Tuesday, February 5, 42 A.B.

Subletting My Head

Have you heard the news??  I seem to have a new tenant in my head!  And not just any new tenant but the famous Mr. Cold Virus himself!  Seems even as I was waiting in vain for Mr. Groundhog to show up Sunday (and growing more despondent by the minute), Mr. C.V. was moving into my warm, wet airways without me even knowing it until his millions of children had run up and down my throat enough to leave it ragged and red.

I feel so honored!

A quick check of my records reveals that it's been almost 20 months since Mr. C.V. last visited me.  It seems much longer.  Although my log clearly states that he was a resident of my nose as of June 10, 2000, I don't have any clear memory of him from then.  Had I known it was going to be so long before he returned, I would have paid more attention!  As it is, well... I'm just glad he found his way back to me.  I was beginning to wonder if I'd said or done something to permanently drive him away!

It's odd, now that I think about it....  My wife has had enjoyed numerous visits from him these last 20 months - and yet he never bothered to even wave my way.  Odd, too, how she always protested these visits to me and allegedly did everything she could to get Mr. C.V. to leave as soon as possible - yet he always seemed to linger and then come back as soon as he could.  Hmmmm...

Tonight she came home with a variety of chemical eviction notices for me to pass along to him.  Syrups... lozenges... pills....  Is it possible that she's jealous?  Could it be that she wants him all to herself??

If that's her game, she's doomed to be sorely disappointed.  I steadfastly refuse to share him with her, let alone give him over to her entirely.  She already enjoys monthly visits from a certain Monsieur Cramps - a fellow big with all the ladies but who has never ONCE deigned to visit ME.  Well, if she thinks she has a monopoly on visitors to our bodies, we're just going to have to have a little talk!

Right now, however, I'm too happy to consider such unpleasant eventualities any further.  I mean, Mr. C.V. is in MY head RIGHT NOW!  Why, if I wasn't afraid of disturbing him, I'd let out a few loud squeals of delight!!!  As it is, a heart-felt little "Ooo!" will have to suffice.

I don't know why he's able to make me feel like an infatuated schoolgirl, but he is.  Maybe it's the fact that he chose ME out of all the people on earth to infect.  Maybe it's because he tickles the back of my upper palate in a way no mere person has ever come close to without making me want to throw up.  Maybe I'm just ga-ga over his being an actual virus - one of those amazing entities I read so much about in the newspaper and the history books.  All I know for sure is that, when he's in me, my membranes swell, strange fluids run, and I feel all feverish and light-headed.  Many marriages have thrived on less!    

Seriously, though, I think a lot of it has to do with my feeling that my head is being put to good use whenever he and his family are inside it.  There's obviously room for the lot of 'em - and that makes me wonder what the point is of having all that space up there just sitting empty whenever they're not around.  When I'm not infected, I feel... I feel like a 120-bedroom mansion with but a single resident who spends his days wandering aimlessly around inside, knocking over memories, dirtying up my moods, and smudging all the windows to the outside world.  How sweet to know that my head is still able to serve as a virus sanctuary despite all the abuse it's taken from that doddering old fool!

Of course there are certain side benefits, too.  People expect me to sound strange when I have a cold, which greatly cuts down on the time I have to spend explaining my every odd gasp, snort, comment, and chortle.  People also tend to keep their babies away from me, greatly reducing the chances of my tripping over their slow-moving bundles of joy.

Perhaps best of all is the way Mr. C.V. tends to cause me to mishear things when he's nestled in my ears.  In my experience, few things are as tedious as hearing exactly what another person is saying.  Yet last night, flipping around, I came across "Ally McBeal" just as the girl playing Ally's daughter seemed to say something that I'm still smiling about.  I have no idea what the script might have called for her to say, but to my virus-clogged ears it sounded exactly like "step-friend."  Now, I have no idea what a step-friend might be, but I've had several hours of fun speculating.

What do you think?  Is a step-friend

A) A friend of your parent's new spouse?
B) A friend of a friend?
C) A half-friend?
D) A friend you met while enrolled in some 12-step program?
E) An acquaintance you enjoy running up and down stairs with?

Whatever the definition may or may not be, I intend to liberally sprinkle "step-friend" in my conversation the next few days and see if anyone responds in an interesting way.  I've already had this exchange:

"Hello, Mr. Birtcher, I'm calling from AT&T.  How are you this evening?"
"Much better since I started waxing my step-friend."

See how much fun colds can be!

I think I'm gonna go roll around outside in hopes of getting Mr. Pneumonia to add his magic to the party.  After all, the evening's still young - and I have SO much excess lung capacity going to waste.

Wish me luck!  :-)

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(©Now by DJ Birtcher after retrieving it from beneath
a mound of colorful tissues worthy of a sick Picasso)

Hey, Baby, if I said you had a cute nose, would you hold it against me?

Mr. Cold Virus

(NOTE:  The above photo was scanned off the driver's license I found in his wallet while he was napping this afternoon in my guest sinus cavity.  Believe it or not, he actually looks MUCH cuter in person!!!!)