The humble Dr. Timothy Flugin of the Center for Disease Control may be the first researcher to discover a medical phenomenon and name it after someone other than himself. Last week, Flugin introduced the world to Borsen’s Syndrome, a rare affliction of the skin mostly prevalent among certain groups of sexual deviants and Italians. According to his research, the disease results from a curious interaction between bodily fluids and synthetic substances.
At a press conference in Atlanta, Flugin announced that he intends to name the disease after Dr. Henrik Borsen of the National Institutes of Health, whom he referred to as his “arch-nemesis.” The two met at Johns Hopkins University, where both were pursuing graduate degrees in microbiology. According to Flugin, tension developed when they began competing for the affections of an attractive female undergraduate research assistant named Susan Zabrowski, who ended up dating Borsen for several months.
“It wasn’t a big deal to me,” Borsen insisted. “She was a 6 at best. Timothy prepared a lab slide with a marriage proposal spelled out in mRNA and asked her to view it through the microscope. He practically chased her into my arms.” Flugin would neither confirm nor deny this story.
Borsen was not flattered by the dubious honor Flugin has conferred on him, and he maintains that his behavior toward Flugin has always been courteous: “There was just Susan, and maybe once I got a fellowship that we both applied for. That’s about it.” Flugin sees things differently. “He pursued Susan only because he knew how much she meant to me. Same with that fellowship.”
Meanwhile, Borsen has promised to take up a particularly objectionable area of research in the hopes of returning the favor. “I haven’t decided on a specific topic of investigation,” Borsen said. “But my hope is that it will have something to do with ebola, maggots, and self-flagellation.”