Patient Zero



Wash your hands, Jennifer H.! [The post was first featured 9/06]



  1. someone will prolly take this way too seriously but i’m glad you put it up 8D

  2. Nope, I refuse to believe it. No two things this cute could cause anything bad. Nope. Never. Love ’em!

  3. 😆 I saw the rudely-captioned version of this on BBSpot today; Briggs even titled the link “Patient 0:mrgreen:

  4. This is the BEST way to get swine flu! If you’re gonna get it, get it from kissing (or licking) a piggy!

  5. brinnann says:

    😆 Thanks for the link, Theo!

  6. brinnann says:

    ‘Primates’ tag?



  8. Paunchie says:

    I wish there was a better way of writing LOL!! But OMG LOL!!! haw haw haw

    THANKS FOR POSTING AGAIN! Love that pic.

    And now, where are the peeps who will say BAD PARENT! Not stopping ur kid but snapping a pic instead! Probably snickering too while they did!

  9. brinnann says:

    And what about ‘interspecies snorgling’?

    And does the quotation mark go before or after the question mark?

  10. Eeeeeeooooooooooooooooh! xp

  11. ellie007 says:

    swine flu joke anyone…?

    [You mean, like, besides the post title? 😉 – Ed.]


  13. brinnann says:

    Oh! And ‘I shall leeck you!’

  14. Ummmm, tastes like chicken

    [Oh now you’re just being silly. 😛 – Ed.]

  15. Paunchie says:

    Meg: “How much is that pig LOL-ing? I bet that pig snorts when he laughs, too.”

    HAW HAW! You guys are too much. How much am I LOL-ing. Phew. I better take it easy.

    Can’t believe I’ve been around here for so long! I think I just might stay.

  16. brinnann says:

    I also see a possible Rule# 13.

  17. So THAT’s how it started

  18. Ha HA! This has been my favourite photo since it was first posted a couple years ago! Thank you soooooo much for the repeater. I also agree with Sher, no two such adorable creatures could create a pandemic. Must have been spiders…

  19. 260Oakley says:

    Porksicle, aka Porksickie on this site

  20. Copperbat says:

    Hahahah I loves this picture so moishe.

  21. Flavia A. says:

    Oh man. ROFLMAO.
    This pic is funny, cute and disgusting at the same time.

  22. AuntieMame says:


    (Brinnan, the question mark in your sentence goes after the quotation mark, because the entire sentence is the question, not just the quoted phrase. Signed, the Grammar Fairy)

  23. Jimbeaux says:

    That’s just snoutstanding! 🙂

  24. Snoutalicious! They’re not just for breakfast anymore.

  25. Cambridge Rat Mom says:

    I always laugh when I see this picture. It’s so typical for a kid to lick a pig’s nose, don’t ya think? This is NOT how you contract H1N1 flu!

  26. Snout-licious!!!

  27. Flu haz flavor?

  28. Paunchie says:

    @nycat : flu tastes like baconz

  29. La Fee Verte says:

    Love in the time…of Swine Flu


  30. Well, brinnann, there IS a primate prominently pictured. Plus a small part of another primate in the lower right corner.

  31. berthaservant says:

    Auntie Mame — actually, in some journalistic circles, the sentence ending punctuation ALWAYS goes inside the quotes. (I’m not vouching for the logic of why, I’m just saying that I was taught very explicitly by my masters-in-journalism parents that such was the case once upon a not so long ago).

    I still think this is gee-ross, but high-larious.

  32. catloveschanel says:

    Bacon Chapstick, coming up!

    Thanks for this pic. They just sent out a company wide email on how not to get the swine flu, so I forwarded picture to everyone and said, “We forgot the graphic.”

  33. AuntieMame says:

    Berthaservant, I know that’s true of periods (and commas), but I believe the rule is different for question marks and exclamation points. Although I can’t say I’ve studied AP style that closely…

  34. I bet that feels really good to the pig, LOL

  35. “I don’t know what dis keed is do-ink, but I like eet!”

  36. I hope that piggy didn’t get sick…

  37. AliceBlue says:

    260Oakley, that was clever.

  38. i was so hoping that you would re post this photo – it’s priceless


  40. Worst…parenting…ever…

  41. Oh, come on len… kids do weird things all the time and I’m sure she got an explanation later. It’s still funny as hell :3

  42. I loved that pic the first time i saw it, so cuteeeeeeeee you people need a new cuteness rule ” Deathly cute” lol

  43. CLASSIC.

  44. Licking a pig snout = two great tastes in one:

  45. KittyKye says:

    Gaaaaah!!! Gross, but oh so cute!

  46. aaaaaaaahahhaahahahahahahahahah!

