I have the flu.
All of it.
Every flu germ ever in existence thus far is currently residing in my body. Flu germs that have long since retired have rejoined the workforce just to make me miserable.
This is particularly weird because I never get sick. I’m always either healthy or in a state of denial.
During these states of denial, I’m very good at pretending I’m fine:
Friend: How are you doing, Veronica?
Me: Great! Been really busy lately. So if I look a little tired or pale or like I’m vomiting blood, that’s why.
Friend: Is that why you’re lying on the floor?
Me: I was hoping you wouldn’t notice that.
Friend: Well, you’ve already tripped two waiters. Maybe we should have brunch out some other time.
The problem with being sick is that it just isn’t as much fun as prescription drug commercials make it look like.
“I have an incurable disease!” people joyfully declare as they fly kites while riding horses that are jet skiing on the backs of dolphins. I’ve never flown a kite in my life. I blame my doctor for never having prescribed Zurphfleffenbra, which obviously treats psoriasis by giving you an overwhelming urge to fly kites (side effects may include bloody nose, stamp collecting, death, and death-like symptoms).
When I get sick, the first thing to go is my mental capacity. I know this because I start not only tolerating, but actually enjoying made-for-TV movies:
Me: (Explaining the plot to my dog)(That’s not a symptom. I do that when I’m healthy, too.) So this guy and this girl can’t STAND each other. But now they’ve randomly been assigned to complete this task together. I’m pretty sure they’re going to keep getting more and more annoyed with each other until they just can’t finish the task and they let everyone down. It’s going to be a disaster.
Me: WHOA! They fell in love! I never saw it coming! Did you see that coming, Dog?
Dog: Yes. And after the first five minutes, I got distracted licking my feet.
(Next movie starts)
Me: Oh, man! Those two really can’t STAND each other. That project is never going to get finished!
I also tend to stay sick for a long time, unfortunately for me. Fortunately for the Hallmark channel, though.
I have a couple of theories as to why my immune system is so ineffective:
1.) My immune system is run by pacifists. So my white blood cells run a campaign of speeches and public service announcements extolling the idea of germs and my body living a harmonious, symbiotic relationship. After a few weeks of this, the germs usually die of boredom
2.) My immune system is run by white blood cells who are very terrible strategists.
White Blood Cell General: As you know, a battalion of flu germs has invaded Veronica. They are launching a full body assault, headquartered out of her stomach. If we’re to have any hope of defeating them, we have to reclaim her gut!
White Blood Cell Corporal: But, General! The stomach is an impenetrable fortress! It’ll be a slaughter if we go in there! And I have a bad habit of telling everyone how close I am to the end of my tour of duty and how I can’t wait to see my family back home, so you know I’ll be the first one to die in battle!
General: That’s why we make them come to us! I propose we ambush them in the lungs.
Corporal: But how will we get them to come to the lungs?
General: We spread a rumor that Veronica’s lungs have been infected by some very sexy ebola germs. No flu germs can resist the lure of a sexy ebola germ.
Corporal: What if they don’t believe the rumors? Should we have some of the white blood cells dress up like sexy ebola germs?
General: No, no. That would be demoralizing. I propose we infect Veronica with ebola, then convince some of the sexiest germs to join our side.
Corporal: How do we convince them to do that?
General: We spread a rumor that we have some even sexier black plague germs working on our side.
Corporal: I like where this is going!
That’s why I’ve now decided to try a campaign of slash-and-burn warfare, where you make the terrain seem harsh and undesirable.
I will do this with Thai food.
At my favorite Thai place, you can order your food at 4 levels of spicy: mild, medium, hot, and inhumane. When I called and placed my order for some dishes at inhumane spiciness level, they told me I would have to pick up the order myself, both to sign a liability waiver and because they have gotten tired of their delivery cars catching fire.
Even the owner of the restaurant, who is herself from Thailand, gave me strange looks when I picked up my food.
She said, “You realize that food is no longer edible.”
But I held up my chicken satae skewers and proudly declared, “THIS IS WAR! ALSO, DO YOU HAVE COCONUT ICE CREAM?”
Because if I don’t fight off this flu, who will?
General: I propose we send our best agents into the stomach as spies. They’ll go undercover as flu viruses and communicate back to us what the enemy is planning.
Corporal: But, General! It’ll never work!
General: Why not?
Corporal: Because our two best agents can’t STAND each other!