Pittsburgh, PA – In a semi-private hospital room in this working-class town Edward Cherthoff lies in bed surrounded by his family, friends and his pastor. A steel worker most of his life Edward is used to being the strong one for his family but these days, connected to a myriad of machines that do for him what his own body is no longer capable of doing. His breathing is labored as he tries to speak, even when not trying to choke back the tears, as he recounts the trials that have taken their toll on him.
Doctors say the prognosis is not promising. The years have taken their toll and his once vigorous body is shattered. Edward’s wife Helena squeezes his hand as the doctors explain the balance of Edward’s life will be measured in months, not years. The depth of this tragedy is underscored by the fact that it is as preventable as it is severe because Edward is a badger fucker.
“I started fucking badgers when I was 12,” he explains between gasping breaths. “My father fucked badgers when he was a kid as did his father. I grew-up where badger fucking was a sign of manhood. I mean, you saw them fucking badgers all the time in the movies, right? You see them beautiful actresses up on the screen walking around with a badger between their lips; it was dripping with sex appeal.”
Edward recalls fucking badgers with his friends in the local high school bathroom because, “it was the thing to do.” But it came with a terrible price.
“Before I knew it I was fucking 4 badgers a day.”
As the years wore on Edward began to realize it was not healthy for him as each morning he would wake-up with deep fang marks and rent flesh.
Edward says he knew badger fucking was unhealthy but it only adds fuel to the debate about who bears ultimate responsibility. Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett says the badger manufacturers bear a large portion of the blame; so much so that the AG will be filing a class action lawsuit this coming spring with Edward Chertoff’s testimony playing a pivotal role.
“They know they’re producing a dangerous product,” says AG spokesperson Betsy Hamilton. “In fact we intend to prove that the badger producers of America actually increased the harmfulness of their product by engineering the badgers to have longer talons and more bristly fur.”
Tom McIntyre, spokesman for Badger Manufacturer’s Association of America is quick to respond to such allegations. “Nonsense,” he says with barely restrained indignation. “We are selling a perfectly legal product in full compliance with all federal regulations.”
But critics are unconvinced, claiming that one little Surgeon General’s warning label on the badger’s left inner thigh hardly constitutes due diligence. The AG’s office would like to see levies imposed on the sale of badgers and badger related products with the proceeds used to educate the public on the dangers of badger fucking.
Nor are “badger-lites” considered a safe alternative. “Even if you file down the teeth it’s still a fucking badger,” explains Ms. Hamilton.
She is also deeply concerned about the growing use of oral badger products amongst school-aged children describing it in epidemic terms. She’s particularly worried that reports are starting to surface of children as young as 8 or 9 years old fondling shrews.
“We need to see stricter laws in place,” Ms Hamilton declares. “Particularly on advertising we believe is aimed at children and young adults.” She says it’s ridiculous to discuss healthcare reform while “we market vicious mammals to our children.”
Mr. McIntyre calls it a recipe for disaster.
“Remember what happened during Piranhibition?” referring to the period during the early 20th century when congress had made it illegal for people to stuff piranhas into their pants. “All it accomplished was making a lot of gangsters very rich while turning otherwise good Americans into criminals. The fact is: if people want to fuck badgers they’re going to do it.”