Hick has been sick with a cold. It started on Monday morning, when, at 5:20 a.m., I heard him hacking and spitting and snorting. It’s bad enough that I have to breathe the sickness droplets in my sleep that his breather sprays over me like arcs of water from a NY Harbor tugboat. I also have to resist rubbing my eyes (or picking my nose--not that a lady such as I would do that, of course) after touching the remote. Then there are the faucet handles and door handles and FRIG II's handle. You may (unreasonably) think I am being a germaphobe, but Hick sounds like he’s about to expel fragments of lung. I feel sorry for him...and I, like The Pony, am not really one known for empathy.
Hick says he caught this cold from The Pony. I defended my former little beast of burden, him having had his cough for five days before he drove mostly-home for the holiday, and surely not contagious any more during the time he was here. I figure Hick picked up his illness while at the pharmacy on Saturday, refilling medicine and not using the Germ-X after punching in his PIN on the debit card scanner. Pharmacies are full of sick people, you know. I'd sooner dine at Typhoid Mary's buffet than use a pharmacy keypad and not cleanse my fingertips immediately.
Tuesday night, Hick was underfoot when he got home. The minute I got out of the La-Z-Boy after my evening walk, and went to the kitchen to check on the leftovers I was warming, he grabbed the remote to switch the TV from Seinfeld to Andy Griffith. Well. So much for that. Kind of like I advised a certain blog buddy concerning his kitchen strainer, our remote now needs to be encased in lead and buried deep inside a salt mine.
Hick's distractions wreaked havoc with my supper plans. I went down to my dark basement lair to dine in more healthy air, and forgot my cell phone. Of course I am addicted to it (“YAY!” Says the government, who developed cell phones to track us, “We know her whereabouts, that conspiratorial ne’er-do-well!”), so I hollered up the stairs for Hick to bring it to me. He was puttering around the kitchen, or should I say stumping around, the sound of his footless ankles with their tibia and fibula distal medial and lateral malleoli pounding the floor with, ironically, excessive FOOT-pounds of energy being converted to sound.
“Hey, can you grab an oven mitt and bring me my phone to the steps? It’s on the counter.”
Next thing I know, here he comes, stumping across the carpet, partway down the stairs, holding out my phone that is GRIPPED IN HIS BARE FREAKIN’ HAND! I swear, I wanted to dip it in the toilet to cleanse it! When I asked about the absence of the oven mitt, Hick declared that he never heard me mention an oven mitt. Selective hearing, a side effect of this virus.
And THEN I realized that I had also forgotten a mini bag of Lays Original chips to go with the Hidden Valley Ranch Dip that I had put in a ramekin to accompany my ham slice and green olives and 7-layer salad.
“Hey, can you grab a bag of Lays chips and drop them down? Sorry. I forgot them too. They’re on the third shelf of the pantry. All the way to the left.”
I waited. And waited. And didn’t hear the THUMPTY THUMP of footless ankles.
“Are you getting them?”
“I can’t find no chips in here.”
“YELLOW BAG. It’s a six pack. On the left, by the wall.”
“Wellllll. I don’t see any chips.”
By that time I was upstairs. Hick must have been delirious, because right there glowing like a rising sun on the third shelf of the pantry was the yellow Lays pack of six individual chip bags. I have no idea how he could miss them, unless his sickness has a symptom of special color blindness that blocks bright school-bus yellow from his retinal cones. At least he didn’t touch my chips, so I didn't have to debate over whether to disinfect them in the toilet.
So far, I have not succumbed to the one-man epidemic. But let the record show that I did sneeze twice while typing this.