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In Other News

Feelin' Flippy

There's a stomach flu making the rounds and it's visiting us this week. There's nothing terribly unusual about that -- we have a toddler in the house, so everything making the rounds pays us a visit, sometimes twice -- but it is making life interesting. More interesting than usual, I should say.

Zoe came down with it Friday morning. I was getting ready for work when I found her standing over a pool of vomit. On the carpet, of course. Little kids always puke on the carpet. Unless they're doing it on the new couch like Zoe did yesterday afternoon, but usually it's on the carpet. Unless they're doing it in bed like Zoe was doing last night, but often it's on the carpet. Unless it's on you like Zoe has done to me many times, but sometimes it's on the carpet. Oh, hell, kids puke everywhere and it's always somewhere you wish they wouldn't.

Anyway, Zoe's had this stomach flu. She can't hold anything down, not even water. She seems to feel fine; she's spending her time laughing and playing and running around as though nothing's wrong, but she turns into a spewing Linda Blair clone if you feed or water her. The only thing wrong with her, she says, is that her stomach "feels flippy." Eloquent, that.

And now Beth's got it too. She's in bed, down for the count, kitchen pail at her side.

I'm just marking time now. I feel good, I'm finally getting over the last flu Zoe brought home, but now this new one's stalking me. It's out there -- hell, it's in here -- waiting for me. It's just a matter of time.


Saturday evening - December 19, 1998
Christmas Already?

Tonight, finally, I'm getting into the Christmas spirit. Sure, I've known Christmas is coming -- you can't help but notice when the calendar says it's December and the date numbers are increasing and all the stores had their Christmas decorations up in August -- but it hadn't really sunk in yet. I'd keep glancing at the wreath for my truck lying by the front door or look at the neighborhood Christmas lights and think "I'd better get going here" and then I'd think "Nah, I've got time" and let it be.

I think part of the problem is that my Christmas precursor list hasn't precursed. I caught a glimpse of Frosty on the tube, and my mom said Zoe watched Rudolph while she was over there a few weeks ago, but the other items have been conspicuously absent. Where's the Grinch? Why haven't I heard The Kinks' Father Christmas or Springsteen's Santa Claus Is Coming To Town on the radio? Where are my Christmas landmarks???

Ah well, I found one of them tonight. It's a Wonderful Life was on and I watched a little bit of that. But you know, it's getting a little tired. I've seen it too many times, can predict the next scene too well. It's hard to feel bad for George when he's thinking of taking the plunge when you know Clarence is going to set everything right. And then there's the daughter, Zuzu, and her rose petals. She always make me think of Maddie Corman, who played Zuzu Petals in the Andrew Dice Clay movie The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. I can't stand Maddie Corman. She should be strapped to a cruise missile and launched at the Washington Beltway. Thinking of her takes me right out of any swelling Christmas spirit and instead makes my gorge rise. Needless to say, It's a Wonderful Life didn't quite do the trick for me tonight.

So I started channel surfing and landed on ABC and Cupid. I've always kind of liked Jeremy Piven, even if he does land in some poor showcases (Ellen aka These Friends of Mine, anyone?), and Paula Marshall has long been a member of my "If All Natural Laws Stopped Working And I Got To Pick Who'd Have Sex With Me" list, so with those lofty motives in mind I watched it. It was pretty much a cotton candy episode, eminently forgettable, but it did have a Christmas theme going and damned if that didn't kickstart my Christmas spirit. I even got a little misty when the albino gave the black Santa a check for $200,000, thus proving he was guilty of the web fraud the jury had just acquitted him of. I'm finally in Christmas mode.

Just in time, too, because we've got Christmas visitors pulling in tomorrow: my Dad and one of his daughters (the nice 11 year old, not the evil 13 year old) are on the road even as we speak. They'll be pulling out again Christmas Eve, so we're celebrating their part of Christmas a day or so early this time around. I need to get it in gear, and fast. So tomorrow the wreath goes on the truck and the lights go up on the house, we'll make decorating the tree tomorrow night a family event, and I baked a pecan pie earlier tonight that came out just perfectly if I do say so myself. (Yes, I bake. Pecan pies, at least, although I also make a mean Hamburger Helper. I'm a Rennaissance Man, 90's style.) I'll somehow fit shopping for their presents into the next couple of days -- assuming, of course, that I ever get my (aaarrrrgggghhh!!!) freakin' paycheck!

Ah...Christmas. Somebody pass the Advil.


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Copyright © 1998
Chuck Atkins