I Sneezed

I’m always sick at the end of the sick-getting season. At the end of February or the beginning of March, you can bet I’ll have a cold or the flu. I get the flu shot every September. Does it expire by February? 

On the morning of February 16th, I sneezed. Just woke up and sneezed. I knew that this was it. No idea if it will last one week or two, but I needed to prepare myself for the worst. I got up and made coffee even though caffeine weakens the immune system. I think I need some terrible tasting green juice that all the assholes drink after the gym. Please, someone blend me up a cure.

Sometimes I wish I could just spray bleach in my face and kill germs like it does mold in the shower. I heard a story the other day about a woman who was cured of stage four ovarian cancer by some new trial treatment. Are they even working on the common cold? Still this in 2019! I have to leave the house today even though I need to conserve my strength. Thank goodness it’s Saturday. 

My plan was to go to the Southeastern Wildlife Expo and then the College of Charleston men’s basketball game at 4. I worry that the sneeze has wrecked my plans. I know where it came from, too. I know it. Yesterday, I got some takeout sushi. Not delivery. I would never get sushi delivered unless it came in a Brinks truck filled with ice. I get takeout from this place about once a week. The sushi is delicious, but it is expensive. And they never seem to recognize me when I go in there even though I spend $40 a week plus tip. No, “Hey! Welcome Back!.” Nothing. They just look at me like I’ve never been in there before. You know me!

I went to Osaka about 4:30 in the afternoon. Early for sushi, but I’m intermittent fasting and I have to eat by 6. Don’t ask. I didn’t call ahead so I had to order my usual from the hostess station. I notice the hostess is drinking a half empty glass of green tea. Then I notice that she sniffles after she says, “That be ten minute.” Dammit. I’m doomed. She is sick. Instead of running out of there like I suddenly caught fire, I paid her for my food. I’ll sterilize my credit card later. 

I walked next door to the Earth Fare while my order was being made. I could have gotten the sneeze from there as well because Earth Fare people barely wash their hands with soap. Au naturel is fine, just don’t touch my shopping cart, okay Flower?  I got some dairy-free ice cream and wondered what has happened to me. Dairy-free ice cream is like frozen make believe. I think the stuff in Barbie’s Dream House fridge has more taste. I actually like the “Halo Top” brand but they didn’t have the flavor I liked. I got a brand I hadn’t tried yet. “Arctic Zero.” Not good. I would have rather eaten some ice shavings scraped off the back of my freezer. When I got home, I threw it away after a few bites. 

When I went back to get my sushi, ole disease hands gave me the bag. I tried to avoid touching the handles that she slimed but my $40 sushi almost fell to the floor. She looked at me like I didn’t know how a plastic bag worked. I wanted to show her that I did by pulling it over her head.   

Enjoy your green tea, Ms. Epidemic, I thought as I said “Thank you” and left. If I could have opened my car door with my elbows, I would have. I got in and immediately pulled out my Purell. I Purell-ed the handles of the plastic bag and then my hands and I drove home. The sushi was good but I’m sure that’s where I got the sneeze. 


Today is a beautiful day. It began a little rainy and cloudy, but the clouds broke mid-morning and it is gorgeous and 70 degrees. An incredible day for the middle of February. Because of the sneeze, I decided not to go to the festival. Instead, I stayed home and watched the Genesis Open and the North Carolina Tar Heels wallop Wake Forrest. The Tar Heel game was so lopsided and boring that the announcer, Mike Gminski, got all the way to the time he played with Charles Barkley in his bag of anecdotes. 

I was still planning on going to the College of Charleston basketball game at 4 as long as I didn’t nose-dive into the flu first. It’s such a nice day, I decide to order a ride downtown and at least walk through the part of “SEWE” that you didn’t need a ticket for. I hoped some fresh air would stave off the plague. I got a Lyft to drop me off at the corner of Cannon and King streets. I had no plan. Sometimes I just like to walk. I was going to go through SEWE at Marion Square, but when I got there, there were too many people for a guy on the brink of death to navigate. I decided to keep walking up King all the way to Broad Street, then I looped back around to the basketball arena. Charleston was designed to be walked. I came across a bachelorette party near Broad Street. They were all in their 20s, very beautiful and attempting to rent City Bikes from a rack. The future bride was wearing white and all the other girls were wearing black like they were in morning. Someone told me this is a bachelorette tradition. How silly.

I overheard one of the girls, blonde, say, “I was in a perfectly good bar and now you have me on this stupid bike.” My kind of girl. I’m sure they have some bachelorette Goebbels keeping them on schedule.

I finally got to the game after walking about two miles. The Cougars won in overtime. Our star player, Grant Riller, had a fantastic game. Thursday, he scored 43 and today he followed that career high with 37 points. He is a joy to watch. Sometimes it feels like he’s barely in the game and he’ll have 30 points. He’s like a basketball ninja.

I tried my best not to touch any surfaces that could exasperate my sickness while I was at the game. I waited for the door to the arena to be opened by someone else and I washed my hands in the bathroom after I bought a bottle of water. I watched a guy walk out without washing his hands after he peed. I believe it should be legal to publicly humiliate slobs like this. Press a cream pie into his face like Moe would do to Curly. Washing your hands is a public service.

I left the game and ordered a Lyft home. I had a very sad dinner of canned tunafish and some baby carrots. I thought about ordering a pizza, but the thought of my fat belly changed my mind. I popped a bowl of unflavored popcorn for “desert” and sat down to watch the NBA All-Star game skills competition which was in Charlotte. I was surprised to find the Genesis Open still on because of a rain delay. It was being played in California. Tiger Woods started his third round 5 under after 4 holes. Unbelievable. The All-Star stuff was pretty boring as usual even though it was in my home town. I’m at the age now where I have no idea who the “celebrities” are they keep showing in the crowd. 

I must have beaten whatever it was because I did not sneeze again that day. Or maybe it went dormant like lyme disease? I’ll know in the morning.

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