Thursday, May 26, 2005
I should mention that, as I rule, I don't housesit because of something very traumatic that happened to me years ago. But I remember it as if it were yesterday... yesterday... yesterday... yesterday...
[INSERT WAVY FLASHBACK EFFECT]
Back in the summer of 1998, my aunt and uncle flew to Jordan and left their car in my care. They were gone for two weeks, and during that time, every goddamn thing that could have possibly gone wrong with their car went wrong.
I accidentally left the lights on one night, which drained the battery. No big deal in and of itself, but merely a portent of things to come. (I was used to my car, which cut off the headlights automatically.)
Anyway, later that day, as I was driving to the store, I noticed the driver's side window was down about an inch. I tried to raise it (stupid power windows) but it wasn't working. It lowered fine, but wouldn't go back up. And while I was distracted by that, I plowed into one of those big orange and white barrels that they put up to block lanes. It bounced into the air and nailed the hood of the car, putting a big-ass crease in it.
Well, I was pretty poverty stricken at the time, but was hoping to scrape together enough cash to get the hood fixed before they returned. I drove the car from place to place over the next week, and they all told me the same thing... they couldn't fix the dent, they'd have to replace the hood.
It was somewhere around this time that the air conditioner stopped working.
In the meantime, I was parking the car in the parking garage at my office, because I was worried about rain with the window halfway down. And given my train of bad luck with the car, I was pretty sure it would happen.
So two days before they were set to arrive home, I went down to check on the car and I saw it had been broken into. Fortunately, there wasn't anything in there worth stealing. The hooligans didn't much care for my aunt and uncle's taste in music, so their CDs were scattered on the concrete outside the car. The trunk had been popped open, but nothing was taken.
Finally, the day arrived. And to tell you the truth, I was feeling horrible about the whole thing because I hadn't been able to get the damage fixed. Plus, it was 103 outside and their air conditioning wasn't working. But, at least their window was rolled down...
My sister and her husband agreed to meet me at the airport and be with me when I explained to my aunt and uncle what a shambles I had made of their car. And fortunately, when we helped them carry their luggage out, the car hadn't burst into flames or rolled backwards over a bunch of babies and puppies.
To their credit, they took it in stride. My uncle found somebody a few weeks later to repair the damage, and I paid for it. It's all good. They still love me, and trust me. Nobody harbors any grudges or hard feelings.
But I'm still scarred by the memories of the goddamn evil voodoo car. And every time somebody asks me to be responsible for something that belongs to them, I get all anxious and worried that I'm somehow going to fuck it up. You should've seen me the first time my sister asked me to babysit...
So anyway, back to IX. His family has a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback named Daisy who can't bear to be alone. (For those of you who don't know doggies, a Rhodesian Ridgeback is basically Marmaduke with a mohawk.) His usual housesitters/dogsitters bailed on him, so he asked me if I could spend my evenings at his place and make sure Daisy would be okay.
Anytime I need a favor, this guy is always there for me. So despite my neurotic misgivings and irrational fear that I would somehow burn down his house and/or dog, I agreed.
So far, my fears have been for nothing. Daisy's been an absolute angel. (She's lying on the floor next to my chair, noisily working over a Milkbone.) No crises, no explosions, no fires, no gas leaks, no rabid animal attacks, no boils, no rivers of blood, no death of the firstborn...
Only nine more nights to go. Keep your fingers crossed.
On a totally unrelated note, here's a little something I threw together. I don't know if it's funny or offensive, since I long ago lost the ability to distinguish between the two.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
The clock radio snapped on at 6:15, yanking Ben Griswold into reluctant consciousness. A woman's chipper voice droned on cheerfully about the news of the day. "...of Homeland Security has upgraded the threat level from yellow to orange. This means there is a high risk of terrorist attack..."