  47. Snort! 😀

    The look on the piggy’s face says everything that needs to be said in favor of pigs. They’re all warm and fuzzy. (Well, bristle-y.)

    Btw I love that mom.

  48. so THAT’S it!!! Pig-lickin’ kids!

  49. so THIS is what caused the snoutbreak?

  50. Building up the old immunity!

  51. Must be Homer Simpson as a kid. “Mmmm…..bacon…*arrrrhhhh*”

  52. I love the look on the kid’s face! Sooo happy to be licking a pig!! Big Wet Smooch to you Mr. Bacon!!!

  53. Martha in Washington says:

    One of my most favorite posts ever!! Thanks for the repeat. Snoutrageously cute!

  54. 300,000 pigs were destroyed in Egypt to prevent infection.

  55. re: ryan

    and they didn’t need to – that’s the really sad part!:(

  56. essensual says:

    Ummm weren’t the Egyptians muslims? Why do they even raise pigs???

  57. hon glad says:

    I like my Pork fresh.

  58. Lawl. Patient Zero it is.

    @essensual: Not all Egyptians are the same religion. NPR did a story recently on pigs being raised by Christian families in the cities… the pigs eat up the city trash.

  59. onk, onk, tasty!!!

  60. Wash your hands? Wash your mouth is more like it, yeech.
    I wonder if the pig’s snout tasted like bacon?

  61. Cambridge Rat Mom says:

    In the US, punctuation almost always goes INSIDE the quote. It’s different in the UK.

  62. bunnywabbit225 says:

    That’s strange. I wonder what that child finds so “lickable” about a dirty pig nose. It sort of turns my stomach.

  63. CoffeeCup says:

    As a journalist, I can attest that according to the AP style of writing…the punctuation goes inside the quotes. Even when I’m not writing in AP style, I keep writing in AP style because I am so used to it, that it seems extremely unnatural to me that the punctuation would be on the outside of a quote.

    Also, this photo? *shudder* I know I did my fair share of gross things, but I’d never do that.

  64. i love this picture!

  65. Gag a maggot!!

  66. Katiedid says:

    I wonder how old that kid is now.. and if he realizes he once licked a pig lol.. Thats definatly a pic for the photo album hahahah

  67. oh to be a kid again, and do what is ever in your heart…like licking…licking everything!

  68. lauralou says:

    I love this picture. Many pigs are incredibly affectionate…they love to be petted and scratched!

  69. “Th-th-th-th-tha-tha, that’s all folks!”

  70. kodalai says:

    @len: Paunchie totally called it!

    @ryan: I bet you’re a real hit at parties, too.

  71. brinnann says:

    I thought the punctuation was supposed to be in the quotations no matter what, but it just didn’t look right. I haven’t had to do AP style in almost 10 years, so I wasn’t very confident with my memory of it. Thanks guys for clearing it up for me!

  72. I screamed so loudly inside my head dogs in Paris started yipping!

  73. BabyOpossum says:

    brinnann, for what it’s worth, I think you got it right the first time. As I recall, periods and commas go inside the quotation marks, but the rules are a little different when it comes to question marks and exclamation points (and semicolons, I believe). For example, if I wanted to confirm I heard something correctly, I might pose the following question:

    Did you say “snuggle” or “snorgle”?

    Or, if I was impressed by a particular post, I might exclaim:

    OMG LOL @ “porksickie”!!!!1

    Disclaimer: I’m not a professional writer, but I did grow up with an English-major mom. 🙂

  74. Starlinguk says:

    Exactly, right with the grammar rules there, BabyOpossum.

    Y’see, an exclamation mark or quotation mark “belongs” to a sentence. A sentence might be shouted, or a question, so you have to indicate which sentence it belongs to.

    With a comma or a full stop, it doesn’t matter.

    Um, does that make any sense?

  75. BabyOpossum says:

    Tricia – While I can understand being sad over the mass pig slaughter, the animals were going to meet that fate soon anyway, flu or no flu. To me, that’s the real sad fact. The flu scare just accelerated the inevitable for those doomed animals, which may not be such a bad thing.

  76. chitadenita says:

    Thanks for re-posting this one. An all-time personal favorite that makes me fall over laughing every time I see it!

  77. brinnann says:

    I sent this post to everyone at work. It’s been a big hit so far! 😆

  78. superboymom says:

    I think da piggy likes it . . . with that smile on his face!

    My youngest used to look just like that (the baby, not the pig) . . . all soft blond curls. He’s 14 now and not so soft and sweet . . . but still pretty darned great :-).

    IMHO, enough can’t be said for living naturally and building up those strong immunities.

  79. Cambridge Rat Mom says:

    inside the quotes!!!

