8/06/2004
 
Technically I’m still ill. When I say technically, I mean I’m still grouchy and have a bit of a temperature and - Oh God - the running of the nose with its running. And my throat is still kind of scratchy now that you ask. But after a few days you’re no longer allowed to take days off work or talk about it much. That’s the rule. So I’m only technically ill.

I’m gradually getting better each day and listening to Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 this morning, which featured an interview with a wheelchair bound, blind woman who teaches children to read Braille, raises money for charity and fights inequalities for people with disabilities, was a bit of a “it could be a lot worse, stop whining” wake up call.

But you’ll excuse me if I don’t behave all “civil” when someone - not a close friend, not even someone I particularly like, especially now - has the following conversation with me:

Them: Are you still sick?

Me: (Surrounded by a tower of scrunched tissues, eyes weeping and a vein the size of Michael Crichton’s word count visibly throbbing in my forehead, I give my best you are seriously not saying that to me right now look, difficult as it is what with the fact that my eyes are all puffy and raw and weeping and all).

Them: I never get sick. Never. My Grandfather lived until he was 90.

Good Gods above. May I lay awake tonight hearing the drum of helicopters that swoop down on your house to take you to a United Nations sanctioned Tact and Empathy Prison in Guantanamo Bay where you will spend 3 years learning the fine arts of not rubbing salt in wounds, not pointing out that zit on my nose and not saying the first thing that pops into your sack-covered head.

And let the day we get struck down by those dirty bombs that the newspapers keep scaring us with, be the day that I discover that all my colds and sniffles I’ve suffered (even though I exercise regularly, have never broken a bone, don’t have any fillings and eat garlic in portions that would make most people haemorrhage) has made me immune to the noxious clouds of viral chemicals and I will come to find you, wherever you are and I will smile and look at your bloated and infected body and say “Are you still sick?”

I am so not going to Heaven.
 

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