Wednesday, June 23, 2004


I hate viruses, and this virus was personal. It was apparently an attachment, clinging to some air which I downloaded into my lungs from the atmosphere at some point a couple of weekends ago. And while I normally update my personal virus protection on a daily basis, thereby maintaining it at 100-proof, I must admit that I had been a little lax that weekend. Due to the alcohol content in my system, most viruses avoid me like the plague (OK, OK, I know that was awful, but I'm sick, dammit! Cut me some slack!). Anyway, I decided to lie down in the late afternoon because I had been feeling a bit puny. Eventually, Wife wandered back to the bedroom to check on me; I asked her to turn off the fan and close the air conditioner vent. Wife immediately suspected something, as I am somewhat hot natured.

(Digression: Hot naturedness is not an altogether undesireable thing. I played football in high school, and when walking off the field after a game, I often resembled a choo-choo train, due to the "steam" rising through the air vents in my helmet and trailing along behind me. The cheerleaders, who wore somewhat flimsy sweaters and short skirts, where generally freezing, so they would all cluster around me like I was an ambulatory furnace. I would select a couple of the cutest coldest cheerleaders to sit with me on the team bus on the ride back home [I generated more heat than the heater in the bus], and so life was good, back in the day. End digression.)

Anyhoo, Wife continued to check on me periodically, and each time she did, I would ask her to throw another sheet or blanket on me. Eventually, I had every sheet, blanket and bedspread in the house piled atop me, to the point where I was having trouble breathing due to the weight. Another problem is that my "normal" temperature is around 97.8, so by the time I get to 101 or so, I become delerious (e.g., the thought occurred to me that, if we were Eskimos, we would likely be homeless, as I would probably melt the igloo). Wife's best guess is that, at this point, my temperature must have been around 103 or 104, since it was still 102 the next morning. That's why, when I told her I was still freezing and she said we didn't have any more cover, I suggested that she plug in the heating pad, turn it on, and place it under the covers with me.

I drifted back into my delerium, only to awake a short time later, vaguely aware that something was amiss. It took a while, but I eventually isolated the problem as existing somewhere between my pounding head and my freezing feet. I somehow managed to lift the cover enough to move my hand behind me, and I immediately discerned the source of my distress: Wife had not simply placed the heating pad beneath the covers with me; she had turned the damn thing on "Hi", lifted the cover, and laid it across my butt!

Wife is in the kitchen, yakking on the telephone while simultaneously ignoring the TV, the volume of which she has at about 75%, so she doesn't hear my screams at first. Somewhere along the way, she is between phone calls and realizes that I am seeking her attention, so she saunters down the hall and inquires if I need anything. She is probably making this part up (as ammunition for future arguments), but she says I told her that I needed some bar-b-que sauce for my...

Well, we won't go there, as I was delerious and cannot confirm Wife's assertion. I do know that I awoke a few times over the next several days really annoyed that Wife was talking loudly and denying sleep to a very sick man, only to find that Wife was snoring away as usual, and that I was the one yakking at full volume, waking myself up.

I am in the process of updating my personal virus protection and thereby eradicating this blight from my system, although Wife is dubious:

Wife: You look like you feel better.

Me: (cough, cough) I do, but this could take quite a while. How about getting this prescription filled for me.

Wife takes paper, but continues to study me, frowning.

Wife: Prescription? You refuse to go to the doctor. Where'd you get a prescription?

Wife looks at paper.


(puzzled) This is written on a napkin.

(revelation, as if she had just spotted Jesus in the jaquzzi) You wrote this!!!

(reading, then reaching for her Prozac) "100-proof Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, taken as needed"!?! You're ill! Are you crazy, too?!? (brief pause; you'd have missed it if you hadn't been married to her for 30 years) Nevermind! I'll be back from the store in a few minutes.

I still haven't completely purged the virus from my system, but thanks to my "prescription", the virus and I are currently co-existing semi-peacefully.