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(Vanity) How I Spent My Winter Vacation (classic Dave Barry article, applied to my real life)
Philly.com ^ | April 2, 1986 | Dave Barry

Posted on 01/01/2013 10:58:13 AM PST by grey_whiskers

We have the flu. I don't know if this particular strain has an official name, but if it does, it must be something like "Martian Death Flu." You may have had it yourself. The main symptom is that you wish you had another setting on your electric blanket, up past "High", that said: "Electrocution".

Another symptom is that you cease brushing your teeth because [a] your teeth hurt and [b] you lack the strength. Midway through the brushingprocess, you'd have to lie down in front of the sink to rest for a couple of hours, and rivulets of toothpaste foam would dribble sideways out of your mouth, eventually hardening into crusty little toothpaste stalagtites that would bond your head permanently to the bathroom floor, which is how the police would find you.

You know the kind of flu I'm talking about.

I spend a lot of time lying very still and thinking flu-related thoughts. One insight I have had is that all this time,scientists have been telling us the truth: Air really IS made up of tiny objects called "molecules." I know this because I can feel them banging against my body. There are billions and billions and billions of them, but if I concentrate, I can detect each one individually, striking my body, especially my eyeballs, at speeds upwards of 100,000 miles per hour. If I try to escape by pulling the blanket over my face, they attack my hair, whichhas become almost as sensitive as my teeth.

There has been a mound of blankets on my wife's side of the bed for several days now, absolutely motionless except that it makes occasional efforts to spit into a Kleenex. I think it might be my wife, but the only way to tell for sure would be to prod it, which I wouldn't do even if I had the strength because if it turned out that it was my wife and she were alive and I prodded her, it would kill her.

Me, I am leading a more active lifestyle. Three or four times a day, I attempt to crawl to the bathroom. Unfortunately this is a distance of nearly 15 feet, with a great many air molecules en route, so at about the halfway point I usually decide to stop and get myself into the fetal position and hope for nuclear war. Instead, I get Earnest. Earnest is our dog. She senses instantly that something is wrong, and guided by that timeless and unerring nurturing instinct that all female dogs have, she tries to lick my ears off.

For my son, Robert, this is proving to be the high point of his entire life to date. He has had his pajamas on for two, maybe three days now. He has the sense of joyful independence a 5-year-old gets when he suddenly realizes that he could be operating an acetylene torch in the coat closet and neither parent would have the strength to object. He has been foraging for his own food, which means his diet consists entirely of "food" substances that are advertised only on Saturday-morning cartoon shows, substances that are the color of jukebox lights and that, for legal reasons, have their names spelled wrong, as in New Creemy Chok-'n'-Cheez Lumps o' Froot ["part of this complete breakfast"].

Crawling around, my face inches from the carpet, I sometimes encounter traces of colorful wrappers that Robert has torn from these substances and dropped on the floor, where Earnest, always on patrol, has found them and chewed them into spit-covered wads. I am reassured by this. It means they are both eating.

The Martian Death Flu has not been an entirely bad thing. Since I cannot work, or move, or think, I have been able to spend more Quality Time with Robert, to come up with creative learning activities that we can enjoy and share together. Today, for example, I taught him, as my father had taught me, how to make an embarrassing noise with your hands. Then we shot rubber bands at the participants on "Divorce Court." Then, just in case some parts of our brains were still alive, we watched professional bowling. Here's what televised pro bowling sounds like when you have the flu:

PLAY-BY-PLAY MAN: He left the 10-pin, Bob.
COLOR COMMENTATOR: Yes, Bill. He failed to knock it down.
PLAY-BY-PLAY MAN: It's still standing up.
COLOR COMMENTATOR: Yes. Now he must try to knock it down.
PLAY-BY-PLAY MAN: You mean the 10-pin, Bob?

The day just flew by. Soon it was 3:30 p.m., time to crawl back through the air molecules to the bedroom, check on my wife or whoever that is, and turn in for the night. Earnest was waiting about halfway down the hall.

"Look at this," the police will say when they find me. "His ears are missing."


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Health/Medicine; Humor; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: davebarry; flu; health; humor
I spoke with someone at work, standing in the door of their cube, twice in the last half hour at work, at about 2:30 on Friday Dec. 21st. By that evening I was feeling rundown; by Saturday morning I "had the flu" ; by Saturday night I had Martian Death Flu -- I couldn't get out of bed until Friday the 28th, and I am still coughing now.

My wife caught it, and so did my kids (the Velocity Twins). Naturally, being young and in shape (distance runners / cyclists) they merely came down with a cough for a day or two.

Happy New Year to All, and stay healthy out there.

(This message brought to you by the American Chicken Soup Association: turning Dumb Clucks into delicious nourishing meals since 1902.)

Cheers!

1 posted on 01/01/2013 10:58:21 AM PST by grey_whiskers
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To: grey_whiskers

Heh. I had this stuff x 10, from Nov 14th - Nov 26th, and it made me wish for a coma. Even my hair hurt. Caught it at a hospital lab, waiting for bloodwork for Dr’s appt. I’ve never gotten flu shots in my life, but now at 63, might have to reconsider. My immune system might not be as strong as it once was.


2 posted on 01/01/2013 11:07:04 AM PST by carriage_hill (Have A Happy & Healthy New Year!)
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To: grey_whiskers

I have had this same strain of flu.......... but not since taking a flu shot every October.


