The Hobby

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.