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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Sickened, Not Stirred

So, I’m sick. Stayed home from work today, sniffled around in my pajamas, lay on the bed and moaned to no one in particular, the whole nine yards. When I do sick, I don’t screw around.

This is the first time in a while I’ve had an illness of any severity, so I’m a little out of practice. I used to get sick quite a lot, but for the past few years I’ve been able to avoid anything more than the occasional cough or mild congestion. This time, not so much.

I blame the children.

I don’t know which children, exactly, but I’m pretty sure they’re to blame for this. The last time I was properly sick, it followed on the heels of touring the Boston Science Museum with a visiting couple and their daughter. She was perfectly healthy, as far as I could tell — but the gaggle of snurfling, hacking and sneezing kids in the museum was overwhelming. I might as well have French kissed Typhoid Mary; I was out of commission for three days.

“When I finally did get to sleep, I dreamt the sweet and patient dreams of a man who knows he’s probably going to feel like raw congested ass when he wakes up.”

This weekend, we had more visitors with children on Saturday night, and attended an unexpectedly ‘kid-friendly’ Super Bowl party on Sunday. Very kid-friendly. When they weren’t running around upstairs working themselves into a lather, they were unleashed on the host’s Wii in the living room. All that Wii-ing about just flings the germs in all directions, apparently. You’d think all the beers and pre-game shots would kill off some of the bugs, but no. By Monday night, I felt a sick coming on, and there was little I could do to stop it.

I fed the germs NyQuil. They laughed. I poured Theraflu down my throat at them. They got out tiny little surfboards and rode the wave down into my lungs. Where they evidently made popcorn last night, because I couldn’t stop coughing for hours. And I think I choked up a kernel or two.

The nice thing about this illness is that it’s had a little bit of everything. Oh, you’d get bored if you just had a sinus headache, or a raspy cough. So these bugs have helpfully provided a wide range of symptoms with which to contend — sneezing, wheezing, a runny nose, fever, aches, even a brief but thoroughly unpleasant, shall we say, ‘gastrointestinal component’. Evidently, when these germs do sick, they don’t screw around, either.

The worst of it — I hope — came last night, hence my day of blankets and bed rest and footie PJs today. The chills and coughing kept me up well into the wee hours of the morning. When I finally did get to sleep, I dreamt the sweet and patient dreams of a man who knows he’s probably going to feel like raw congested ass when he wakes up. So that was nice.

As the day has worn on, the symptoms come and go, but I think I can see the light at the end of the Kleenex box. The coughing isn’t quite so phlegmy, the chills not quite so shivery, and the ‘gastrointestinal component’… well, let’s just not talk about that, eh? I’m not sure ‘explosivey’ is even a word, so we should probably just let sleeping colons lie at this point.

So I’m thinking, if I can get a few hours of rest tonight, I might just be on the road back to Wellsville. Of course, to avoid a relapse, I’ll have to minimize my exposure to any children that might be lurking around over the next few days. Let my immune system build its defenses back up, and I might stand a fighting chance against the next hanta this or bubonic that that one of those little buggers lobs my way. My wife says that if I were around kids a little more often, maybe I’d have developed more resistance to these bugs common in the under-twelve crowd.

Right. I’d be more resistant. I’d also be dead, felled by some flesh-gnawing, antibiotic-resistant, six-eyed slavering supergerm that lives in pre-teen gullets and leaps out at unsuspecting adults the first chance it gets. Also, I’d have to spend more time with kids, so that’s two strikes right there.

I’ll just take my chances with the odd germ exposure and suffer through a kid flu every couple of years. That seems a hell of a lot easier. Also, if I play my cards right, I’ll have the Wii all to myself next time there’s a party. I like those odds.

Permalink  |  3 Comments

3 Responses to “Sickened, Not Stirred”

  1. kerry says:

    don’t you wish you’d picked up those oprah vitamins now?

  2. marvelgoose says:

    No kids at your house, eh? Daycare when they are young toughens up the entire household. By the time they hit school, nothing can faze them or you. Meanwhile, all the little coddled tykes with stay at home moms get so many ghastly diseases that they start growing tentacles.

  3. Charlie says:

    Kerry: Is that what those things were for? Dammit! And I’m still sick! Maybe I’ll go back and see if they have any left.

    MarvelGoose: I generally think of kids as dangerous tentacled beasts, too — though that only partly has to do with their penchant for getting me sick. I’m not sure having one around the house would be worth the immune system boost. I might have to start inoculating the dog, instead.

    And sorry, guys, for not responding for so long. But — as you know — I’ve been sick.

    I think I might have a nice lie-down now. *cough*

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