Thanksgiving Makes Me Sick
Here's one of the bad things about getting the flu at 41. It can happen in a central location where you are surrounded by family, with not only your mother and father but also your wife in attendance, and no one will take the time to rub your head. I am sure that if my grandmother had been in the house, she would have hopped onto her new scooter and sped through the Rocket Scientist's government-issued dwelling just to proffer some open-ended head rubbing onto her ailing grandson.
Naturally, missing head rubs are not the only thing that sucks about the Thanksgiving flu. In my efforts to secure the honor of LVG (Least Valuable Guest), I've spent that majority of the past 72 hours lying semi-conscious in my niece Noodles' bed, with scores of photos of horses staring down at me from the walls. I was well into my second day of pain before I answered a question I'd been asking silently since Thursday. Yes, there is a photo of the Budweiser Clydesdales mixed in among the other equines.
The trip started out okay. We hit some traffic on the way down, but it was gone by the time we hit Casa de Fruta, where we paraded Shack around for appreciative travelers while the Jawa and I made up new categories of items and actions needing the "Casa de" treatment.
Me: "When you use the Casa de Bathroom, don't forget to Casa de Wash Your Hands."
Jawa: "Can we go into the Casa de Marketplace after this and get some Casa de Candy?"
Me: "Casa de Okay."
We crack us up, as any effective father-son team must.
And there I was, secretly hidden away at Edwards Air Force Base, my sister's version of Alcatraz, 30 miles from the nearest town, matching my brother-in-law Bud and/or Marsi Sam Adams for Bud, when I went public: "You know, I don't fell all that hot."
Down went the beer. Up came dinner. And that was that.
That evening went not in a flash, but in a long, fever-altered march of nausea, and every road led to the bathroom. At 2:30, as I slumped, my head in my arms only inches above toilet water level, I thought seriously of just sleeping there in the bathroom. If I was 23 and this state had been alcohol-induced, it would have made for a great story. Instead, it was merely pathetic. I couldn't sleep in the bathroom. I didn't know where my sister kept the blankets.
Yesterday, while everyone else went bowling here on base, I laid on the couch, drinking Cherry Vanilla Cokes and watching college football, eating the occasional slice of bread. Every hour or so I reassured a nervous Jawa, who notably was also revealing a surprising caretaker side, that I was okay. Even though I wasn't.
Realize that I hate throwing up more than anything in the world. I will do almost anything to avoid it. So having to do it seven times in a short 72 hours did not leave me in the best mood. And realize that, while I'm lying in bed -- surrounded by two-dimensional horses, my only company two recent issues of The New Yorker and a copy of Esquire written by and for the most shallow men in the world -- everyone else is in the other room having a good time, you can see that even when I began to emerge from my flu-addled fog this morning, I was still not in the best frame of mind.
Which could explain why I lost my wallet today at the Cinemark 22 in Lancaster, where we went to see the 2:25 showing of "Happy Feet," along with hundreds of candidates for future episodes of "What Not to Wear," also known as Lancaster residents.
But they are not the ones who lost my wallet. I alone am responsible. Is it somewhere under my seat? I don't know. The "Bevis and Buttheads" (R. Scientist, 11/25/06) who work at the theater say that it is not there. "We looked right after you called the first time," they told me, impatiently. And yet, they did not call to share the results of their search until I had called the fourth time. And if the wallet is not there, where is it?
By now, I had the LVG award all but wrapped up. Multiple sweeps of my sister's luxurious Acura MDX failed to turn up anything more than a few empty bottles of water. Frantic searches of her ready-to-be-condemned-by-the-U.S-government "housing" were failures. I sat, motionless in front of the USC-Notre Dame game for an hour, my arms crossed, an angry expression my face, then interrupted dinner twice to call the Cinemark 22. All for nothing.
The wallet remains missing, perhaps sitting somewhere really obvious, waiting to be found; or perhaps already in the hands of some Lancaster delinquent who, disgusted to find it completely without cash, has tossed it into a garbage can, oblivious to the time and effort it will take me to replace its contents.
If only I had timed all of this differently, I could be throwing up on my potential wallet-takers, showing them, in full technicolor display, what I thought of what they thought of my wallet.
As for "Happy Feet?" Not bad, but certainly not worth losing my wallet.