Monday, February 11, 2002

I Be Illin'

God help me, I'm sick again. Another one of those nasty cold/flu bugs is making the rounds, picking off the weak and the deformed; I over-tired myself last week, and then spent a lot of (really fun) time this weekend in close contact with other people and physically exerting myself in the cold, et voilà! Now I have the cold/flu, and am utterly miserable...stuffy runny nose, congested chest, slightly sore throat, headache, muscle ache, and dramatically decreased sentience.

The worst part of being ill is that everyone has their own Special Remedy, and they feel that my misery will be assuaged if only they share their Gothic cures with me. My Grandmother is a big proponent of Cold-Eeze brand medicinal drops, which are mostly zinc and Vitamin C, and do absolutely nothing for me but coat my hard palate with a foul-tasting film. Others swear by echinacea, which I think tastes like old cigarettes and cobwebs with chicory, as the cure-all. There is the hot-tea-with-honey school of thought, and the wrap-yourself-in-blankets-and-sweat method, and the over-the-counter pill-and-syrup brigade. Now I hear tell that Dr. Dean Edell, that chicken-necked network-radio quack/hack, has come out with the startling information that you can consume dairy products when you have a cold, that avoiding milk and cheese and yogurt and butter when you're phlegmmy is just an old wives' tale (I wonder how many $$$s the National Dairy Council deposited in Dr. Dean's Grand Cayman Islands bank account to procure this claim). There are other remedies of varying degree, from eating garlic or curry to smearing your chest with molasses and mustard (what am I, a ham?) Then they tell you to go home and get some rest.

Yes, I'm one of those evil people who go to work when they're sick. In the three years I've worked at my current job, I have only taken six hours of sick leave, and that was for an emergency dentist's appointment and some long lunches for personal sanity leave here and there. It's not that I feel I have to go to work, that the whole joint would shut down without my invaluable services (it does, but who cares?), but I seldom ever feel quite miserable enough to warrant staying home. I guess it's from my early training, where my father and stepmother instituted a rule (designed to limit our faking illnesses to get out of tests) wherein one had to either vomit, have diarrhea, and/or run a fever before being able to stay home from school.

Still, since I'm almost completely alone in my office most of the time, it's not like I'm spreading the flu around. If any of my three coworkers wants to avoid my germs, they can stay home. As it is, I'm the only person in the office who knows how to do about three-fourths of my daily tasks, and I'd just as soon be miserable at work in my ergonomic chair and big computer and boiling-water tea-tap than at home with the bed and the TV and the...bed.

So this evening I watched some of the Olympics, the pairs' long program (at least I think it was long program...I have no knowledge of the terminology, and wouldn't know a long program from a short program if you shoved them both up my ass). Figure-skating is so pretty! It's hardly even a sport. I especially liked the American couple, Zimmerman and Ina. He's such a big honeyhunk! (six feet tall...of course, most of these athletes are so small that an average five-nine looks like a giant next to all those four-ten and five-two skaters and gymnasts and divers) And of course she was as cute as a bug. I loved their little dip-dyed blue silk outfits, too. Just scrummy! I wanted to see the Canadian couple, Pelletier & Salé, who were shown warming up backstage (he's awfully handsome, and I do have a thing for Canadian men), but the network in its infinite wisdom cut over to the luge competition before they went on. I don't understand the luge at all...laying on your back and shooting down an ice tunnel, like a frozen turd in Jack Frost's colon. In fact, I don't understand most snow sports. The idea of sliding downhill at incredible speeds just doesn't appeal to me. It seems too much like falling down, and I had enough of that in my drinking days to last a lifetime.

Well, I guess I'd better get to bed now. The only cold "cure" that works for me is to drink plenty of fluids, eat nutritiously, and get lots of sleep...the way I see it, there is still no cure for the common cold, and all these remedies just prolong the suffering. So I just let the germs have their way with me, run their course, and exit the other end with as little fuss and obstruction as possible, taking as good of care of myself as I can, and only taking enough Advil and Robitussin to prevent myself from lying awake in actual agony or drowning in my own snot while I sleep.

Mmmm...Robitussin. It's calling to me. Do you hear it?

Buona sera, carissimi!

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