Ben slapped the clock silent and climbed out of bed. His stomach knotted as he considered the day ahead. It was Monday, which meant he and Mike were supposed to give their weekly update on the network upgrade. Just the thought of that unctuous, ass-kissing bastard this early in the morning was enough to make him taste bile.
Ben and Mike both reported to David "Dutch" Schulz, an obese man who chain-smoked, drank heavily, and occasionally ate an entire bucket of chicken for lunch. After his last heart attack, Dutch had announced that he would be retiring at the end of the year. He had then called Ben and Mike into his office and told them, "Look sharp, boys. One of you is going to have to take my place when I'm gone."
That had been a month ago, and since then Ben and Mike had struggled to one-up each other at every opportunity. When something went well, they both raced to take the credit. And when the inevitable shit hit the fan, neither could shift the blame fast enough.
Ben wanted that promotion, and had decided he would do whatever it took to get it, which is why he was up so early on a Monday morning. He was going to stop and pick up some Krispy Kremes on the way to work.
Dutch loved donuts.
"It's banana nut bread," Mike was saying, holding aloft the saran-wrapped plate. "My wife baked it fresh last night."
Dutch sat at the head of the table, or rather propped his considerable ass on the edge of his chair at the head of the table. His belly pressed against the table edge, and his hands were folded atop it. It wasn't eight yet, but his sleeves were already rolled up and his tie was loosened. Poor Dutch could break a sweat waiting for the elevator.
"That's nice, Mike," Dutch said. "Tell Molly I said thanks."
"Will do, Mr. Schulz," Mike said. He set the plate on the table and took his seat.
Dutch looked up at Ben, and his enormous face split into a gluttonous grin. "Ooh, donuts! Set those down right there!"
Ben ignored Mike's dirty look as he handed the box of donuts to his boss. Dutch tore the lid off and shoved an entire donut into his mouth.
Score one for the Griswold boy, Ben thought as he slid into his chair. He met Mike's angry glare and responded with a quick flash of his finger and thumb. "Loser," he mouthed.
"Okay, boys," Dutch said around a mouthful of pastry. "Where do we stand on the upgrade?"
"We're just about finished, sir," Ben said, beating Mike to the punch. "We were having a little trouble configuring the new DHCP settings, but I figured out how to..."
"Actually," Mike interrupted, "I was looking over Ben's settings and I'm a little concerned about the security of the..."
"The security?" Ben interrupted back. "Name one thing wrong with our security! I'm the one that got the firewall up and running, remember?"
"That's what concerns me," Mike said. "I think you're rushing things just so you can meet your deadline..."
"Our deadline! And I'm not rushing things! That firewall will protect our network from any hacker or any virus that..."
"I'd still feel more comfortable if I could check it myself," Mike said. "After all, I think results are far more important than just making deadlines. Right, Mr. Schulz?"
Dutch nodded and licked the glazed sugar from his fingers. "Better to have it right than have it quick."
"But it is right," Ben said desperately, hearing a defensive edge in his voice. He took a deep breath and said, "If you want to check it, Mike, feel free. But I stand by my work."
"Nobody's criticizing your work, Ben," Dutch said. "But better safe than sorry."
"Exactly!" Mike said with a triumphant grin. "Don't worry, Mr. Schulz. I'll make sure everything is running."
Flustered and frustrated, Ben clenched and unclenched his fists. His mind raced desperately for a way to upstage Mike and recapture the lead, but he couldn't think of anything other than his fervent desire to beat that smirk off of Mike's face with a chair. Just as he was about to give up and regroup for the next meeting, he was struck with inspiration.
"That's a good idea, Mike," Ben said amiably. Mike narrowed his eyes, justifiably suspicious. "Why don't we schedule a meeting to go over it together? How about this afternoon?"
Mike sighed. "I'll be out of the office this afternoon. My daughter has a soccer game." He glanced anxiously toward Dutch, who was on his sixth donut and showed no sign of slowing down. "Um, you remember I cleared that with you, Mr. Schulz?"
