We got the stomach bug. The one that's making half of America vomit. In a house with seven people, it takes several days for even a 24-hour illness to make its rounds through the whole family. Unfortunately this time it reared its head the week of Christmas. We had to bow out of parties on both sides of the family, and while it was disappointing, it actually helped remind us of some of the many things for which we are grateful. Like triple ply garbage bags. And Gatorade. And clean bedsheets.
And it inspired me to pen this dilettantish pastiche of the world's most famous Christmas poem. I think I may need to lay off the egg nog.
The Virus Before Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas, and finally somehow
Not a creature was barfing, at least not for now;
The laundry was running, checked the labels for care,
In hopes that the stains would no longer be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
With trashcans strategically placed near their heads;
And mamma in her sweats, and I in my shirt,
Tried to settle down while remaining alert,
When somewhere upstairs there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the bedroom at once I took flight,
Tore open the door and turned on the light.
The lamp was blinding, but my eyes did adjust
as I scanned the room to see who had fussed,
When what did my listening ears clearly hear,
But a cough, not a retch, I had nothing to fear,
Flipped the light off and crept out the room just as quick,
Thankful at the moment that no one was sick.
Had this bug run it’s course or would I catch the same,
I surveyed my drug cache and checked them off by name:
“I’ve got DayQuil! and, NyQuil! some Advil and Vicks!
Zicam! Sudafed! Theraflu and Mucinex!
No matter the symptoms to which I befall
I’ve got big pharm to cover them all!"
So back to the TV, in a matter of clicks,
in search of a marathon to stream on Netflix;
I’ve got wrapping to finish, no time for the flu
With a floor full of toys, clothes and books too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard from my throat
The rasping and scratching of a slightly off note.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
I felt a bit dizzy, my head started to pound.
On came an aching, from my head to my feet,
The signs I’d received my own viral treat;
A bundle of nerves were pinched in my back,
And I looked uneasy, I was all out of whack.
My eyes—how they watered! my tonsils, not funny!
My cheeks were all rosy, my nose it was runny!
The back of my neck began to act twitchy,
And the stubble of my beard was feeling all itchy;
On came the shivers, I chattered my teeth,
Sinus pressure, it encircled my head like a wreath;
My stomach was crampy, I started to bellow
I knew that tomorrow I’d be living off jello.
I was chubby and plump, a right sickly old elf,
And I cried when I realized what I’d done to myself;
A blink of my eyes and a touch of my forehead
Soon gave me to know I should be off to bed;
I spoke not a word, but trudged straight upstairs,
Grabbed a few tissues; and mumbled some swears,
And laying in bed with a stopped up nose,
Feeling all clammy, my temperature rose;
Then I sprang to my feet, ran right to the can,
Away the chunks flew, I spewed like a man.
But I managed to whisper, in the midst of my plight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”