I Have A Head Cold

Please be sure to disinfect your keyboard before commenting.

I have a head cold??!  WTF!!  How in Hell did that happen?

We have spent much of the last two years avoiding COVID.  In doing so, we have evaded most of the normal infections – colds and seasonal flu.  We (well, most of us) have worn masks, and sometimes plastic gloves.  We have remained at least six feet from others in public.  Canada, being the second-largest country in the world not currently invading the Ukraine, has enough room for polite Canadians to stay two whole metres from each other.

We have used antiseptic wipes and sprays on shopping carts and baskets.  We have doused our hands in pump-disinfectants.  My hands have absorbed more alcohol than I have.  I fear that the human race may die out, because the next generation will be sterilised.

The wife reluctantly admitted that she may have caused this.  She had to.  She was already complaining, two days before she gave it to the son, who graciously shared it with me two days later.  She feels that she might have been confused and misled by the relaxation of local mask mandates, into subconsciously thinking that COVID’s over, and not doing her due diligence, and sterilizing a cart that had been ridden in by someone’s snotty-nosed kid.

The son coughed himself awake all night.  The next day he was woozy and tired, not a good condition to be in while driving a forklift.  He called work to report an absence.  The HR Health Manager accepted that it was not COVID, but still didn’t want the rest of the shop infected, and enforced a five-day suspension – Thursday, Friday, fortunately Saturday and Sunday, and Monday.  When he called on Tuesday, his voice was still husky, and HR told him to take another day off.  He worked his Wednesday shift, and will work Thursday, and get Friday off with pay – a tough two-day week.

Like the son, the worst of the cold is not the aching head or scratchy throat – it’s the lack of sleep.  Two coughing people in the same bed means that neither of them gets any rest.  I’ve been dozing in the recliner and on the couch.  I just can’t wake up.  I could get up if there were a fire – in my pants.   😳

How quickly we forget how tough things can be.  We had a half-hour power outage Monday night, and had to talk to each other, because all the electronics were dead.  I complained that I had no shoes – until I met a man who had no feet.  I will have a Fibbing Friday post for tomorrow – hope to see you then.  😀

Book Review #26

I don’t read anything, just to tick off boxes on someone else’s Challenge list.  I have however, recently read two candidates for ‘A Book Published Before You Were Born.’  I reread the micro-short story, The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allen Poe.  When I downloaded it from the Internet, a note appeared below, saying, People who researched this, were also interested in…. and showing several other old titles, including Herman Melville’s, Bartleby the Scrivener.  I’ve never read it, and free is my favorite flavor.

Published 1853

Back in the ’60s, Ajax Cleanser had a series of TV ads where they claimed that their product was Stronger than dirt.  Since I am Older Than Dirt, it’s a struggle to find interesting books that old.

The book: Bartleby the Scrivener

The author: Herman Melville

The review:
The entire book is an un-named narrator, relating the tale of the strange actions and attitudes of a clerk that he employed.  The titled Bartleby was hired by a lawyer as a scrivener, a man who produced handwritten copies of deeds, and wills, and other legal documents, in the age before typewriters, Xerox machines, or computers.

Bartleby drove his employer to distraction.  He produced mountains of perfect copies, but quietly refused to perform any other menial task, such as proof-reading other clerks’ work, or going to the Post Office, with statements like, ”At present I might opt for not to be a bit reasonable.”

Despite it being locked up at close of work hours, the lawyer discovered that Bartleby somehow was living in the offices.  Eventually, he refused to do any work, yet continued to firmly but politely, decline to leave the premises.

While the book is 170 years old, I can’t believe that people of the time spoke, or wrote, like this.  It must have just been the author’s idiosyncratic technique.  The entire book reads like one of those machine-translated spam comments you receive.  Scores of words with two or more definitions were used with the wrong meaning in the context of the passage.

After a few phrases touching on his qualifications, I engaged him, satisfied to have among my corps of copyists a person of so singularly sedate an issue, which I notion might perform beneficially upon the flighty temper of Turkey, and the fiery certainly one of Nippers.

Turkey and Nippers were the nicknames of two of the narrator’s other law clerks.  A third was Ginger Nut, because his desk drawer was often full of shells of various nuts, which he irritated the office by cracking and eating while at work.

