The Plot Thickens! And Also, I May Still Be a <i>Little</i> High on DayQuil

Last night, Gallaudet---who lives in Iowa, which is a place I totally used to make fun of but can't possibly now because I rather like her (but seriously, come on, doesn't it just make a joke funnier if you can somehow work "Des Moines, Iowa" into it somewhere?)---left me this in my comment box:

Dear Holly's Employer,

I have diagnosed Holly over the Internet with several horrifying and contagious diseases, including Visceral Leischmaniasis, Henoch-Schonlein Purpera, and Von Willebrand's Disease. Her only hope is to stay home tomorrow and watch TLC ALL DAY LONG. If you do not cooperate with her plan of care, I cannot answer for the consequences. Please, help this young woman live to face a brighter day---or at least live until Monday so she can report on The Bachelor.

Yours Sincerely,
Nurse Practitioner Iowadrift

I had planned to print it out this morning and take it into work with me, you see, because I have been feeling entirely rotten for the last few days. And because Gallaudet is a nurse practitioner, I thought she could give me her professional opinion that my sore throat, swollen glands, hacking cough, achy body, tremendous nose-blowing, stiff neck, and bad temper were OBVIOUSLY signs of a) African Sleeping Sickness, b) SARS, c) Dhengue fever, or d) all of the above, plus maybe Sepsis. (Hell no, a cold? It's far more likely to be Von Willebrand's Disease, just like she says above. LISTEN TO HER, SHE WEARS SCRUBS.)

Unfortunately, though, I never got to use the note, because using it would have required ACTUALLY GETTING OUT OF BED to deliver it, and when I woke up this morning, getting out of bed was a feat as damn near impossible as allowing oneself to feel anything but revulsion for Tom Cruise. I felt like I'd been hit by a pick-up truck, which in South Carolina would actually be quite likely. Sore throat? Still there from yesterday, but someone had given it an extra going-over with the sandpaper from Sean's toolbox. Swollen glands? Oh no, these are just two golf balls I keep under my chin for emergencies. Stiff neck? What? Did you say something? I can't actually turn my head to look at you because of this stiff neck I've got. And by the way, did I get up and take a shower in my pajamas in the middle of the night, or have I just been feverishly sweating for the last few hours?

I don't think I've ever called in sick to my job before, in the 21 months that I've worked there. I've had two illness-related days off, but the first was because I'd had my wisdom teeth out that morning (and I went back to the office the very next day, thank you very much, on lots of drugs and with lots of ice cream) and the second was because I'd been in the ER the night before with some unidentified pain in my stomach that made me not only writhe around in agony but also MISS THE OSCARS. (And besides, that didn't even count, because my mother was in town and I'd arranged to take the day off anyway to show her around, but I must have killed someone's kitten in a previous life, because karma made me sick on my day off instead. And also, did I tell you, I MISSED THE OSCARS?) So when I called in this morning and rasped feverishly down the phone that I wasn't going to be able to make it, I did feel a little guilty.

Then I collapsed back into sleep again, waking only to hack up my insides periodically and cram my mouth with Ricola herbal throat drops. WHICH, BY THE WAY, ROCK.

But let me tell you something I've discovered: you'd better be ready to see A LOT of babies being born if you stay home sick, because that's all they seem to show on daytime TV. And also, answer me this: how is it that I've never watched Dr. Phil before? I'm going to have to get a small TV for my office when I go back next week, because this Dr. Phil is COMPELLING VIEWING, and then straight after him, it's Oprah! Oh yes, I do love a good talk show. Before I'd ever moved to the states, I used to soak up programs like Oprah and Ricki Lake and Montel Williams---which we occasionally got in England, and sometimes in Hong Kong---because I thought THAT WAS WHAT AMERICA WAS LIKE. I loved the bits where they showed footage of the insides of people's houses---even when the people whose houses they were showing were 13-year-old welfare mothers with a crack addiction and furniture from Wal-Mart---because I felt like I was getting a glimpse into the lives of Real Americans. And then I moved here and I realized that not EVERYONE in America owns a beige corduroy La-Z-Boy. Which is simultaneously both a relief and a crushing disappointment, I think.

