Thursday, May 26, 2005

 

In Which I Put #37 To Bed...

#37: Post my birthday post and then realize my throat feels all scratchy. Plus I feel hot and kind of, I don’t know...heavy. Leaden.

"It's the weight of age," says my assistant. Har har.

But it is not the weight of age, and it is not fatigue brought on by my whirling-dervish style efforts to finish the Foxhole over the weekend.

By the time I get home, I can barely speak, let alone swallow anything. But here's the Brownie and Big Brother. The Brownie has dried bits of cake batter in her hair and a telltale goatee of chocolate frosting encircling her mouth.

"Ta da! We maked a cake!" she cries, pulling me to the refrigerator, where she shows me their work of art: a heart-shaped yellow cake that is half-covered with chocolate frosting. "We ran out of frosting," she says, the words spilling out of her chocolate-covered mouth without the slightest note of shame or irony.

My throat is a fleshy cylinder laced with razor blades. I force myself to eat three bites of the cake and smile and make "mmm" noises while they watch. If there's an Oscar for Best Performance By A Sick Daddy, I should goddamn well get it.

Then the kids are engrossed in their own huge slabs of cake and ice cream. "You feel really hot," says Her Lovely Self, and she's not being complimentary here. "Go take your temperature," she orders. I slouch upstairs and look in the medicine cabinet but cannot find the thermometer, so I go to the bathroom drawer where we keep the kids' medical supplies. There's the thermometer. I am a half-second away from putting the thing in my mouth, when I see the red letter "R" emblazoned on it and realize it is the rectal thermometer we used on the kids when they were babies.

I recover from the shock of the near-miss and then rummage a bit more and find a compact little ear thermometer. Seems simple: push the button, stick it in your ear. But the battery must be low or something, because when I stick it in my right ear, it reads 102. When I stick it in my left ear, it reads 99.8. Am I supposed to average the two?

I'm too sick to care. I collapse into bed and putting myself--and #37--out of my misery.

Long story short: I have strep throat. Who gets strep throat on his birthday?

"Oh, you used to get it like clockwork this time every year when you were little," says my mom, who calls me the next morning after I've returned from the doctor and have collapse back into bed. "In fact, on your 12th birthday, I remember you were on antibiotics for strep and it gave you the runs something fierce. You were in the bathroom the whole day."

I have no recollection of this, and I say so. "I've never been sick on my birthday," I croak.

Her Lovely Self--not that she's eavesdropping or anything--pokes her head in the room. "You had strep on your birthday the year after we had our first child [#31, for those keeping score at home--MM]. Remember? You went to work anyway and were so sick, you laid down under the conference table in the middle of an editorial meeting."

My mind is likewise a blank on this.

Her Lovely Self clucks her tongue, muttering to herself, "And everyone says he has such a good memory."

Despite the antibiotics, I am still down for the count. I'm sure exhaustion--and of course the weight of age--have something to do with it. My doctor ordered bed rest. What I really need is a vacation.

Astoundingly, it appears I'm going to get one.

In the form of a road trip.

I mean a classic, buncha-guys-in-a-van road trip.

In about two weeks.

I'll bring a laptop along but I don't anticipate being able to do live updates from the road. I may just have to phone it in. I've always wanted to do an audioblog.

But not today. Today it's more popsicles and watching DVDs and lying around uselessly.

Now why couldn’t I have done THAT on my birthday?

Yours,
From Somewhere on the Masthead

Comments:
Poor baby - I know exactly how you feel. Hope you feel better.

Chalk up the memory lapses to fever.

Love the idea of an audioblog!

Get well soon.
 
The road trip sounds like it'll be a blast. My big summer trip will be camping for a week in the wilds of Colorado with my outdoorswoman friend. I won't be able to blog real time, but I hope to have stories about wrestling bears and stuff.
 
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