Down for the count

December 9, 2016 § 8 Comments

I got my first Christmas present ever from my grandson; he gave it to everyone else in the family, too. Fever. Puking. Intestine patty melt.

Yes, cyclists get sick, too.

I get a little sniffle a couple of times each year. Then, once every few years I get laid out. Stretched out flat on my back. Sweats, the whole nine yards. Fortunately, either because I have a good immune system from sleeping with the dog all those childhood years and scratching the same fleas he did, I get over this stuff pretty quickly. It’s 30 hours later and I’m 90% recovered, which means I’m more than well enough to consider doing tomorrow’s Donut Ride and racing on Sunday.

“Consider,” I said.

Here are some things that will help you get well quicker when you next get struck by Baby Plague. Baby Plague, by the way, is stronger than usual plagues because in order for it to get the baby sick it has to be extra fucking virulent, especially if baby is breast fed and has the immune defenses of a Death Star. In other words, if it gets through baby’s network, it’s going to churn through your doddering old grampy defenses like a Russian hacking virus on November 8. Baby will be fine in six hours. You’ll be recovering for the rest of the month.


  1. Have a good son-in-law. Ours came over and cooked dinner and made sure we had everything we needed. “Everything” meant vegetable soup with a little beef in it.
  2. Have a good son. Ours, who had just gotten back from college, ran to the store, gave Mom neck and back rubs to alleviate the pain, did laundry, and etcetera.
  3. Don’t eat chocolate. I ate some, thinking it would be an end run around my unruly intestines, but when it came back up it looked and felt like I was barfing, uh, you can figure this out. And it is not a good feeling to look at big chunks of bitter black stuff coming out of your mouth.
  4. Give up. No one wants to be a quitter, but to survive Baby Plague you have to give up. Cancel your meetings, forget answering emails, just give the fuck up. Because you’re not going to impress anyone in that meeting anyway, with your green face and smelling of choco-puke.
  5. Pick up the baby. If the baby who has given you Baby Plague happens to be underfoot the one time you stagger into the kitchen, pick him up. He won’t get sick and he’ll be reassured. Baby knows there’s something wrong when Happy Gramps can’t do anything but stumble and say, “Fuck, fuck, fuck.”
  6. Count on your friends. They will show up unannounced, knock on your door, and leave you food. They really will.


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