You know what people hate? Someone talking about how sick he is. Everybody has that person at work who answers the question, “How you doing?”—an obvious attempt at small talk and not an actual inquiry—with “I’m sick. That’s how I’m doing.” Then they go on to list all of their symptoms in detail, making your own head ache in the process.
I mean, don’t you hate that?
Well, guess what? I’m sick. That’s how I’m doing.
I think it’s probably sinuses—stuffy nose, stuffy ears, killer headache, and the teetering balance of a one-legged wino—but I wouldn’t know if it was anything worse than this, as I refuse to take my temperature because I’m a male, and therefore too stubborn to properly take care of myself while ill. My gender also technically classifies me as a legal moron.
Obviously, I can’t be doing too horribly, as I’m sitting here at school typing this while my freshmen students watch “To Kill a Mockingbird” in good ol’ black-and-white, but I assure you had the students been doing anything more strenuous for me than movie-watching today, I would’ve spent the day in my bed, sucking down orange juice like a starving baby bird sucks down pre-chewed baby worms.
I’ve got this uncanny ability to get sick during the holidays. A few years ago I ended up with bronchitis on Christmas Eve, and I choked away the evening on the couch waiting for Santy Claus to deliver the presents. I spent the three prime days of my Christmas break shacked up on the couch. My throat felt like someone had grated it like Parmesan cheese, and my poor diaphragm got more of a workout from coughing those few days than any other muscle in my body has gotten since basketball practice in high school. On the bright side, though, I got through “Angels & Demons” in about two days.
This year, I’m just hoping that the Sick Fairy moves out of my immune system in time for this weekend, when my two weeks of freedom finally kicks in. I’ve got a Bulls game this Friday against the Bobcats (keep your fingers crossed I run into Michael Jordan, who now GM’s the team—I bumped into Scottie Pippen a couple of weeks ago, so MJ would round things out nicely for me), a gathering with some of Amy’s family on Christmas Eve, and of course a couple of delicious holiday meals on the 25th with the aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandmothers. I’m very much looking forward to this weekend, and I’d prefer to not be blowing my nose every eight to twelve seconds the entire time.
(By the way, please nobody tell Amy that her Christmas gift is a large burlap sack with five of the highest quality potatoes I could buy from the homeless person selling them right off Market Street a few weekends ago. A few of these have sprouted vines and what I think is mold, but that’s just a little Christmas seasoning. I can’t wait to see the ecstatic look on her face when she opens her gift!)
For the rest of you, enjoy your Christmas (or your “holidays,” if you’d prefer to take the politically correct route of Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and every other goofy company that’s decided to go with “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” for their holiday ad campaigns this year), and stay away from illness. If faced with some, simply make a cross with your fingers and throw holy water on the ill person invading your healthy personal aura.
Because you don’t want to get sick and suffer through work, like I’m doing right now. Then, when someone asks you “How are you doing?” you’ll have to answer them honestly. And then you’ll become That Guy, like I’ve already become. Then everybody at work starts wearing surgical masks and staring at you like you’re a leper.
I mean, don’t you hate that?