Nursery Rhymes

January 16, 2004

Earlier this week I was sick and staying home and someone called me to ask if I was "nursing a cold". Nursing a cold? Who ever came up with that expression? It sounds like I’m breast feeding it or something.Unfortunately I’d been taking heavy medications so to me my answer sounded like, "Skmelz? Nozh die ool proschaia twenty dollars." When I regained consciousness I realized that I probably told them that I was not only nursing the cold but I’d drawn a hot bath for it, fluffed its pillow, and changed its bedpan. So let me set the record straight. I was not nursing a cold. I was fighting a cold. Yeah. I was Spider-Man sending webs of cough syrup against the congestive supervillains. I was a train engineer boldly pushing forward to deliver a shipment of camphor chest rub to the whistle stops of my nasal passageways. I was a film critic delivering a review of herbal echinacea so blistering that cold was going direct to video. Yeah. I was a park ranger delivering Vitamin C tickets to that virus for snowmobiling through my sinus cavities. I was King Hrothgar sending a mighty chicken soup Beowulf to defeat the Grendel that had invaded my mucous membranes. I was a starfish who had pried open the mussel of that virus and injected the antihistamines of my stomach into it. Actually I was a pathetic geek with a fever of around 103 sweating it out under sixteen blankets, but at least I was enjoying it. Medical science may not have cured the common cold, but it’s certainly found ways to make it entertaining, which is the next best thing.

Next week: do you starve a fever, feed a cold, or take them both out back and beat them to death with a microphone stand?

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

Handy Cleaning Tips

Dirt: Layers of dirty film on windows and screens provide a helpful filter against harmful and aging rays from the sun. Call it an SPF factor of 15 and leave it alone.

Cobwebs: Cobwebs artfully draped over lampshades reduce the glare from the bulb, thereby creating a romantic atmosphere. If your husband points out that the light fixtures need dusting, simply look confused and exclaim "What? And spoil the mood?" (Or just throw glitter on them & call them holiday decorations)

Pet Hair: Explain the mound of pet hair brushed up against the doorways by claiming you are collecting it there to use for stuffing hand-sewn play animals for underprivileged children. (Also keeps out cold drafts in winter)

Guests: If unexpected company is coming, pile everything unsightly into one room and close the door. As you show your guests through your tidy home, rattle the door knob vigorously, fake a growl and say, "I’d love you to see our den, but Fluffy hates to be disturbed and the shots are SO expensive."

Dusting: If dusting is REALLY out of control, simply place a showy urn on the coffee table and insist that "This is where Grandma wanted us to scatter her ashes."

General Cleaning: Mix one-quarter cup pine-scented household cleaner with four cups of water in a spray bottle. Mist the air lightly. Leave dampened rags in conspicuous locations. Develop an exhausted look, throw yourself on the couch and sigh, "I clean and I clean and I still don’t get anywhere."

As a last resort, light the oven, throw a teaspoon of cinnamon in a pie pan, turn off oven and explain that you have been baking cookies for a bake sale for a favorite charity and haven’t had time to clean…Works every time.

Another favorite, I think from Erma Bombeck, always keep several get well cards on the mantle so if unexpected guests arrive, you can say you’ve been sick and unable to clean. You figure if you can live in it, they can surely stand it for a 30 minute visit!

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