The fiery Nippers, among other strange actions, had been known to grasp up a ruler, point it at the cease of the room, (taken to mean ‘the far end’) and shout, “Fee the foe!”,  an expression that neither Bing, nor Google, nor Dictionary.com are aware of.  After some thought, I came to assume that the first word should be fie??  An expression of mild disgust or annoyance.

His fourth copyist, is rendered as ¼.  The third key to his private apartment, is described as .33.  It’s a one-trick-pony, or a one-joke-book.  It never sold widely.  It was mildly amusing for what it was, but not terribly deep, or socially significant, and always slightly confusing.  Ah well, it was an adventure.  Despite being as old as it is, it ticked off a box in another blogger’s Challenge.  When was the last time you tried something new?  😕

Flash Fiction #252

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

COLD ENOUGH FOR YOU?

We should just take over Canada, like a 14th Colony.  Then we wouldn’t have to worry about them exporting oil to us.

Are you nuts??!  Then we’d have to install hot-air ducts up there.  I don’t know how they survive.  Summer is the first week of August.  I had to go to a place called Moosejaw.  It made Minnesota look like a sauna.  I just kept driving south until the wind didn’t hurt my face anymore.

Just let them be hewers of wood, and drawers of water oil.  They’re polite but rustic, and a bit naïve.  Biden will handle them.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

I’ve Been There And Back


 

 

 

 

Lost in thought – and other places.

I recently read a post from a young Canadian female, about making a wrong turn at night, and driving into the United States.  She said that she had submitted the tale as a Creative Writing essay, and had received an ‘A’ for it.  I expected a teen-ish high schooler, or a college student.  While not bad, I mentally edited it for a few word-usage, spelling and punctuation errors.

She wrote that, as the driver, she and her boyfriend went out for a late-night McDonalds run.  They followed the border, and mistakenly turned south, into the US.  This could happen almost anywhere along the border, but I suspected British Columbia.  Then the story said that she inadvertently took the up-ramp to the bridge in Windsor, and wound up in Detroit.  But the bridge to Detroit doesn’t go ‘South.’  It faces North-West.

She managed to find the entrance to the tunnel to return to Canada, to the north(?), but it was closed for maintenance.  After some more driving and searching, she managed to get back on the bridge.  The Industrially-Polite Canadian Border guard listened to their story, and let them back in without passports.  The McDonalds was now directly in front of them, but they’d spent their burger-bucks on two bridge tolls.

When I viewed the post, I did so, on the WordPress reader.  When I commented, it took me to her actual site.  There I was met with a photo of a partially-clad, full-figured young female, and claims that she was a model, an actress, and an author (?), with 20,000 Facebook followers.  A sort of Canadian-Lite equivalent to the Kardashians – famous for being famous.

I can’t fault her for her little mishap.  Something very similar occurred to us.  Back before 9/11 and passports, the wife and I spent a weekend in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  After checking in Friday night, and eating dinner, we drove on down to the end of the big highway to Fort Erie, ON, and began looking for the terminus of the romantic Riverside Drive, which would take us back to our hotel.

Somehow, a wrong turn in the darkness took us into the one-way driveway to the Duty Free shop.  There is no bridge toll from Canada to the States – nowhere to stop – nowhere to turn around.  With no other exits, we were soon in Buffalo – almost.

As soon as I got off the bridge, I immediately slowed and pulled onto the road shoulder on the fast side.  I carefully dodged a few orange, nylon traffic cones, drove across the paved median, and butted into the line of Canada-bound cars.  There is a bridge toll to cross from the US to Canada, so I was soon confronted by an American Border guard.

I carefully explained what had just happened, and said that I just wanted to get back.  They might as well have robots doing the job.  Do not distract a public servant from his well-rehearsed spiel.  I had just related what had occurred.
“How long have you been in the United States?”
“Uh, going on ninety seconds now.”
“Did you purchase anything while you were in the country?”
(What…. from the trunk of your car, parked over there?)  “No!”
“Very well, away you go then.”

I was happy to pay a(n American) dollar to return to the land of socialized medicine.  We postponed any moonlight trips up the Riverside Drive, until we were sure that we’d found it in the daylight.  Over the years, we have been a number of places that we did not intend to be, but that was the only time that it was in a foreign country.  I’m back, and ain’tcha glad??!  😉