  80. You know I was afraid to say anything, but when the news of swine flu *first* came out, all I thought about was this picture of the cute little smiling piggie with the kid licking his nosie

    @itty bitty kitty committee – OMG *snoutbreak!!* oooh I’m hurting!

  81. skippymom says:

    Any sentence-ending punctuation in this case goes outside the quotation marks, because it punctuates the whole sentence (question). The question mark isn’t part of the quoted phrase. If the whole question were in quotation marks, the question mark would go inside. Auntie Mame got it right the first time.

  82. wannadance says:

    yeah for dirt!
    you can’t giy swine flu from eating bakon…the germs are airborne, just like all flu germs.

    so if a pig sneezes right in your face w/o a kleenex, then run and drink a gallon of orange juice and worry obsessively…

  83. Tinywhiteflowers says:

    I showed this picture to my parents and the swear they would have put the camera down and stopped me from licking the pig… but I don’t believe them.

  84. wannadance says:

    swine flu sounds like a really disgusting disease. i like piggyflu much better. if you gotta be sick for a coupla weeks, might as well be something cute…

  85. “I was licking pigs in all the wrong places,
    Licking pigs in too many faces,
    Searching their eyes, licking for traces,
    Of what.. I’m dreaming of…
    Hopin’ to find a friend and a lover,
    God bless the day I discover,
    Another pig, lickin’ for love.”

  86. I think this is my favorite CO post of all time! I had it as my desktop at one point, and every time I worked in a coffee shop or anywhere in public, people would notice it right away and say, “What is THAT??!?” It’s good to have a desktop image that makes you laugh every time you turn on your computer!

    (here’s what I work on in the coffee shops)

  87. *SNORK* @ Pyrit’s pig piece

  88. What is it with toddlers wanting to lick everything?!

    But OMG that is so cute. I wanna kiss the piggies! I love the fact that both the pig and the kiddie are smiling 🙂

  89. berthaservant says:

    First of all, let’s remind ourselves that the “rules” of grammar are fluid and variable between countries and eras, not set down by God almighty. Journalists learn certain rules, academics learn certain rules, and while they mostly overlap, in the area of punctuation and commas there has always been disagreement. For example, trained as a journalist and by journalists, I was always, always, ALWAYS, taught to use the terminal comma in a series of objects, as in:

    “My cat likes catnip, nomming, napping, and the occasional snorgle.”

    However, my dissertation committee chair demands that I not use the terminal comma, which would look like:

    “My cat likes catnip, nomming, napping and the occasional snorgle.”

    It has taken me two years of writing my dissertation to break myself of the journalistic terminal comma habit, and I still think, following a pattern of speech, that the terminal comma is desirable.

    Similarly, my parents taught me about the punctuation always (with some exceptions for quotes within quotes, etc.) goes inside the quotation marks. I understand the “logic” of the opposite, as Starlinguk says.

    But I offer the following logic: a question mark, exclamation point, and period all indicate the end of a sentence. In fact, the “period” (dot) is what indicates the full stop/pause, particularly for the purposes of speech. Commas and semi-colons are half-stops or single beats, periods are full stops or double beats. (Beginning actors learn how to decode Shakespeare’s verse this way).

    If the period is placed within the quotation marks, then it logically follows that the exclamation point and question mark should as well. While they indicate emphasis on the part of the speaker/writer (and/or the presence of an interrogative), they functionally are no different from what happens with a period.

    I have found with students, in fact, that they almost always place the periods and commas OUTSIDE the quotes, because they have been taught that the “quote” is separate from the “sentence.” It’s a pain in the butt to correct them, and it’s much easier to correct them by telling them to put all punctuation inside the quotes.

    I’m not saying that I practice the RIGHT way, I’m just saying it’s what I was taught and there is a logic to it. I don’t think there is a “right” way, just like there is no “right” way to spell the word “color” or “honor,” it just varies depending on which side of the pond you grew up on.

  90. berthaservant says:

    Forgive the grammatical lapse in paragraph six. I’m a great writer but a lousy proofreader.

    (Also, please note how I properly spelled out “six” — all numbers below twenty should be spelled out, according to proper journalistic style. Thank you.)

  91. My cats like houseplants, vomiting,, crapping,,, and the occasional porksickie……..

  92. kalimadance says:


  93. Wow, berthaservant. Impressive.
    I have one technical question…
    How’d ya’ll get a cute li’l photo up side o’ your name there? 🙂

  94. Py — you basically set up a WordPress profile. You can upload a custom “gravatar” there.

  95. skippymom says:

    “And what about interspecies snorgling?”
    And what about “interspecies snorgling”?
    “And what about ‘interspecies snorgling’?”

    Say we are quoting someone asking about the phrase. Would you write:
    “And what about ‘interspecies snorgling?’ ” I don’t think so.