So anyway, I'm feeling a little less awful now, although possibly in the throes of Theraflu withdrawal (is it just me or could that be made a lot better with a shot of vodka and a bag of pretzels?) and quite certainly in need of a few more hits of DayQuil. And now, Internet, I need your help. Please consider yourself the Nothing But Bonfires Advisory Board for a second, and imagine we're all sitting in pin-striped suits around a conference table. Someone has brought donuts, and they're the good kind.

Right! Do you remember how I told you that both my hammock and Sean's bicycle went missing last weekend? And I presumed we had a garden thief? Well, what I didn't tell you was that Naked Girl Magnet Greg was moving out last weekend too. And he wasn't exactly moving out under the best of circumstances---it seems holding raucous drug-fuelled parties several nights a week, trashing your apartment, and letting strange naked girls (and their small dogs) hang out in the hallways of an otherwise quiet house where people pay their rent on time and even hang wreaths on the front door is code for "please evict me." Yes, Greg got the boot. So last weekend two of his friends came over to help load his stuff into their pickup truck (quite possibly the one that ran me over last night. See? Told you! Two words: South Carolina!)

And guess what I've just found out? Thespian Libby saw them take Lovely Neighbor Stacy's copper fire pit from the back garden! Yes, she saw it! And she didn't run down and shout "stop right there, young men, and drop the fire pit!" because she'd just got out of the shower and, well, in her defense, this apartment building has seen too many nekkid women recently. But they definitely took it, she says. And it definitely belonged to Lovely Neighbor Stacy.

Which leads me to believe---and let me know if I'm being too presumptuous here, because just because Greg plays his music loud when I'm trying to sleep does not mean he is a garden thief---that my hammock and Sean's bike may have gone the way of the copper fire pit. I said MAYBE! I obviously have no proof. The only proof we have is in the copper fire pit, which Thespian Libby swears she saw being carried away by Greg's friends. But still!

So, Advisory Board, what should we do? We don't have Greg's new address, but we DO know where he works. Should we march in there, arms linked, call ourselves the Garden Alliance, and threaten to kick his ass? Should we call his place of employment, see if they'll give us his new address, and show up there with a megaphone and read off a list of STDs we'll pretend he has until he appears and relinquishes the fire pit/hammock/bike? Should we open the Playboy that's still sitting on the mail table downstairs, write "give us back our stuff!" on every boob we come across, and then fold the pages into paper airplanes and sail them across the bar at him so they hit him square in the nose when he's trying to whip up a Flirtini for the blonde he's hoping to impress? Should we get that nice free policeman back and send him down to the bar to scare Greg a bit? Or would he come back and kill our cats in revenge? What should we do?

The future of our garden is in your hands, Internet. Please advise. If we are successful, you will totally be invited to all our parties this summer, wherein you'll be able to lie in the hammock and cook things on the copper fire pit. I will even make you a special drink called a Theraflu Vodka Martini. Which, come to think of it, is exactly what I'm going to do now. Though maybe without the vodka. Or, you know, it's Friday night, so maybe not.

Jan 21, 2006

Holy crap! This has to be one of your funniest posts ever. I laughed so fucking hard, milk came out my nose...and I haven't had any milk in three years!

Hope you're feeling better.

Jan 21, 2006

While I harbor nothing but the deepest admiration for your Dayquil-fueled fantasies of bringing ruin and destruction upon Greg, I have to admit that as your elder (SHUT UP; I AM your elder and I'm a bit sensitive about it you know) I would probably just tell Thespian Libby to call the police and add this observation to the police report. Chances are that they will go pay him a visit.

Here's to feeling better soon. The weekend is no time to be sick.

