Friday, September 22, 2006
Germs and Cheese Doodles
One of my fellow bloggers, the one who isn’t ashamed to be in the same state with me, has a cold. He was absent from work yesterday, and came in today sounding like a primordial amoeba choking on rotten peanut brittle.
I felt very sorry for him and attempted to lighten his spirits by regaling him with stories from my childhood, knowing he would enjoy the narrative. Soon, however, his cold appeared to turn into stomach flu and I was forced to suspend the verbal bio and retreat to safer quarters.
Later, he coughed as he passed by and, although he attempted to stifle the sudden output of germs by covering his mouth, a couple of the little blighters escaped and alighted upon a shelf near my left ear. The first germ, a confused looking creature with wide, staring eyes looked around worriedly.
“So, what’dya think, Pete?”
“Aw, relax, Balthazar,” said the partner, adjusting a dapper beanie cap. “All is well. Let’s just sneak into this guy’s ear and give him an ear infection. What sport, eh?”
I fixed the two little troublemakers with a disapproving frown. “Excuse me?”
They both jumped in alarm and emitted high, tiny, pitiful shrieks. “He sees us!” they screamed. “What are the odds?”
“About the same as that I’d be sitting here at work having a somewhat lame conversation with two microbes,” I said.
“Oh, think you’re too good for us, eh?”
I said nothing.
“Tryin’ to spoil our fun, what?”
“I just overheard you two coldly plotting to inflict me with pain and anguish. I resent the implication that I’m not capable of causing myself enough grief on my own.”
Pete looked at Balthazar with an exaggerated roll of the eyes. “Oooooh, he resents it!”
“Yes, I do,” I said. “And if you take another step toward me, I shall immediately fortify my immune system with vitamin C, echinacea, and hefty portions of cheese doodles.”
The two germs gasped in unison. “Cheese doodles! The bane of bacteria everywhere!” They burst into hysterical laughter. Once their chortling had subsided, Pete leaned toward me with a less than jocular glint in his eye.
“Don’t threaten us, human scum. We have the ability to make you very sick, indeed.”
“Ah, but you don’t! You forget that my body is defended by armies of stalwart defenders who are only too willing to lay down their lives in the line of duty.”
“You mean those wimpy little leukocytes?”
“White blood cells, yes. They will tear you to shreds.”
“We’re quaking in our Nikes,” Pete said.
“If we were wearing Nikes,” Balthazar added. “I personally prefer Skechers.”
I had to admit, if only to myself, that I was becoming a bit nervous. What if these two villains did manage to invade my body and slip past the defenders? I could be sick within 24 hours and my weekend would be ruined.
Glancing to the shelf just above the germs, I saw a bottle of cleaning spray left by the cleaning woman, who had been interrupted in her duties by a loud and insistent call from nature. Could I grab the spray and exterminate Pete and Balthazar before they deciphered my plan and attacked? My hand began moving slowly toward the bottle.
I went for it. Just as my hand closed around the bottle neck, I felt Pete and Balthazar land on my nose, the rubber soles of their Nikes and Skechers making little squeaking sounds on the skin as they sprinting for my nostrils. I let go of the spray and grabbed my nose, but it was too late. I could feel the invaders clambering up inside. I tried to sneeze, but couldn’t, and knew there was just one thing to do. Leaping for the snack table, I ripped open a package of cheese doodles and violently shoved one into each nostril.
I collapsed onto the floor, exhausted, and listened in satisfaction as two tiny screams faded into nothingness.
Looking up, I saw my boss standing over me, looking down as I lay on the floor with two baked snack items protruding from my nostrils. Smiling weakly, I struggled to my feet and backed toward the door.
“Sorry,” I said. “I was attacked by microbes.”
“And you responded by shoving cheesy junk food up your nose?”
“Well, they might be a little lame, but…oh, you mean really cheesy! Ahem. Long week. I should be going.”
My boss nodded slowly. “I agree.” She turned to go, but paused long enough to say, “Don’t forget to pay for those.” Then she was gone, leaving me to remove the cheese doodles from my proboscis and drop some change into the money jar. I was really looking forward to this weekend.
Posted by Jack W. Regan at 8:55 PM