Monday, December 18, 2017

Why Can't I Get Sick in Peace?

I had to go to Las Vegas for business last week. I flew out on Sunday and came back Monday.  I didn't go play in any reindeer games although I was tempted to drop the lone $1 bill in my wallet on a slot machine just so I could say I lost all my money in Vegas.

While I am there in Vegas tending to business, I start to pick up a little bit of  nasal congestion and scratchy throat. Allergies thinks I. I'm not used to a climate involving dry air and show girls on the street corners. Speaking of things I'm not used to, Vegas is probably the only place in the country where you can have a marijuana "dispensary" next door to a gun range next door to a wedding chapel next door to a world class buffet. When they say Sin City, they ain't just whistling Dixie buster. The restaurant proudly displaying a sign that said "over 350 pounds eats free" was just icing on the decadence cake.

So, any post nasal drip, I come home very late Monday night. I get off the plane hungry not having had time to grab food before departure in Lost Wages. Dallas Love Field is borderline ghost town at 11:30. By the time I made it back to my vehicle and out the parking garage, it was past midnight. The Queen didn't help matters by tempting me with Facebook videos of a deep dish, stuffed crust, double three cheese blend with an extra side of cheese pizza dusted in grated Parmesean.

So, naturally, I go looking for pizza. Surely, in Dallas, there would be a pizza place open until at least 1:00 AM. I go Googling. Nothing near the airport claimed to be open. Not that such would have been my first choice. It's a 30 minute drive from the airport back to the house. Cold pizza is not nearly as enticing as hot pizza. What about near the house? Surely my humble suburb had a Domino's open late? According to their website, yes, they had a location just a few miles from my house that was open until 1:00AM.

Huzzah. The tired traveler is saved from starving to death.

Not so fast garlic sauce.

I call the number. It's 12:06 AM. I sit on hold for 8 minutes while a lovely computer recorded female voice tells me about all the wonderful employment opportunities available to me at Domino's and someone will be with me shortly to take my order. How freaking busy can a Domino's be on a Monday night just after midnight? Did the Marijuana Growers Convention come to town and no one told me? I grow a tad impatient and hang up. I tried calling back at 12:14AM. Same lovely recording. I have no moved from impatient to peeved. Perhaps some twit is talking to their significant other or playing Pokémon or whatever it is Domino's employees do when they should be answering the PHONE!!!!

Calm down. It's just the hunger making you rage. Their probably all just midnight...on a Monday.

I call again at 12:21AM. Now, I was expecting at the very least the same cheerful recorded voice saying someone would eventually take my order. The website said they're open until 1:00AM. I expect someone to take orders until 1:00 AM. Or, at least answer the phone and say sorry, last order has to be in by 12:45 or something. So, you can imagine my puzzlement when a new pre-recorded greeting reached my ears proclaiming that Domino's was now closed for the evening.

Oh really. Do tell.

Some smarmy bugger went and flipped a switch rather than take an order. Since this location is on my way home, more or less. I decided to swing by for a little looksee.

You know, it was really tempting, when I arrived at the location at about 12:36 AM, to drive my truck through the front window when I saw no less than 4 Domino's employees standing around doing not much of anything.

A plague of flying monkeys engaging in deviant behavior with footballs upon your store Domino's. I shall never grace your business with my money again.

So, Tuesday dawns. I decided that working from home made perfect sense in light of my late night misadventures. I work in an office where I report to no one directly, and no one reports directly to me. My phone was already forwarded to my work cell phone. As long as I logged in to my computer and answered the phone, no one would know or care where I was.

Wednesday, saw me back at the office. The sniffles and cough had started to settle in for a long winter stay. I kept foolishly thinking it was just allergies. Thursday didn't go any better, and my voice made it known that it was going to make a break for it before the end of the day. By Thursday evening, it was clear something in the viral/bacterial family had gotten a hold of me. It was early to bed after dinner. Unfortunately, it was not a restful night's sleep.

Nausea and a glorious bit of acid reflux woke me up in the wee hours. I spent some quality time in the restroom trying to decide which orifice was going to win the honors of expelling the demons. Since my upper respiratory tract was busy coughing up a lung and waking up The Queen, the traditional exit won the coin toss. I eventually made it back to bed. I assume The Queen did as well. I was beyond caring at that point.

Friday morning dawned with me sleeping through all my alarms and waking at 9:30 AM to a massive headache, more coughing, sneezing and a low grade fever. I texted the boss that work from home was going to be attempted and proceeded to slog through my work day as best as I could manage. I have a vague memory of cooking chili for dinner before collapsing into sleep early again.

Sometime in the night, I relocated to the recliner. I'm not sure that did any good, but it was worth a shot. I could breathe slightly better through one nostril in a semi reclined position as opposed to no nostrils in the fully supine position.