"Right, soccer game," Dutch said. "I remember now."
"Oh, that's too bad," Ben said. "Still, I guess family's got to come first, right? Much more important than work."
"We can go over it tomorrow," Mike said through gritted teeth.
"Whenever's convenient for you," Ben replied. "Oh, and while you're out, maybe I should double check your server backups. After all, I'd hate for the company to lose critical data while you were off with your family."
"Good idea, Ben," Dutch said. "Better safe than sorry."
For several seconds, the room was silent except for the sound of Dutch chewing noisily on yet another donut. Mike and Ben stared viciously at one another, each trying through sheer force of will to make the other's head explode.
But behind his poker face, Ben was elated. His heart was pounding with excitement and sheer joy at his masterful handling of the situation. No question about it. He had really shown Mike up this morning. Mike and his pathetic banana bread...
The fluorescent lights flickered and went out, drowning the entire floor in darkness. Blue lights in the ceiling began to flash intermittently, and the fire alarms hiccupped at the sudden loss of power.
The air conditioner was dead, and Ben's ears rang in the abrupt, stuffy silence. A scream came from somewhere down the hall, cut short by the startling burst of gunfire. More screams and angry shouts, and the sound of frantic footsteps echoed down the hallway.
"What the hell is going on?" Ben asked, startled by how loud his voice sounded.
Mike shushed him angrily. "Terrorists," he whispered.
"Terrorists?" Ben shook his head. "That's stupid. Why would terrorists..."
"Didn't you hear the news?" Mike whispered. "We're at Orange Alert."
"Oh crap," Dutch moaned, pressing his hand to his chest. "I'm going to have another heart attack."
"Don't worry, sir," Mike whispered, standing up. "I'll take care of it."
Ben snorted. "Oh, right. And just what are you..."
Mike shushed him again and moved silently to stand beside the door. Ben was about to comment once again on how stupid this whole thing was when he saw a flicker of light in the hallway. The light danced upon the carpet and the wall, bouncing in time with the approaching footsteps.
A bearded man in loose-fitting fatigues stalked down the hall, clutching an enormous rifle. Strapped to the barrel with duct tape was a yellow, underwater flashlight. Ben felt his throat tighten and he had to bite his lip to keep from screaming. Behind him, he could hear Dutch's labored breathing, even over his own pounding heart.
The soldier stopped at the doorway and shined his light into the meeting room. When he caught Dutch in his bright beam, he shouted something in a foreign tongue and took aim.
Mike leaped from the shadows and grabbed the rifle. The man barely had time to shriek in surprise before Mike smashed him in the face with the butt of his gun. The terrorist fell to the floor with a heavy thud. Mike pressed the barrel of the rifle to the man's head and finished him off with one shot.
"Oh crap," Dutch whispered. "Oh crap oh crap oh crap..."
"It's going to be okay, sir," Mike said in a voice brimming with confidence. He slipped his tie from around his neck and tied it like a bandana around his head. Then he slapped a new clip into the rifle, and slid back the bolt with a metallic snick. "I'll teach these bastards they can't mess with the good ol' U.S. of A."
And with that, Mike bolted off into the darkness. A few minutes later, Ben heard machine gun fire and angry, guttural shouts that turned into dying screams. And above it all, he could hear Mike shouting, "Yeah, you like that? You want some? How about you? Take that, you terrorist bastards!"
Ben took shelter with Dutch under the table, waiting for the end of the threat. He crouched on the floor with his panting, sweating boss and imagined Mike, bloodcaked and grimy, unleashing death on wave after wave of terrorists.
And he sighed. Great, he thought. How in the hell am I ever going to top that?
Orange Alert © 2005 by Chris Irby
Friday, May 20, 2005
The Sign of Satan, a secret gesture
known only to those who worship the devil
or listen to rock music.
