Columnist writes through sickness

June 03, 2003|by TIM ROWLAND

Editor's note: Tim Rowland is on vacation. In his absence, some of his past columns are being published. This one first appeared Jan. 4, 1999.

OK, only 18 inches to go, I can handle this.

Normally I'm in and out in 45 minutes tops. But today I'm sick. It must be all those nasty things I said about the Washington County delegation Sunday. I'm being punished.

Whatever, I feel like a plane has crashed into the side of my head and the bottom of the page looks like it's six miles away. Somehow I have to get from here to there. The noise from each keystroke sets off an explosion in my head. The glow of the screen is barbecuing my eyeballs.

Sixteen point five inches to go. I'll never make it.

Did you ever notice (Oh God, I'm sounding like Andy Rooney, I am sick) the people who never get sick complain about it the most when they do? I'm sure what I have is no worse than your average head cold, but by gum I'm going to make you sit there and listen to the details.


Just be glad you didn't call me today. A friend from Sharpsburg called and asked a question about something Ron Bowers had said at a recent sewer hearing. I think I answered her by saying you can substitute the whites for whole eggs to make a low-fat mayonnaise. I don't quite remember.

It's all these drugs, you know. My cold remedy is to put a bottle of orange juice, six aspirin, two decongestant pills, a Milky Way and four cups of coffee in a blender. This addresses a few of the symptoms while giving you the energy you need to complain.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work as well as it used to, in the days when I would factor about five shots of whiskey into the equation. Come to think of it, I could always leave out all the other ingredients and get the same effect by putting five shots of whiskey in a blender. After a while, I figured out I didn't even need the blender.

Nine inches to go. And I've used up all my best sick material. Oh, dear.

Six weeks ago, everybody was sick. They got to sympathize with each other and sit around and talk about their illnesses and stay home on days when it was snowing and 2 degrees outside.

Not me. Oh, no. With me, the germs just sat around telling jokes and playing cards and cracking their knuckles with anticipation waiting for the first warm weekend of the year. Then, wham!

I tried going outside with the rest of you, you who got your diseases over with in the winter like you're supposed to.

I participated in the MS walk on Saturday. I finished dead last. Yes, that was me, Number 237 out of 237. The organizers said I moved pretty well for someone with MS. I told them I didn't have MS. They said that ... they said ... Now that I think about it they didn't say anything, meaning that this little anecdote doesn't have an end and is going no place. How embarrassing.

Four point three inches to go.

You have to hand it to the pharmaceutical industry. They must have to go to a lot of extra trouble, research and testing to find medicines that work on the entire world population, but not on me.

Boy, that was pretty flat. Oh well, three point one inches left.

What's that? How's Bubba? Funny you should ask. He was laid a bit low himself last week, having to undergo emergency surgery for a Gonnagetmesomechicksectomy, if you get my drift.

If you don't get my drift you would have last week - no, would have gotten his drift more accurately and it would have been an experience you would not have wanted to repeat.

He's better now, although I do notice he doesn't seem to play with the remote as much as he used to. (On a normal day I would have offered to give your money back on that joke, but today is different so you'll just have to put it away in a closet until you have the opportunity to give it away as a wedding gift to some hapless co-worker.)

Made it. Needed some hopelessly lame material, but made it nonetheless. What, all that and you still want a witty ending? Forget it.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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