Paging Dr. Mario with an electrolarynx

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I had to miss a couple of days of work this week because I’ve been sick since last Sunday morning. I suppose I deem this worth mentioning because I don’t get sick very often, and I certainly haven’t been this ill in a long time (maybe 15 years). Acute Bronchitis This fair-weather plague started out with a fever and has included all the trimmings: nasal congestion, sore throat, sinus pain, lung inflammation, coughing. It’s been just swell. I even lost my voice for a while and am still talking in a kind of hoarse, demonic tone.

I am most definitely down with the sickness. “Ooh-wah-ah-ah-ah!”

And on top of that, this week my car had to have its first major repair in six years. The clutch died on Wednesday night. It suddenly stopped allowing me to shift. So every time I needed to shift gears, I had to restart the car. At least I got about 120,000 miles out of the clutch. The funny thing is that the car battery ended up outliving the clutch. I haven’t changed the battery in six years. Anyway, I got my automobile back from the shop on Friday afternoon and now it shifts like butter! All for the low, low price of $760!

OK, back to the sickness: My family finally convinced me to go to the doctor today. I figured I just had a virus and that I would (eventually) be over it soon, but just in case I really did have something bacterial that antibiotics might be able to help, I went.

Dr. Mario on SNES After waiting almost two hours at the urgent care clinic, they finally called my name. And so the doctor, let’s call him Dr. Mario, checked me over in about three minutes and basically said the following (cue the Dr. Mario music):

“Well, what you’ve got is a viral respiratory infection and a bit of bronchitis. But your lungs sound fine and your oxygen levels are good. Since it’s viral and not bacterial, you pretty much have to wait for the virus to run its course. But let me write you up some prescriptions anyway. These won’t help fight the infection, but they will help make the symptoms more bearable. Here’s a prescription for some Vicodin and some nasal spray.”

It’s like he gave me Vicodin as an apology for having to sit in the waiting room for two hours watching Pokémon on television, surrounded by crying, coughing children and people with minor flesh wounds. I haven’t yet bothered to acquire either of these prescriptions from a pharmacy yet, as I know they won’t do me much good. But addictive painkillers like Vicodin are good to have around, just in case you need a little artificial euphoria, right?

Ned on South Park At least my family is now satisfied that I’m not suffering from some bacterial infection that’s going to migrate into my brain and kill me. I still sound pretty bad when I talk though, kind of like Vietnam veteran Ned Gerblansky on South Park, who speaks with an electrolarynx. It’s awesome. I’m just glad that I don’t have to start taking antibiotics and all should be better soon.

In other news, the memorial rocket containing the ashes of Star Trek actor James Doohan (AKA Montgomery “Scotty” Scott) has not yet been found. Doohan’s ashes (and those of 200 other people) were launched into space a couple of weeks ago, but the rocket ended up coming down in an inaccessible, mountainous region of New Mexico.

So all of those powdered people are stuck up on a mountain. Beam us down, Scotty?

In closing, I am suddenly, inappropriately reminded of the song “Fire Water Burn” by the Bloodhound Gang. You know: “C’mon powdered people / throw your hands in the air.” OK, yes, I know it’s actually “party people.” Here’s a YouTube video of that song, set to a number of objects expanding, burning, and exploding inside a microwave (including Peeps). Good times.

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