Satan has infiltrated the Republicans:
George W. and Laura Bush
(The W stands for "Wucifer")
(He thought he was
selling his soul to Santa)
(But only after he took over Home Depot)
(The man has had sex with Monica Lewinsky,
Paula Jones, and [allegedly] Hilary Clinton...
HE NO LONGER FEARS HELL)
(Satan thought he was psychic John Edward...
by the time he realized the mistake,
Crossing Over had already been canceled)
The Rulers of Foreign Lands:
Prince William of Wales
(Seen here using his powers of dark persuasion
to convince his brother Harry to dress like a Nazi)
(Actually, it turns out Arafat was just an avid University of Texas fan)
Upstanding members of the Televangelist Community:
(His soul was severely undervalued,
so he also does Satan's lawn on the weekends)
(Who is not only flashing the devil sign, but is
apparently about to give his congregation the finger)
Our beloved Celebrities:
(Originally wanted to call the show American Graven Image)
(Perhaps the only one of Satan's minions entitled to a refund)
("Baby, baby, I'm taken with the notion...
TO FEAST ON YOUR IMMORTAL SOUL!
And finally, our Superheroes:
('Nuff said, True Believer!)
And as the tendrils of the nefarious satanic conspiracy continue to make like Bill O'Reilly and reveal themselves, I can't help but wonder if there's anybody left to stand against them. Somebody brave and stalwart enough to kick evil in the nutsack and make it his bitch. Somebody like...
Thursday, May 19, 2005
I didn't make any changes to this one. I just thought it was funny that this Jack Chick tract was the story of a man reading a Jack Chick tract. But I guess it's that kind of self-promotion that has helped Mr. Chick build his funnybook ministry into a hate-spewing empire...
(Actually, now that I think about it, this makes about as much sense as believing the Bible is the literal and unerring word of God because "it says so, right there in the Bible!")
But this year, for a change of pace, Laura Bush delivered a funny (and oddly risque) monologue which featured, among other things, the escapades of Lynne Cheney at Chippendale's and a joke about George W. jacking off a horse.
Even funnier than the First Lady's schtick was the Daily Show's coverage of the event. I don't know what else to say, except that I've watched this about a dozen times and it still makes me giggle like Rumsfeld at an orphan burning.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Thanks to the timely intervention and patient help of my dear friend Ego (a.k.a. ix), we were able to bitchslap that misbehaving C: drive into shape.
Ego has listened to me yammer on and on for the past year or so about the amazing therapeutic value of blogging. "I've had this emptiness in my life," I tell him frequently. "I've tried to fill it with family, friends, religion... but those were all just dead ends. But blogging! That's the answer!"
So anyway, Ego finally took the plunge and made himself a blog. Go check it out and say nice things to him. Encourage him to keep on posting. Whisper to him in the darkness. "One of us... one of us... one of us..."
Interesting Ego Facts: Ego's nickname actually comes from his original online alias, AlteredEgo. He and I have been friends since the 5th grade, despite the fact that I got our entire table into trouble by talking without raising my hand. He is an avid online gamer, and is responsible for my shameful addiction to World of Warcraft. And his wife is one of the hottest women I've ever met in real life!
I guess I can see that. I mean, prior to the story's publication, our nation was beloved in the Middle East. Our policy of invading other countries and making up reasons for it after the fact had totally endeared us to the Muslim world. Everything overseas was sunshine, rainbows, and baskets of kittens. And then, those bastards at Newsweek had to come along and make our nation look bad!
Protesters in Pakistan burn an American flag,
something that NEVER HAPPENED before May 9!
Originally Newsweek admitted that their governmental source had recanted his story, and editor Mark Whitaker apologized in print for any part of the story that was wrong. However, it wasn't until the Bush administration called for a full retraction that Newsweek disavowed the article. And in a totally unrelated story, those mysterious dots of red light that were hovering over Whitaker's daughter's forehead have vanished...
