David M. Raley
FIRST DAY: The first day of a fever is usually pleasant, as was this one, because the elevated temperature gives a feeling of euphoria. I felt that now was a good time to work some bugs out of an Antenna program and had a good time trying. Having a fever is as close as a teetotaler ever comes to being drunk. By nightfall I was sore and coughing and up to 102. I decided to sleep, or try to sleep, on the couch. After finally drifting off I dreamed that I was hiking in the Antarctic and that a penguin had slid down the ice onto my back. Waking up I found that my wife had joined me on the couch. She said it was the first time she had been warm all winter. Went back to sleep and dreamed that it was Christmas. Woke up and realized the cats were on the roof again. I don't know how they get up there. I've cut every sapling around the house and have nailed sheet metal around all the big trees near enough to jump from.
SECOND DAY: Felt too bad to work and too good to do nothing. Tried hacking but had no luck. Tried to play the organ but my fingers wouldn't answer the helm. (Forgot to turn it off.) Tried reading but the words ran together. Tried shaking one of the thermometers down and broke it. I was ready for the night when it came. Just as I was drifting off to sleep I realized what the secret of the Grand Unification Theory was and decided that I could probably remember it until the next morning. My practical nature said that I might forget and that I should get up and write it down. My wife heard me in the office, thought I had gotten lost on the way to the bathroom and shinned her 500,000 candlepower searchlight in my eyes. Said I shouldn't walk around in the dark. Didn't believe I had planned to go into the office. Even though I had been intending to visit the bathroom while I was up I decided not to. After she went back to sleep I slipped off there but got dizzy on the way back. Sat down on the floor to rest. Dreamed I was flying a B-36. Woke up to find I had laid down on the organ pedals and that the several notes I was holding down were making a rumbling that was shaking the whole house. Caught another lecture on night lights.
THIRD DAY: Found that what I had written down last night was poly bifurcation. I took the notion that a fire would be a good thing and spent most of the day trying to get one going. Ordinarily I wouldn't just keep piling the new effort on top of the old, you're talking to an Eagle Scout here, but today I did. I gave it up when I couldn't stuff in any more wood. Once again I turned in on the couch to dream that I had died and that St. Peter was on vacation leaving an editor, who had a detour in mind for me, on duty. I woke up to find that the fuel I had tried to light all day had started to burn of its own accord and with all the dampers wide open even the pipe was visible in the dark. Anyone in the market for a freestanding fireplace can call me and hear of a bargain.
FORTH DAY: Drifted off to sleep during the afternoon and dreamed that an Iraqi tank crew was trying to skin a live bear in the front yard. Woke up to find that the UPS man had dismounted into a dispute between the cats over ownership of a bird, and was standing on the bird, beating the grey cat with my package. Now wide awake and nauseous I decided to cook something light to settle my stomach. Not wanting to get tangled up with the oven I fried some cheese in sausage grease and ate it with buttermilk. When this didn't help me I knew I was really sick. Dreamed that I was being sprayed with ice water and woke up to find I was covered with sweat. My fever had broken.
FIFTH DAY: Too weak to actively cook, I put on some eggs to boil while I rested my eyes. Dreamed of another encounter with St. Editor and woke up to find the water boiled away, the eggs blackened, the room full of sulphurous smoke and the pot ruined. Managed to make a pone of cornbread and ate about a pound of it.
SIXTH DAY: Just napped and layed around. Too out of it to even be bothered by my wife's soap operas. This caused her to take my illness seriously. She opened the Bible at random for guidance and fell upon I Kings 1:1-5. Adapting the wisdom of the ages to modern times she fetched me home a copy of Penthouse. I fell asleep reading the letters to the Editor and awoke to find my wife checking the DLPs on my life insurance. I was again asleep when she left for work. Dreamed that the house was being struck by gunshots. Woke up to see and hear the television had been left on and the news was running. Went back to sleep.
SEVENTH DAY: Wife came back from the Post Office and asked why there were holes in the front porch and side wing. Called the sheriff who said the shots must have come from someone poaching from a deer stand about a mile across the field; said he would investigate. Called the hunting club and told them what the sheriff had said. Two members came up, looked at the holes. Said they thought the shots had come from the road; said they would investigate.
EIGHTH DAY: It was miserable with high humidity and a low ceiling. I heard a commotion in the back yard and saw that Worthless and Sorry, the Beast Brothers were sparing. They went through the usual spitting and slapping then Worthless backed up and sprang about three feet in the air in Sorry's direction. Sorry met the attack with a leap of his own and turned Worthless over in the air. They started to fall but then first one and then the other got on top so fast that they hung motionless for several moments. I was amazed. Even more amazed when, presently, the heat of the battle increased and they started to gain altitude. I watched as they rose above my head, above the roof and finally disappeared into the overcast. The only evidence now that there was a cat fight going on was the noise and a light rain of fur. Back in the house I was celebrating being rid of them when I heard two thumps on the roof, a scampering and a screech. Now you might think that such a drop would kill a cat but you would be wrong. I did some research. A cat's terminal velocity is less than his threshold of injury. Not only that, after dropping about a hundred feet they slow down. It is this negative terminal velocity that allows them to do many of the strange things they are known for.
TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS for the Flu Diet, eight pounds.
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Last Update: 12/14/10
Web Author: David M. Raley
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