkeypox? It kicks butt over wimpy names like polio and dysentary. It’s got the kind of cache that other diseases don’t have, the kind that draws people to you instead of repulsing them.

As we found out when we had mono, you tell people you’re sick, then they ask what you have. When you tell them you have mono, they do these involuntary things like covering their mouths or stepping backwards – the kind of reaction that really makes you feel loved.

Tell someone you have monkeypox, though, and they’re like, what? Then they start asking you, does that mean you have sores? Can I get that? It sounds cool. (We know this because we proclaimed we had monkeypox to some people on the bus. Suddenly, we were very popular. At least we thought so – all that hand-waving and screaming looked just like all that old Ed Sullivan footage we’ve seen of Elvis performing.)

And on top of having a cool name, you can only contract the disease from Gambian giant rats, South American monkeys, or the prairie dogs the monkeys passed the disease on to. We have no idea why anyone would want to have a prairie dog as a pet (we seem to remember Colorado Springs going through a prairie dog epidemic and eradication effort a couple years ago because the animals are such pests), but we do like the idea of people thinking that we’ve been running around a Latin American jungle talking to monkeys.

We mean, that puts you on par with Indiana Jones and stuff. People would say, Did you hear about Enrique? (If we were having jungle adventures with monkeys, that’s what we’d tell people our name was.) Enrique was fighting with the Zapatista rebels, they would say, and he got bit by a monkey that was trained by those fascist generals!

Yes, it would be another chapter in the voluminous tomes of Summit Up legend. All thanks to monkeypox.


One last item. Congrats! to Pete Dawson. Some of our readers may know Pete – he worked all over Summit Up Land for years before deciding that, hey, he might want to finish school before he retires. Pete went down to Greeley and graduates today from Aims Community College and will be going on to pursue a four-year degree, too. Those of you who know Pete know just what an accomplishment today is.


It’s Saturday, so rock on. We’re off exploring, looking for someplace where the sun shines in the afternoon once in a while …

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