Jan 21, 2006

My suggestion is to have Sean dress up as a cop and go and scare him because A. Greg is probably too out of it to know that Sean isn't a cop (he isn't is he?), and B. It would probably just be funny to see Sean dressed up as a cop... and then you can post the pictures on the internet for our enjoyment as well. :)

mom on a wire
Jan 21, 2006

No advice on the garden thief, but I do agree that Ricola cough drops rock. They taste like candy canes.

Jan 21, 2006

While Mir's idea does make the most sense, I really like Lissa's idea best. If I think of anything better, I'll let you know.

Also, virtual reality donuts suck. If you get someone to deliver some real crispy creams to my door, I am SURE I could come up with a fool-proof plan.

Jan 21, 2006

i am pro police intervention too, but i am old and Canadian and thats what we do.

on another note: i am so glad i found you. i'm smitten. your candy was mailed today, it will probably take 3 weeks. i am not kidding.


Jan 21, 2006

I like the Playboy plan best. Bound to catch his attention and also runs less risk of cat-killing retribution.

By the way, I LOVE Dr Phil. One of the hardest things about leaving Canada was leaving the Oprah followed by Dr Phil fest. (Ok leaving friends was way harder and I have to say that as most of them read your site.)

A friend of mine who lives in the states just got 40 hours of Oprah on DVD for her birthday....FORTY for next time you are in bed sick, you could send Sean out for that...and a small sack of Ricola obviously....

Hope you feel better soon!

Jan 21, 2006

Never joke about being hit by a pick up truck in South Carolina! BECAUSE WE WERE!! Oh, an event that still haunts my memories.

Seriously, where has the "Law and Order" in you gone?? Did you sneeze it out? Go to Greg's bar, make friendly conversation, and drop in the conversation, 'So where are you living now?' Then sneak around his house. Had these stolen items been inner-house items, this would be a harder feat, but they'll be in the garden, won't they?

Jan 21, 2006

I would just like to add that Susie is a genius!

Jan 21, 2006

Dang it, Susie, get a blog already! That is a wonderful plan and it would work.

I am sick as well. I made it to work for a whole hour. I am of hearty pioneer stock, apparently. I am also thinking that I read a comment about someone's bike that was stolen that doesn't work but now I don't remember and scrolling back up the page is too much work.

I could so go for a Theraflu Vodka Martini right now.

Jan 21, 2006

I think we have the same illness today! UGH! I had to take my 83 year old dad to the hospital with congestive heart failure....meanwhile I am coughing and generally hoping they will give me a bed next to him!

Hope you are feeling better....Theraflu sounds fantastic.

As to the Greg factor, I too think Susie is a genius. Go to the bar and find out where he works casually, then go over there and nose around. If that doesn't work, have TL call the free policeman back and add what she saw to the report.
Thanks for making me laugh on a very bad day.

Jan 21, 2006

Thieves are very seldom caught. Instant Karma will, however, kick his ass from here to eternity. And here and now, I place a hoodoo upon him for being generally an asshole. God will piss down his back. He will develop severe intestinal gas during sexual encounters. His shit will come to life and kiss him. His tires will be flat, his dick will be soft, his wallet will be empty, and his team will lose. His dog will run away. SO SAYETH ME.

Oh, and by the way: I'm sorry you're sick. Theraflu is for fairies. I'm a Robitussin girl, through and through. That shit has magical powers. Either way, when you're really sick there is nothing for it but to crawl into bed, get as loaded on SOMETHING as you can possibly manage, and pass out until it's over. Feel better.

Jan 21, 2006

Anyone who is as sick as you sound but can still write a hilariously long post like this has earned my admiration forever. I like Susie's idea, although posting photos of Sean dressed as a cop would be fine, too.

Jan 21, 2006

I'm torn between the police and Susie's idea. They are both good, although going to the police could ensure that you do get all your stuff back and you don't get in trouble. Then you can run over Greg with a pick up truck, which you'd probably have to borrow but would have no trouble with that, I'm sure.

