Big giant head

In Other News

Beth's journal is going like gangbusters. She's getting email from it (thank you, kind readers), she's getting into coding it herself, she spends the day looking for things to write about.

She's got the bug.

It'd be cute if it weren't so threatening. She's getting half the hits I'm getting after being out there for only three days. It took me friggin' months to get to that level. And she's getting a lot of email, too, more than me, and scoffing at my notion that you folks don't write much. Well, you don't. At least not to me. Grrr. Ingrates.

But the worst of it is that she's being better about keeping it going than I am. Every night, she's been dutifilly going into her office to write an entry while I lounge on the couch watching reruns. Then she makes me upload it for her, thus rubbing salt into the wounds that she's a better journaler than I and has a more loyal following already.

Yeah, well... I'd like to see her do something stupid, like drive into the Mojave to hang up a phone. She may be overtaking me journalistically, but I've got stupid road trips all locked up.

That's mine, dammit, and she can't take it from me!



Friday - June 4, 1999
Is It A Cold In Here?

Shoot me now. Please.

I'm sick yet again with yet another cold Zoe brought home for me. She's a giver, all right. Give, give, give, never take, always give, that's my Zoe. Gifts like this I can do without.

Lately, these colds seem to drop me like a pole-axed steer. Zoe gets one and seems to feel fine, even though she's hacking and coughing and sneezing and her nose is running like a faucet. She doesn't want to stay in bed, doesn't want to stay home from school, doesn't want to do much of anything except run around like a banshee with a big smile glued to her face. She wouldn't know she's sick if we didn't tell her, and then she doesn't believe us.

Me, on the other hand... I'm just worthless. My head feels like it's stuffed with waterlogged cotton. My limbs are heavy. My skin hurts. I can't breathe, it hurts to cough, my ears want to explode when I blow my nose. All I want to do is stay in bed.

I wake up just long enough to register that I woke up and, yes, still feel like shit, then I go back to sleep. Later, I wake up long enough to drag my sorry butt to the den, where I collapse on the couch, turn on the TV, and go back to sleep again. Then I have weird dreams built from a fever and whatever happens to be on TV. The Spice Girls movie was today's selection, sprinkled liberally with an Austin Powers twist. Shagadelic baby, yeah! No. No, no, no! That was enough to get me off the couch and moving again.

At some point I looked at my hand and saw it was covered with smiley-faces. Zoe's work from when Beth plopped her in bed with me this morning before going to school. She's nutty for ink-stamps and I bought her this one for being a good girl a while back. Stamp in hand, Zoe can be a terror. Nothing is spared, not even, apparently, a sick sleeping Daddy in the morning.

I happened to look in the mirror this afternoon and found that, truly, I had not been spared. Right there on my forehead: a smiley-face.

I tell ya, I don't get no respect.



Beth had a few comments about illness in her journal tonight, comments that simply must be rebutted.

She claims she can "play Florence Nightingale with the best of them." Which "them," I must ask, would that be? Students at the Can't Act, Never Have, Never Will Institute?

Beth's idea of acting like the legendary Angel of Mercy is to ask hopefully, on the first day of illness, "You're not really sick, are you? Like, really really?" On the second day it's "Are you feeling better yet?" Emphasis on "yet." Come the third day it's "You're running out of sick time." And by the fourth day, if I haven't been browbeaten back to health yet, it's all about "I'm finished with you being sick now." I almost feel like I should be punching a time-clock.

And when Beth's sick? How did she put it? "I'm a bit of a baby, but I think I'm pretty self-contained and unobtrusive."

Well, at least someone thinks that. Not me. I'm the guy who has to keep bringing a glass of water...or getting more Kleenex...or going out at midnight to buy super special cold remedy #9...or finding the TV remote...or pushing the buttons on the remote... You get the picture. She's a bit of a baby like Word War II was a bit of a misunderstanding. Self-contained and unobtrusive? Hardly.

Also, I object to being characterized as a beached whale. Beth says she wasn't going for a size thing, but a "languishing thing." Why then, I must ask, didn't she characterize me as a tanned, muscular, vapid-eyed male model languishing at poolside? "I thought about saying 'beached seal,'" she said in protest just now. Yeah, that would have been so much better.

And finally, I don't groan when I'm sick. Those are just the normal sounds of rejuvenation. I have to rush it, you know. I'm on Day Three, after all.





backward indexward onward

Copyright © 1999
Chuck Atkins