But of course, an event like this just wouldn't be complete without some Republican jackass beating his chest and grandstanding about Newsweek's appalling lack of journalistic integrity. In this case, said jackass was White House spokesman Scott McClellan:
It's puzzling that while Newsweek now acknowledges that they got the facts wrong, they refused to retract the story. I think there's a certain journalistic standard that should be met and in this instance it was not... The report has had serious consequences. People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged.
My friend Boidy suggested that Newsweek respond with:
It's puzzling that while the White House now acknowledges that they haven't found WMDs or a link between Al Queda and Iraq, they have refused to retract their claims. I think there's a certain standard of governing that should be met and in this instance it has not. The claims the administration used to send this nation to war have had serious consequences. People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged.
In a way, the Newsweek article was a lucky break for Bush and his minions. If it hadn't come out when it did, the administration would have been stuck trying to blame violence in the Middle East on stem cells and gay marriage, which would've been an admittedly harder sell.
When is the damn gay Jew-run liberal media going to learn? Filing a news story based on inaccurate or fradulent information is irresponsibility of the greatest magnitude!
But taking a nation to war based on inaccurate or fradulent information? Well, goddammit, that's just good presidentin'!
Sunday, May 15, 2005
My first period class that semester was Health. Now this was in the crazy days before we learned about dirty, dirty sex in school, so the entire focus of the class had been the Food Pyramid and how to keep your skin clean. So far, it had been a blow off. The final exam was going to count as 25% of my grade, but I had a 98 average in the class and I wasn't all that worried about it.
The teacher was a woman named Ms. Rothfus, who also coached the girls' volleyball team. She liked me because I was a good student. I paid attention, I took good notes, and I always raised my hand when she asked a question. In other words, I was an insufferable prick. But like I said, I had a 98 average in the class...
There was a girl named Sharon who sat in front of me, and she'd been very nice to me for the past six weeks or so. Every morning, I let her copy my homework. And once, during a pop quiz, I had whispered answers to her when Ms. Rothfus wasn't looking.
So the day of the final came, and I was blasting through the multiple choice without breaking a sweat. I had an English final and a World History final later that day, both of which were going to be pretty rough. But at least I'd be able to get through the Health final with no problems.
Then Sharon passed me a note. There was a portion of the exam where we were supposed to list the basic needs of humanity in order, and she couldn't remember what they were. Could I help her?
I looked up and saw Ms. Rothfus looking in our direction. I didn't know if she'd seen Sharon pass the note or not, but I didn't want to take any chances. So I just slipped the note under my exam and ignored it.
Sharon passed me back another note. If she failed this exam, she'd fail the class and her mom would kill her. Please. Just help with this one part. She wouldn't ask me for anything else.
Ms. Rothfus wasn't looking, so I scribbled down the answers and passed them up to Sharon. Sharon was copying them when Ms. Rothfus suddenly stood up and marched over to us. She snatched the cheat sheet from Sharon and beckoned her to the desk up front.
My heart was pounding so hard I thought I was going to faint. I swear, I'd never been this terrified in my entire life. Aside from the occasional detention for tardiness, I'd never gotten in trouble in school before. I kept my head down and kept working on my exam, trying like hell to pretend like whatever was going on didn't concern me.
Ms. Rothfus said to Sharon, "I'm only going to ask you this once. Who gave you these answers?" And Sharon pointed right at me and said, "He did." Ms. Rothfus marched back and snatched up my exam as well. She held the two of us after the bell and informed us that we'd both be receiving a grade of 1 on the final. Not zero, but one.
Despite the overwhelming evidence, I protested my innocence. It was a setup, I proclaimed. I didn't give her any answers. She was only lying to protect the REAL guilty party. But Ms. Rothfus wasn't buying any of it.
Somehow, I made my way through my World History and English final. But all day long, I was just dreading getting home and explaining this whole thing to my mom and stepdad.
