"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Thursday, October 11, 2007


We have the flu. I don't know if this particular strain has an official name, but if it does, it must be something like "Martian Death Flu". You may have had it yourself. The main symptom is that you wish you had another setting on your electric blanket, up past "HIGH", that said "ELECTROCUTION". Another symptom is that you cease brushing your teeth, because (a) your teeth hurt, and (b) you lack the strength. Midway through the brushing process, you'd have to lie down in front of the sink to rest for a couple of hours, and rivulets of toothpaste foam would dribble sideways out of your mouth, eventually hardening into crusty little toothpaste stalagmites that would bond your head permanently to the bathroom floor, which is how the police would find you.
You know the kind of flu I'm talking about.
-- Dave Barry, "Molecular Homicide"
It's going around. That first early-October bout of flu, which hits before the shot can take hold, if not before the shot has even been administered. And this year, it's a bad one. TBL knows. TBL has got it. TBL would very much like to curl up and die, but having taken Tuesday off work to nip this thing in the bud (and that worked ever so well...) she must stagger onward until the weekend.

If you've got/had it, you already know that this is a keep-you-up-all-night flu. If you haven't had it yet, be warned. Of course, when battling the Martian Death Flu, sleep is your best weapon. And because TBL cares about you, dear readers, she is going to share with you her secret homemade sleepin' potions, which she has found to be nearly as effective as codeine without the need for any pesky prescriptions, and also tastier than over-the-counter medicines.

(do not, TBL repeats, do not mix these with anything you're not supposed to take with alcohol)

Get into your pyjamas first. You are ill and exhausted, and therefore will not be awake long enough after you take these to change clothes.

O'Nyquil (hot)

In a standard sized coffee mug, put 2-3 tablespoons honey (more if your throat is sore and/or you have a sweet tooth), a smidgen of cardamom, a generous squirt of lemon juice (optional), and a dash of cinnamon. Or, have a cinnamon stick on hand to stir the final product with.

Fill 3/4 full with boiling water, stir until honey is dissolved. Add one jigger (1.5 oz) Irish whiskey (Scotch fans could use that, TBL supposes. That would be MacNyquil.). Stir again. Drink while hot. Collapse into bed.

Drowsy Monk (cold)

Add 2 oz Benedictine to 6 oz orange juice. Stir. Ignore funny color. Drink. Sleep.

It should go without saying that you need to stay well-hydrated whilst ill, and more so if using alcohol to induce sleep! TBL does not recommend any alcohol consumption whilst sick if you can sleep without it, but if you can't it's definitely the lesser of two evils.

2 rejoinders:

Anonymous sounded off...

Poor TBL

Mad Irish sounded off...

O'Nyquil!! Everybody in the office is still wondering what the hell is so damn funny! You almost made coffee come squirting out my ears! O'Nyquil!