Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mal du Monde

Margie called me this afternoon about plans for my birthday. I croaked weakly at her. "You sound sick. Are you sick?" she asked me, rather huffily I thought. "You're never sick."

"Well, I'm sick now," I said.

"That's no excuse," Margie remarked unsympathetically. "What do you have, swine flu? You swine."

Could I get some chicken soup with that?

Here are the top ten things you should not do whilst recuperating from swine flu:

10. Pick at the scabs on your slowly-healing heart - this is always highly contraindicated, but especially when you're suffering your own personal pandemic. (Doesn't that sound like a menu offering at Pizza Hut? Granted, a fairly gross one - but we are talking Pizza Hut here.)

9. Go to work. You have to anyway, because if you're out more than three days in a row you have to bring a doctor's note, and I'm not paying $20 to sit around in a waiting room full of people with much worse infections than mine, only to be told to stay home and drink plenty of fluids (NOT vodka) and get some sleep, which I already knew. So if you come to my office, be sure and wear a gas mask. Otherwise, you're going DOWN, pal.

8. Take your kids to visit your ex-mother-in-law in the hospital. She's fine, except she has a cracked vertebra from being hit by a VW bus while trying to retrieve a cardboard garage sale sign from the median near a major intersection. However, 30 minutes into our visit, she got a phone call from her daughter-in-law, who brusquely informed her that she has a staph infection and visitors aren't allowed into her room without gowning up. Now, the nurses hadn't mentioned this, and she does have a (gownless) roommate, who also had a (gownless) visitor while we were there.

Frankly, it was too much for my feeble brain and I just decided our visit had been about long enough anyway; but I'm still scratching my head over that one, or would be, except I'm frightened of getting my hands that close to my face.

7. Be the parent of an equally sick child. I'm sorry, but frankly this is just irresponsible. When you're sick, you really can't afford to be up all night bringing water and comfort to a coughing, feverish infant. So cut it out.

6. Read the weekly wildflower report for the state's recorded information line. Your voice sounds all husky from the sore throat, and you'll only give the traveling public the wrong idea.

5. Permit a cool front to bring a line of thunderstorms across the region where you live, dropping temperatures by 15 degrees and reawakening all the mold, cedar and pollen which thought spring was over and were all ready for a long summer's nap, therefore bringing about the worst allergy attack you've suffered in years. That was a dumb-ass thing to do.

4. Entertain Bill Gates with your karaoke stylings.

3. Go to the roller rink with your best friend. This isn't so bad in and of itself, but you need to go when the place isn't full of preteens, because preteens do not fear death, and therefore aren't nearly as frightened of 75-mph collisions as you are. Feel that funny thing your heart is doing? That's probably not good.

2. Plan the mother of all happy hours for your 40th birthday this coming Friday, itself merely a precursor to a full night of debauchery in Austin and a Memorial Day weekend of alcohol-fueled madness in Corpus. I have friends coming in from at least four different cities for the event. I don't think it'll be a proper party unless at least someone gets arrested, as long as that someone is not me, because the number one thing you should never, ever, ever do whilst H1N1ing your sick little ass into next week?

1. Go to jail!

On the other hand, I have been pretty badly in need of blog fodder lately.

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