I should note at this point that, in 1983, my stepfather J.R. was going through his crazy born-again evangelical Christian phase. He and my mom had been attending Church on the Rock, one of those kinda creepy charismatic churches where people flail their hands in the air and start speaking gibberish. You know, like Jesus commanded.
Anyway, J.R. was on a real demon kick around this time. He was convinced that demons were responsible for EVERY evil in the world, from gayness to headaches.
So I got home and told Mom and J.R. that I'd been accused of cheating, but it was totally false. I was being set up. All Ms. Rothfus had was a piece of paper that sort of looked like it was written in my handwriting, but that didn't prove anything. And it wasn't fair, because she wouldn't even listen to me when I told her I was innocent, blah, blah, blah...
J.R. and Mom didn't get mad, but they didn't believe me. J.R. kept after me, prodding me with questions, until I finally broke down and admitted that I'd cheated. I was in tears by this point, so J.R. hugged me and started praying to Jesus to cast out these demons of lying and cheating that had possessed me.
Once the exorcism was over, J.R. told me to go to Ms. Rothfus the next morning and confess to her. Only then would Jesus truly forgive me my sin.
So I did. I asked her if I could speak to her in the hall outside the classroom, and I worked up my courage and I told her I'd cheated. Ms. Rothfus just snorted and said, "I know you cheated! That's why you got a 1!"
Eventually, the incident blew over. Mom and J.R. were relieved that the my demons had been cast out, and I didn't even get whipped or grounded! I could hardly believe my luck!
Of course, there was the report card to deal with. The final grade was listed there along with the rest of them. Because of the final exam, my 98 average had been dragged down to a 74. And thanks to the no pass/no play rules in Garland I.S.D., I had to endure the scrutiny of a less-than-discreet band director who examined my grades and said in front of the entire South Garland Concert Band, "I don't understand how you ended up with a 74 when... OH MY GOD! YOU GOT A ONE ON YOUR FINAL EXAM?"
But given the severity of the crime, I still feel like I got off relatively lightly. Sharon ended up failing the course. Unfortunately, her mom didn't follow through on her promise to kill her, but she did have to repeat the class.
Sharon dropped out of school the following year, and my buddy Charlie told me that he thought he'd seen her working the drive-thru at Long John Silver's. I don't know if this was true or not, but it would certainly serve her right.
That's what you get for not studying the Food Pyramid, bitch!
Saturday, May 14, 2005
I turned it on, and sparks and smoke came out the back of it. Turns out the power supply had just given up the ghost. So I replaced it, and everything seemed hunky dory.
But now, there's something else wrong. The goddamn thing is stuck in eternal reboot. It gets to the Windows XP loading screen, and then it shuts off and reboots. Again and again and again and again, until I finally pull the fucking plug on it.
So while I try to figure out just what the hell's wrong with it THIS time, I've dragged this archaic Amish piece of shit out of the closet and I'm using it for Internet access and e-mail.
God, it's painful. This PC is so hideously out of date that it keeps insisting it needs to download 20 meg of updates. Unfortunately, it can't seem to get past 211K without hanging up.
For some reason, this PC is also incapable of loading an entire web page. It always gets down to 1 or 2 items remaining, and then it just sits there helplessly, like Bush in a goddamn spelling bee. I've been waiting 30 minutes for it to load the tabs at the top of this page, so I can switch back and forth between HTML and the WYSIWYG editor. But no. Apparently http://www.blogger.com/img/bg-subnav.jpg is something that this computer will NEVER be able to download, no matter how hard it tries.
Anyway, in case anybody's wondering, that's why I've been offline all week. Thanks to those of you who called to make sure I wasn't dead and rotting in my apartment.
Thanks for listening. You've been very therapeutic.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Yes, my great-grandmother. Although, to be honest, I guess she's actually my STEP-great-grandmother. (She's my grandfather's stepmother, and she's actually only eight years older than him. Great-granddad was robbin' the cradle!)