Saturday morning dawned with me back in bed again. The Queen allowed as how she felt like garbage too. Great. Misery loves company. For the last several years, I have been unable to fully enjoy my customary illness remedy: pulling the covers over my head and sleeping for three days. The reason for this is that The Queen has a tendency to get ill at the same time as I. Dreadfully inconvenient since I am her caretaker.

To make matters worse, we were out of drinking water. Yes, we are water snobs. I say "we" referring to the household as a collective whole.  I am more than content to swill tap water when necessary; however, I can easily discern the difference in flavor between filtered water, Fiji water and the taps from several municipalities in our area. So, we buy our water by the 5 gallon refillable bottle. We had 6 of those suckers at one time; but, through attrition and misfortune, we are down to 4.

By the by, water weighs in at about 8 pounds per gallon making one of those bottles, when full, about 40 pounds of  dead weight. Ever try lifting 40 pounds when you have a massive headache? I'm pretty sure that's what a stroke feels like just before it happens.

So, after a slight detour, back to our story. Saturday sees us headed off to the local Whole Foods to refill our water stocks from their carefully filtered sources (don't go there...just don't, there are things I do for love that you will not understand). I suggested to The Queen that a rotisserie chicken and some mac n cheese were ideal options for dinner saving everyone some trouble since I had no bloody intention of cooking. The Queen, in her infinite wisdom, acknowledged that this was a splendid idea.

We returned home at which time I crawled back into bed in a futile attempt to continue with my traditional illness remedy. Dinner was inhaled at some point. The Queen and I watched a couple of movies to distract ourselves. A snack of leftover chili was had. The Queen reported feeling better. I, however, was not.

Which brings us to today. I've been stuck with the same low grade fever. Still coughing and sneezing. Fortunately, the headache has receded from massive to minor inconvenience. The Queen and I have enjoyed a restful day in bed plucking away at our laptops. Until just before 5:00 PM when I received a call from my father in law, Opa.

It seems Opa had taken Oma out for a little drive and his vehicle sprouted a flat tire. Bear in mind, it's 50 degrees outside with the temperature dropping as the sun goes down. I'm the only one in the house capable of changing a flat tire since my father in law has a major hernia issue, Oma wouldn't know the difference between a lug nut and a tire if her life depended on it, M&M hasn't received proper training on vehicle maintenance yet, and The Queen is still on the gimp from injuring her foot a few weeks back.

That leaves me. I get dressed in warm clothing not wanting to make matters worse. Ha. That's funny. I make sure my truck is topped off with fluids (since my truck has all the tools in it and will carry my 3 ton floor jack without a problem). Good thing too. The radiator was a wee bit low as was the oil, and it turns out Opa's vehicle had a jack but no tool to cause the jack to actually do jack about jack.

I prefer my floor jack any way.

I arrive to discover Opa's vehicle parked way, way, way at the back of a new subdivision. They've paved the streets and alleys, but the rest is mud. Somehow, Opa managed to find his way down one of these recently paved alleyways which were not strictly open to the public nor completely finished as the storm water drains had just recently been installed. The Opamobile is parked in an good spot for a tire change thankfully. I get out to inspect the problem and discover that the passenger front tire is completely separated from the rim after getting punctured in the sidewall, and a good bit of the rim has been chewed up and broken off. That's a dead donut right there. No chance of salvaging either rim or tire.

As near as I can tell, Opa didn't see the fact that the recently installed storm drain was sitting neatly inside a formed hole in the concrete paving of the recently paved alley which left just enough room between the pavement and the storm drain for one SUV tire to drop in neatly and off camber enough to get punctured by a wooden stake holding the concrete forms in place. The reason Opa didn't see this is that today's rains had left a muddy pool of water covering the area of the as yet uncompleted storm drain.

Before I had arrived, Opa had managed  to pull the spare tire out of the wheel well. It's a full sized spare for an SUV. Remember Opa? The one with the hernia condition? I appreciate the attempt at helping, but don't kill yourself old man. That's my job.

Anywho, I get what's left of the dead donut off and wisely check the spare before installation. Wouldn't you know it? Not even enough air to register on the tire pressure gauge. Fortunately, I came prepared. My truck is pretty well stocked for a clunker. I grabbed the air pump; and, a few minutes later, we had a properly aired up full size spare.

By now, the sun is down, and I am both chilled and sweating at the same time. Neat trick that. You should try it sometime. I'm out of  breath too. I should really give up this getting sick business since I can't seem to die in peace.

Lug nuts get tightened as much as I'm willing to do without dragging out the torque wrench. Opa gets back in his vehicle and promptly can't find the keys.

[facepalm] You've got to be kidding me.

We search high and low even resorting to frisking poor Oma (you just can't take any chances with those Alzheimer's folks). The keys finally turn up between the center console and the driver's seat where an inadvertent elbow must have knocked them off to (why Opa put them on the center console in the first place is a mystery to me...that man's logic escapes me sometimes).

Now, I'm back home recording this for posterity after consuming some really good Mediterranean food. I'm going to, once again, attempt to pull the covers over my head and sleep.

Good night.

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