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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!

Something Icky This Way Comes

Ugh. I seem to be getting sick.

Right now, I’m in that hazy, lightheaded no-man’s land, walking the path from Healthytown to Illsville. Or, more accurately, from ‘Tired, Old, and Out of Shapesburg’ to ‘Tired, Old, Out of Shape, and Hacking Up Things That Look Like Cauliflower Florets But Don’t Taste Quite So Bad’. Um, -burg. ‘Don’t Taste So Bad-burg‘. You knew what I meant.

At any rate, I feel it coming. The congestion is there — but it’s not enough to keep me from the office. I’m coughing just enough to annoy everyone around me… but not enough to be sent home for violating some obscure ‘Typhoid Mary’ law held over from the turn of the last century. I may be catching the flu — but unless it’s the bird flu, nobody wants to hear about it.

We’ve all been in this situation before, of course. We all have these ‘phlegm before the storm’ moments, when we don’t quite feel ‘right’, but we’re not yet full-on fevered and expelling pea soup from various orifices. I feel like I should be writing a will, or something.

(Instead? ‘Phlegm before the storm’. That’s going to be my legacy, if whatever kind of little buggers inside me this time finally win out. Nice. Put it on my gravestone, will you? Just in case.)

I’ve decided in recent years that I must have the immune system of a snarling, fierce Amazon warrior. Minus the estrogen, of course — or the bikini top made from leopard’s teeth — but that’s not the point. The point is, my little antibodies and white blood cells must be like frigging pit bulls in there, fending off the vast majority of slimy parasites that invade the temple.

And trust me, there are a lot of parasites crossing the threshold to my temple. I’ve got a dog. And an officemate with kids. Also? I eat hot dog wieners, past their expiration date, right from the package. Don’t even refrigerate the things. Sometimes, I’ll even roll ’em around on the floor first, and then eat ’em.

Hey, it builds character. Look, if my body can fight off whatever the hell’s festering inside those things, then I’ve got a fighting chance against any disease. Head cold? I laugh. Influenza? Virus, please. Scurvy? Riiiight. Back of the line’s over there, scabby.

See, the only things that wiggle through my apparently impressive defenses are the really nasty diseases. The kind of bugs that look disdainfully — almost sadly, even — upon the over-the-counter cough drops and cold medicine that I throw at them. I can almost hear them, as they pound at my temples and drip snot into my post-nasal places, saying:

Robitussin? NyQuil? Is that all you’ve got? Oh, strap in, boys — we are just getting started. Red Team, crank up that fever. Blue Team, work on those aches. Green Team — we need you down south. Make it soupy, and make it spectacular!

On the bright side, I coughed onto enough people at the office today that I should soon have plenty of company in my sickitude. Sure, they’ll all blame me for it. But I’ll get well first, so if anyone gives me any lip, I’ll Saran Wrap over their toilet seat while they’re still recovering. It’ll be like a Jackson Pollock painting, only in monochrome. If they’re lucky.

Eh, who am I kidding? I’m probably not even contagious. That would be way too cool and useful. Whatever I’m incubating is most likely content to pitch a tent, start a campfire, and chew away at my lungs for a few days. So all the coughing I did on my boss’ keyboard today, and when I sneezed and then wiped my hands on the annoying girl down the hall — even when I rubbed my nose all over the office manager’s doorknob — it was all for naught. Just a bunch of wasted germs. Man, it makes me sick, just thinking about it. Ah- ah- ah-CHOO!

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Something Icky This Way Comes”

  1. Is there anyway you could make a trip to Washington D.C. today and shake almost 700 hands?

  2. RRaccoon says:

    Weren’t you sick two weeks ago? Are you SURE your wife isn’t putting rat poison in your coffee? What did you do to her to incur her wrath?

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