Also, someone please tell Nancy that the donuts to which she refers are spelled Krispy Kreme, with a "K"! I know she lives in the midwest and all but she should know these things! Or is it just a southern thing? Those are some good donuts though, especially when they are hot and fresh. You know they flash the "Hot Now" sign in the window when they've just come out of whatever apparatus they make those in? Yeah, it's in bright red lights.

Thespian Libby
Jan 21, 2006

I love Susie's idea; the only problem is NGMG KNOWS that Holly, Sean and I are the ones who have kicked his door, pounded relentlessly on his ceiling (or our floor...), called the police, etc. He's hardly likely to engage in polite chitchat with us. On the other hand, Lovely Neighbor Stacy could possibly pull this off. However, she's so totally pissed at him that I doubt she could pull off the "neighborly interest" attitude. We could offer to pay for her refreshments as an incentive I suppose.... Mir's suggestion really is the most reasonable. I really despise "reasonable", but I suppose I'll do it this once.

Jan 21, 2006

- BUCKLEY'S! Take Buckley's! And make sure someone you love is in the room when you do: they get to laugh and you get better. It's good medicine all around.

- Dr. Phil: he's on before AND after Oprah up in these here parts. Apparently we just can't get enough of that Texas drawl.

- I think we can all agree that everyone in the MID-WEST owns a La-z-boy of some description.

And as for Greg: I'm so totally with Gretchen. I think it's safe to assume that the bike will fall apart the minute he swings his leg over the seat, that the hammock will unravel and that the Copper Fire Pit (really, the biggest loss as far as I'm concerned - no offense) will explode in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... NOW.

And that settles that.

Now where are my dough nuts?

Jan 21, 2006

You know, as soon as I saw your eVite, I said, "Why is Holly having an oyster roast? Holly HATES oysters!" And then snorted as soon as I opened it.

Charlotte is tiresome. I painted the trim and wainscoting in a baby's room for six solid hours and have a neck ache. And the aforementioned baby cries whenever I put her down, so her parents have been passing her to me all evening. I'll take a vodka theraflutini right about now. Sigh...the travails of a godmother.

I'm sorry you feel so rotten. I take back all of the snarky messages I sent to you on Friday for being such a tacky unresponsive whore.

Jan 22, 2006

Okay, I was already nearly ill from laughing. And then I opened comments, and there was MD, with ancient milk coming out his nose. And then I laughed again. And then there was a pitbull at the door.

What a night.

Holly, you're amazing. Get well -- but only if you can write stuff like this without the pharma-inspiration;).

Jan 22, 2006

Hey, pass the DayQuil, will ya? I want to catch a buzz, too.

Jan 22, 2006

so what did you do?

Jan 23, 2006

Definitely with the megaphone and the STDs.

Jan 23, 2006

Fill every single magazine subscription card you can find with Greg's name and the address of the bar he works at. Then go on the internet and fill out as much junk to be delivered. That's a start. Then call the police.

Jan 23, 2006

LOS ANGELES - Oscar and the Olympics were headed for a scheduling clash, and Oscar blinked first.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Thursday said the 2006 edition of Hollywood’s highest honors would be moved back by one week to Sunday, March 5, to avoid a conflict with the 2006 Winter Olympics.

With that date, the 78th annual Academy Awards will now fall one week later in the calendar than the Oscar telecasts for 2004 and 2005.

So - like - how did you MISS THE OSCARS? It's only January!

- M

Jan 24, 2006

As a former Mid-Westerner I was ready to be all offended by that "everybody in the mid-west owns a La-Z-Boy" comment until I remembered that my parents sure do have one. And all of my friends' parents as near as I can remember. And probably all of my now married-with-kids high school and college friends. And I am reminded why I fled the region.

Apr 22, 2006

The big question is . . . is a Theratini hot or cold???