Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Cough in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Nose

I haven't blogged for awhile because of my Aunt Millennia catching a cold. One afternoon she took off her glasses to rest her eyes, and when my friend Claude Hinkey brought his baby brother Otto over for a visit, Aunt Millennia mistook him for the cat and tried to tickle his whiskers. Otto sneezed right in her face, and she caught the cold he'd brought home from daycare as a special treat for his parents.

It was a tragedy because Aunt Millennia couldn't sing for a whole week. (Well, a tragedy for her, not so much for anyone within range of her voice.) In any event, her high C became low C. When she sang out Hellooo! to the mailman, he mistook her voice for Mrs. Boomwaddle's postman-eating German Shepherd and jumped a 6-foot cyclone fence to get away from her. People have often reacted like that to her singing, but never the postman. She was bereft.

So I set right to work inventing the Cough-o-Fred, my new cold prevention system. The biggest difficulty I faced was catching a few of Otto's germs in a cup so I'd have something to work with. The child was totally uncooperative. He socked me in the eye with the cup, drooled on my new wristwatch, socked me in the eye again with a rubber moose, and dug his pointy little nails into my neck. (I considered for a moment inventing a nail-restraining baby glove, but then I figured he'd probably sock me in the eye with it.) Finally I recruited my mom to sing him a lullaby, figuring while he was sleeping I could get a nice cupful of germs. But instead of falling asleep when she sang, he laughed. 

I did catch some of the germs, however. My nose started to itch that very afternoon, and then my throat, and then my ears. I was home from school for five days and missed Ms. Snafu-Fuba's lesson on knitting flagpole covers, which Claude Hinkey said he really liked, especially the part where she knitted her jacket sleeve to the flagpole and the janitor had to cut her loose.

Claude Hinkey never caught the cold. My parents did, though, and my father was really annoyed because he had to miss the Biff-Bop Bowling League championship, where he distinguished himself last year by sliding down the alley and scoring a strike with his left ear. Maybe when my fever goes down, I'll examine Claude and try to figure out what made him immune.

Or maybe not. He said I'd have to catch him first.