16 February 2006

I am ill.

I have brought home a doctor’s note and a very expensive and almost medieval prescription to prove it. It involves large pills, unguents, salves and plasters, some needles and, I think, leeches for maximum pity points.

“People have been known to die from pneumonia you know” I mention casually in passing and not more than a few dozen times.

For once, my native indolence is encouraged and the menagerie/offspring have been sternly admonished by the only one that they listen to (not me) to refrain from the usual ballistic Greco-Roman wrestling greeting and to keep the inter-sibling mayhem to a muted level such that the noise damage is restricted to a five mile radius.

Life is good.

I shiver on the couch and the fire is turned on. Feed a fever, isn’t it? I am brought a large bloody steak, with mushrooms, mashed potatoes and gravy (nothing green and healthy; I must keep my strength up).

I mention that a cup of tea would help loosen the phlegm and am immediately brought a steaming pot, steeping nicely under a stocking cap.

(The cozy, no doubt, is fulfilling a vastly more important role as Skeletor’s fortress. Skeletor's igloo fortress. Skeletor’s red igloo fortress with shocking green and yellow flowers; emblazoned with the words “Greetings from Bognor-Regis 1972!” That, or it’s being used as a bed for a skunk/rabid/poisonous creature that the kids are nursing back to health from a state of advanced decomposition. I’d go get it, but sometimes it’s simply better to buy a new one.)

My aching feet are rubbed and my brow is cooled with a damp wash cloth. Apparently, nothing is too much effort to nurse the stricken patriarch back to health.

“I have read a paper in the most recent Lancet,” I wheeze in laboured Cheyne-Stokes breaths, “that artificial respiration performed on an alternative and somewhat lower mucous membrane, can force the fluids out of the lungs and save the patient’s life…”

I look at her entreatingly, with the biggest, pathetic, puppy eyes I can muster.

She smiles sweetly and pats my bald pate. “Don't worry, Honey.” She says soothingly, “I’ll go borrow the Kauffman’s backhoe and dig you a really nice grave under the apple tree!”

And that's the way I likes it.