3 posted on 01/01/2013 11:08:40 AM PST by Ditter
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To: carriage_hill

I have had that hair hurting strain of flu years ago too........ my husband has not stopped teasing me about saying that.


4 posted on 01/01/2013 11:11:54 AM PST by Ditter
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To: grey_whiskers
New Creemy Chok-'n'-Cheez Lumps o' Froot

Lol - I just love this guy.


5 posted on 01/01/2013 11:12:14 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (You are not now, and will never be my President, Mr. Obama.)
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To: grey_whiskers
"...I spoke with someone at work, standing in the door of their cube, twice in the last half hour at work"

You must have been talking to my husband. Ditto same exact event timeline. I bragged that I never get sick only to be smited that very night.

6 posted on 01/01/2013 11:12:19 AM PST by NoExpectations
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To: grey_whiskers

I came down with some version of a stomach flu on Friday and spent all of Saturday too sick even to watch junky TV. Mr. Mercat came down with it Saturday night. He claims it’s food poisoning and blames it on the lunch meat left over from the Christmas party. I hope not since that would mean 30 of my friends and relatives are puking throughout the New Year’s Weekend. I confirmed that my future daughter in law who ate no lunch meat is also sick so I’m still voting flu. I think that there’s a scene in The Meaning of Life along those lines. Better today. Just ate my first solid food - a Chick Fi La sandwich.


7 posted on 01/01/2013 11:12:25 AM PST by Mercat (Adventures make you late for dinner. Bilbo Baggins)
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To: Ditter

Flu shots contain live cancer cells.Its how they plan to kill us off early.
I know this is true because I saw it on the internet.


8 posted on 01/01/2013 11:20:00 AM PST by Craftmore
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To: grey_whiskers

I’m knocking on wood. I used to get the flu regularly, and it was always over the holidays. I don’t think I missed more than a couple of days of work all my life.

But I haven’t had a real flu attack for several years now, and only one mild stomach bug in the past couple of years.

Might be the flu shots, but I’ve always gotten those. Might be the vitamin D3 tablets I’ve been taking. I’m not a doctor, so do your own research, but Vitamin D3 is said to be very helpful against the flu, especially in the winter when you don’t get any sun.

Again, knock on wood.


9 posted on 01/01/2013 11:50:03 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Craftmore
It hasn't worked on me and I have been taking flu shots ever since they stopped using a live flu virus, maybe 15/20 years ago. I am still flu free and cancer free .......... so maybe the enterweb is wrong. :)
10 posted on 01/01/2013 11:52:34 AM PST by Ditter
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To: grey_whiskers

I’m sorry you’re poorly. Best wishes for a quick and full recovery!


11 posted on 01/01/2013 11:58:07 AM PST by Tax-chick (I'm not crazy ... I'm just not you.)
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To: Ditter

That’s a session you don’t soon forget; I wished for a quick death during those 2 weeks, several times. (lol)


12 posted on 01/01/2013 12:02:49 PM PST by carriage_hill (Have A Happy & Healthy New Year!)
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To: Ditter
I have had that hair hurting strain ...

I had that one once; it's true, even my hair hurt. First I was afraid I was going to die, and then I was afraid I wasn't!

13 posted on 01/01/2013 1:03:59 PM PST by sima_yi ( Reporting live from the far North)
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To: grey_whiskers

So sorry y’all have gotten so sick except the twins.

Hubby had something he was told is RELATED to the flu - really? Related to the flu? Not so high fever, ugly cough and body aches. They told him to buy Sudafed and gave him codeine cough syrup.

Sure hope we don’t get what you had - sounds ugly. Keep well and best wishes for a happy 2013!


14 posted on 01/01/2013 1:09:08 PM PST by leapfrog0202 ("the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery" Sarah Palin)
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To: Cicero
Don't talk to me: I've been taking 2000-5000 IU of D3 daily for several years now.

And during the first few days of this I took 30 mg zinc, 15 *grams* of C, and 8000-12000 IU of D daily.

Didn't help.

Cheers!

15 posted on 01/01/2013 1:10:24 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

That’s why I’m still knocking on wood. Anyway, take it easy and get well!


16 posted on 01/01/2013 1:33:38 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: grey_whiskers

I missed Thanksgiving this year due to The Plague.

Hope you feel better soon!


17 posted on 01/01/2013 4:16:29 PM PST by TheConservativeParty (Jesus is Lord)
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To: TheConservativeParty; Tax-chick
I missed Thanksgiving this year due to The Plague.

Cheers!

18 posted on 01/01/2013 5:05:25 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

LOL! I have a child claiming Plague this morning, but the symptoms are plain sinus congestion. I made her get up and take a decongestant and an ibuprofen, and then she can have a hot shower.


19 posted on 01/02/2013 5:49:25 AM PST by Tax-chick (I'm not crazy ... I'm just not you.)
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To: grey_whiskers

Thanks very much, sweetest you.

Happy HEALTHY New Year and very prosperous too.


20 posted on 01/02/2013 3:54:24 PM PST by onyx (FREE REPUBLIC IS HERE TO STAY! DONATE MONTHLY! IF YOU WANT ON SARAH PALIN''S PING LIST, LET ME KNOW)
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