Jewish World Review April 9, 2004/ 19 Nissan, 5764

Greg Crosby

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I Really Should Be in Bed | Here I sit at my computer typing when I should be in bed hacking and wheezing and coughing and doing all those other disgustingly vile things that people do who are as sick as I am right now. But no. Here I sit at my computer writing my weekly column. I'll have you know that it isn't easy to type, let alone think, when your nose is running as mine is this very minute. Excuse me while I stop to blow it. There! Thanks for your understanding.

This thing started about two days ago the way it always starts for me - first I get a sore throat. It starts out innocently enough; just a tickle or a slight scratch, but I know where it's going. When I begin to sense that very first scratchiness I know it's only a matter of time before I get the full blast head cold. It's inevitable.

My wife immediately puts her nursing skills into action as soon as I say, "Hmm. my throat feels kinda sore." Before I know it I'm swallowing Airborne tablets - a combination of several herbal ingredients that you take in a glass of water at the first sign of a cold symptom - and sucking on zinc tablets. This is my wife's witchcraft remedies that I know from nothing about. I subject myself to these things willingly, not because they help me, but because it makes my wife feel better.

So then, after I took all the magic preventative stuff, I got really sick. I don't blame the herbal tablets, it was inevitable. Once that sore throat hits I'm a goner. Wait. My noses again . excuse me. Okay, as I was saying, once I feel that soreness in my throat I know I'm going to come down with a cold and there's nothing that can be done about it.

Yesterday was bad. My throat felt like I had gargled with tacks, I was weak and helpless - that is, more so than usual, and I had a sick hallucinatory dizziness and body temperature that fluctuated from burning up to cold as a well digger's . pick your body part. Oh, pardon me again. Gotta cough this time. Wow, that was repulsive.

Luckily for me I got sick on the eve of Passover so there was plenty of chicken soup in the house (my wife makes the best). Between the chicken soup, the hot tea with honey, and the penicillin, I'm sure I'll make it through. As you can see my wife covers all the bases. She really takes good care of me - which is why I put up with the voodoo herbal stuff in the beginning, I know later on when I get really sick she'll help me.

Now the thing is traveling. My throat isn't sore anymore (could it be the zinc?) and I'm not dizzy or hot, but my nose has taken on a life of its own. I'm coughing, blowing, hocking, and completely disgusting my wife, who to her credit has not filed for divorce yet. A head cold ain't a pretty sight. I thought I felt stronger today than yesterday, but I quickly discovered that was only a cruel joke when I fell back on the bed after breakfast and slept most of the day. I can hardly wait to see what new adventures await me tomorrow. Just as the cold always starts with a sore throat for me, it eventually makes its way to every other part of my body. It's inevitable.

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Oops! I've got to stop and cough again. Oh, man . just be glad you aren't here with me. I'm not that thrilled to be with myself, either.

So, I sit at my computer typing when I should be in bed. I hope you people appreciate what I'm going through just to deliver this weekly column to you all. Wait. I'm going to sneeze.. and sneeze again . and again! Oh, that was something else, that time. I'll spare you the revolting details.

Alright, I've had enough of this. I quit. I'm ending this column and going to bed. My nose just won't behave and my coughing is getting worse. Heaven knows I tried to write an entertaining piece, but I guess it just wasn't in the cards. When I'm sick I'm just no good for anything. Are you all feeling sorry for me yet?

By next week I hope to be back in the saddle again, as Gene Autry would say. The one good thing about getting a head cold is you eventually will get better. It is inevitable. Pardon me while I wipe my nose.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2004 Greg Crosby