    I do understand about rules being fluid and all, but it just doesn’t make any sense to me to put the end punctuation of the whole sentence inside with the quoted phrase, as though it is part of the phrase.

    Politically, I embrace the descriptive view of grammar and usage, while personally I still cling to the prescriptive, despite James Miller’s best efforts back at Harvard.

    Going to lunch now.

  96. Thank you, Theo. I tried it.
    But some dirty dockwolloper already stoled “pyrit”! Yarrrrgh.

    [Oh, that’s no problem; somebody’d already taken “Theo” when I signed up too. Your WP login name doesn’t have to be your display name. It starts out that way by default, but you can change it. – Ed.]

  97. Starlinguk says:

    I am flexible with the terminal comma, Berthaservant. I use it when it sounds right, and leave it out at other times. I mean, I use it when it sounds right and leave it out at other times.

    In German they use loooooads of commas. They’ll write something like “I hope, you are feeling well”. The Dutch use more commas than the English/Americans too. It’s a hard thing to unlearn.

  98. Starlinguk says:

    Although the Dutch never, EVER use a terminal comma in a list. Their rule is “you never get a comma before ‘and'”.

  99. Mom always said “How will you know what you like unless you try it?”.

  100. Pyrit, are you telling us that you were “pirated”? Arrrr.

  101. Kristabelle says:

    BS – I never ever use a terminal comma. It just doesn’t look right to me. I am firmly in the punctuation outside of quotes (UNLESS it’s dialogue and needs a comma) camp.

    In other news, hopefully, fewer (not less) pigs will die now that we’ve established that it’s not really Swine Flu!

  102. Theo – Oh really? Hey that’s great! But why would anybody else want the name Theo?

  103. That is so fukin gross!

  104. Rooanne says:

    @Berthaservant – Thank you for the grammar instruction. However, I can’t get past the phrase “terminal comma”!!! As you can see, I also learned to place the punctuation outside quotation marks. Now I am afriad I am making numerous errors, such as overusing the exclaimation point!! I tend to overuse punctuation in general and ALWAYS use the “terminal comma”. I guess that kills my sentence.

  105. Just want I want to hear about on CO…commas. HOW CUTE!! Heheh…ehhh.

  106. Quency says:


  107. DaytimeDeb says:

    Britt, LOL. If we must have a grammar discussion, let’s at least review the differences between “there, they’re, and their,” as well as “your and you’re.” I see these examples misused frequently. Present company excepted, of course. Cute Overloader’s never make such mistakes!

    Eww on the picture, btw. Cute, but Eww. Hey, perhaps that could be a new category?

  108. Katrina says:

    As a fluent speaker of “two year old,” I completely understand this child.
    I adore this picture, you have my complete and utter approval to run this as many times as you would like!

  109. Carrie says:

    My parents claim that this is, in fact, me when I was two years old. In a way I believe them, because I certainly did look like that when I was that age. In another way I refuse to believe it because my 16 year old sensibilities tell me that this is horrible black mail. I won’t believe that it was me until I see the original photo or the original negative….

  110. RockyJ says:

    So now we finally know where the swine got it from.

  111. @Daytime Deb, I hate to mention it, but that apostrophe in “Cute Overloader’s”– a typo, right?

  112. @StarlingUK, the but Germans also compoundnouns have, and the verbs until the end of the sentence or clause leave. Yoda a native speaker of German might be, thinking I am.

  113. Hannah Merrifield says:

    REALLY BAD! My niece was that age when she did that and got ‘farm disease’ where she got a fever and lovely green blisters all over the inside of her mouth. Not cute NOT CUTE—well, seperately they are both adorable!!

  114. …Farm disease?

  115. Swine flu!


  117. Pork-sicle!

  118. BLSTKNNN says:

  120. Katrina says:

    May I point out that the pig is smiling?

  121. I was wondering how peegs got flu.

  122. DaytimeDeb says:

    Theresa 05.01.09 at 7:28 pm
    @Daytime Deb, I hate to mention it, but that apostrophe in “Cute Overloader’s”– a typo, right?

    HAHAHAHAHA. At least I can laugh at myself. Time to read “eats shoots & leaves” again!

  123. Saint Stryfe says:

    He’s killed us all!

  124. snuffle says:

    @brinnann>> yes humans are primates.

  125. Peekyweeky says:


  126. Pig: “What the what?!?!”

  127. brinnann says:

    I saw the funniest thing the other day on The Bayou blog ( ). They referred to the whole swine flu thing as the “APORKALYPSE.” 😆

  128. SaMANtha says:


  129. Reminds me of this song.

  130. You little bastard! You’ve killed us all!