Date: 11 Jan 2001 Danoot wrote: > Back to being sick, it's like the hobby I can't stop. SCENE: A passel o' little kids gathered around an old man's feet. The old man is sitting in a rocking chair telling stories. OLD MAN: ...and then there was that touch of rabies I had back in '49. Wasn't so bad, really; I just went off my rocker a little. Started tryin' to bite everyone who came near me. A lot like being a vampire, actually. KID 1: You weren't a vampire, were you, grampa? OLD MAN: No, but I did have anemia. Had to drink the blood of chickens to supplement my own supply. Weren't no other treatment for it back then. (Most of the kids shudder.) OLD MAN: Some of my diseases weren't no fun at all, though. Back when I had typhoid, I was what the doctors called 'asymptomatic'. Means I had the disease, but it didn't show, didn't do nothin' to me. Passed it on to a couple dozen other people, but shoot, what's the point in being sick if you don't *feel* sick? KID 2: Bet you never had the bubonic plague, grampa! OLD MAN: Shoot, I had that one twice. First time was when I was a longshoreman back in '52. I'd lost all my pay in a game of dice, and I didn't have nothin' to eat, so I went out on the wharf to hunt up some rats to put in a stew. I reckon one o' them rats musta had fleas, or ticks, or wasps, or somethin'. I shoulda never gotten it a second time, cause I'd built up an immunity to it from havin' it once. But I was kinda weak from just gettin' over my Dutch elm disease, so I couldn't fight it off and got the plague again. KID 3: Wow, grampa, you've had all the coolest diseases! Joel T.