Last week was just one of those weeks. Everything was moving along swimmingly, relatively smoothly. Monday happened, I wrote my column, put together some of the paper, took care of chores both at home and at work . . . and then I woke up on Tuesday morning.
I woke up bright and early Tuesday morning at about 2:45 with a runny nose that needed blowin’ out. Of course that meant getting my caboose out of bed, plodding to the bathroom, taking care of business, going back to bed with half a roll of toilet paper for nasal passage evacuations and adjusting pillows so I could sleep without anything running out of my nose, down my cheek onto said pillows. Done and done. No problemo.
Except — gosh darn it — there was a problem. I couldn’t really fall back to sleep. Mercifully, five o’clock soon rolled around and I could get up for the day, bathe, shave and head into the office by a few minutes after six — with a runny nose, watery eyes and — voila — with a nice, rumbling cough deep in my chest.
There were two things about the Monday-Tuesday transformation which I found interesting. 1. It sure didn’t take long to get sick; and more mysteriously 2. Where did I, and when did I get handkerchiefs?
Yup. It’s true, I have no recollection of purchasing or acquiring an entire box of clean, white linen hankies — yet there they were in the bedroom cupboard right behind my manly and masculine toiletries. An entire box of eight handkerchiefs, neatly and tightly rolled up. I deftly opened the box, pulled one hankie out, cut the tape with my handy-dandy Old Timer pocket knife, unrolled and stuck a hankie in my back pocket.
I did this without thinking. I put the hankie in my back pocket like a well practiced exercise. Muscle memory over mental function. Thing is, I have never done performed this task ever in my life. My grandpas did it. My dad did it. Old uncles did it. All those geezers had white hankies in their back pockets that they could whip out and sneeze into, or cough into or wipe and blow into.
When did I get old enough to employ white handkerchiefs? When did I get to old man status?
And, where did those smackin’ frackin’ hankies come from?
* * *
Don’s Growing Old Man Check List
1. Reading glasses: Check
2. Gray beard and hair: Check
3. Dry skin: Check
4. Khaki pants, white socks, slip on shoes: Check
5. White handkerchiefs: Check.
6. Can’t remember things (rats): Check.
7. Yells, ‘Get off my lawn you darned kids’: Pending.
* * *
After a few days, one of my fellow workers (a woman and a mom) heard me whining and the muffled coughs emanating out from my handkerchief.
“Do you have a cold or is that from sinuses,” she asked?
I thought a second and replied, “I don’t know — I have a runny nose. I’m sneezing and coughing. That’s what I know.”
She shook her head and walked away.
* * *
On the plus side, I did remember to each morning wipe down everything I touched with those Lysol Disinfecting Wipes — the lemony smelling ones that promise to kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria. So, my co-workers can thank me for not spreading too many germs around our work environment.
* * *
I also remembered to drink copious amounts of liquids to help the body filter out bad things and replenish whatever fluids lost during the whole runny nose thing.
And, I remembered to gargle with warm salt water before bedtime and after a couple of days it occurred to me to purchase a bottle of those Airborne tablets. I remembered from last year those things work great. And, they worked this year. Wait, that makes four things I remembered to do when sick. Maybe I’m not so old as to reach old man status. Maybe.
Curious, I just checked what’s in those Airborne things. According to the interwebs: (these) supplements provide immune support, delivering a blast of vitamin C 1000mg plus 13 other immune system supporting vitamins, minerals and herbs, including echinacea, ginger, and other herbal extracts from whole plant materials.
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