As I do every Mother's Day, I'll be setting foot inside the First Baptist Church on Sunday morning, despite the fact that holy scriptures usually cause my skin to blister.
Mother's Day turnout is always huge at First Baptist in Winnsboro (even bigger than Easter!) because they always go through this ceremony of recognizing the mothers and giving them carnations. Then they go through and give special recognition to the oldest mother and the mother with the most children present. These ladies get roses.
(I've heard that they used to give an award to the youngest mother as well, but they stopped after a 14 year old girl won it one year.)
There's one old woman who only shows up for church on that one day, because she's 94, which makes her a shoe-in for oldest mother. As you might imagine, this really pisses off my great-grandmother, who's 92 and shows up for church every week.
Anyway, as cynical as I pretend to be about most things, I love these ladies dearly and I'm glad I'll get to spend Mother's Day with them. I'm also glad they still don't know about this blog, because if they had any idea how often I use the f-word, the three of them would tackle me and cram a bar of Lifebuoy down my throat.
So before I make like a baby and head out, I'd just like to take this opportunity to say Happy Mother's Day to SJ and Boidy and the rest of the MILFs* who frequent this blog!
Happy Mother's Day, gals!
*Just kidding. Sort of.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Actually, I'm pretty sure it's allergies. I don't get them often, but apparently the pollen count in Dallas is somewhere in the neighborhood of A ZILLION, which is why I've been reduced to this decrepit, sad shell of a man you see before you.
I've been sneezing and hacking for three days straight. My nose is running like Bush from a Gay Pride parade, and my head is more stuffed than a Florida ballot box.
(Yeah, I know. But I've gone an entire week without referring to our president as a retard, so I'm just making up for lost time.)
So anyway, I'm sick.
I'm always a little sensitive about admitting that, because I come from a long line of hypochondriacs. My grandmother was the worst. I can't remember a phone conversation with her that didn't involve the phrase "Oh, Mamaw's aneurism is acting up a bit."
(My grandmother constantly referred to herself in the third person. And she apparently wasn't too clear on the whole aneurism concept. But I digress...)
After my dad's sixth (I think... I sorta lost count) divorce, he moved back in with my grandparents. He'd had a heart attack the previous year, which provided all kinds of exciting and new hypochondriacal avenues. I actually once had the following conversation with my grandmother:
Me: So, is Dad around?
Mamaw: Oh sugar, your daddy's lying down right now. He was mowing the yard this afternoon and he had another heart attack.
Mamaw: Oh, it's okay. He gets them all the time. He just has to lay down for a while and they'll pass.
Me: But... I mean, did you take him to the hospital?
Mamaw: Oh, those idiot doctors don't know shit, sweetheart. They'd just tell him it was indigestion and send him home.
Me: Are you sure it isn't indigestion?
Mamaw: I think your daddy's smart enough to know whether or not he's
having a heart attack!
Me: Um, okay. Can you have him call me after he... you know...
Mamaw: Okay, sweetheart.
Me: So, how are you doing?
Mamaw: Oh, Mamaw's doing fine, sugar. But her aneurism's acting up a little...
Many of my friends are no better. I seem to be surrounded by people who don't get headaches, they get migraines. They're not hungry, they're hypoglycemic. They don't get colds, they get the flu. They don't have dry skin, they have leprosy.
(I have one friend who gets honest-to-god migraines, and they're debilitating. When she gets one, all she can do is lie in a dark, quiet room with a wet rag on her face until it finally passes. I can only imagine how annoyed she gets when somebody else in our group rubs their head melodramatically and says, "Can you turn the TV down a little bit? I'm getting a migraine." But again, I digress...)
So that's it. I'm sick. Or suffering from allergies, if you want to be a stickler for details. Either way, I'm sure it's hardly a blip on the illness radar for my migraine-suffering, hypoclycemic, flu-ridden leprous friends.
So if anyone asks, I'll probably just tell them it's Anthrax.