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in which we are punked by Halloween

November 5, 2009

So here’s what happened.

I had every intention of escorting the kids to their annual candy foraging expedition dressed as a Parent Vampire- you know, that half-arsed effort of a costume wherein you’re in regular clothes (usually whatever you wore to work that day) but with a vampire cape and plastic fangs on- when BAM! the meek little cold the kids caught at school the week before exploded into a monstrous flu that had the entire household bedridden overnight.

This flu was exactly like every gooey, movie creature from another planet: gross, innocuous at first, possessed of incredible growth spurt powers, and hell-bent on decimating everything in its path… usually in some forlorn town in Middle America.

Means by which it reduced us all to sobbing children / The symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Phlegmy cough
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle pains (I didn’t even think I had muscles)
  • Headaches similar in sensation to a cacophony of giant hands thumping on giant tom-toms inside your head
  • Fever fluctuating between low and high-grade seemingly on the basis of yard leaf swirling patterns
  • Inability to enjoy even the tiniest morsel of hard-earned Halloween candy
  • Sudden hankering to stay perfectly still on your bed while buried under all the blankets you own
  • Loss of will to live

To top it all off, Nana and Papa were out of town, and none of us had the wherewithal to drive to the hospital. The most we could muster was a dazed consultation with the local pharmacist who suggested an over-the-counter cough/cold/fever concoction.

And then, one by one, we started getting better beginning with the first to get sick- David. No need to send the carriage for Sherlock to find the culprit on this one; we know which child isn’t too diligent with the hand-washing.

What a waste of time away from work! An entire week gone forever, with nothing to show for it but empty boxes of Kleenex, and a house that now has to be thoroughly disinfected.

Since it was practically impossible to read while a prisoner of this flu, we watched gobs of movies based on books:

  • The Old Man and the Sea (1958 John Sturges adaptation of Ernest Hemingway novel)
  • Hamlet (1948 Sir Laurence Olivier adaptation of William Shakespeare play)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1951 Elia Kazan adaptation of Tennessee Williams play)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962 Robert Mulligan adaptation of Harper Lee novel)
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966 Mike Nichols adaptation of Edward Albee play)
  • Gone with the Wind (1939 Victor Fleming adaptation of Margaret Mitchell novel)
  • Wuthering Heights (2009 BBC/ITV adaptation of Emily Bronte novel) (Best.Version.Ever)

Yes, dear readers, we were sick for a very long time as I didn’t even include the movies we slept through.

In the haze of it all, I managed to come upon a brilliant writing idea/career move:  I could write books based on movies! No one’s done it before, and the material’s all there for the taking.

*sways a little* Delirious? I think not.

On second thought, I probably shouldn’t tempt fate by stringing sentences together so soon after my recovery. The tom-toms are still faintly pounding in the background.


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