Well, it’s official - I got it. The disease. The plague. H1N1. In spite of six months of daily media warnings from CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and countless late night Public Service Announcements from Gary Busey (scary), it still got me. Regular exercise – check. Healthy eating – check. Lots of sleep – check. Resisting the impulse to buy a Brady Quinn jersey – check. Stopping at 8 pieces of bacon – check. But in the end it didn’t matter, as the Swine Flu – like the Grim Reaper - was coming after me, and there was nothing I could do but welcome him in, pull the shades, and prepare for five mind-numbing days of comatose staring at the white stucco ceiling in our second floor guest room and wondering how the painters managed to make every random pattern similar to the other random patterns, except for the little ones in the corners, which seem like they were pressed up against the crown molding because of space constraints, or maybe it was a Friday before a long weekend and they wanted to get out of Strongsville before the traffic, so they just kind of slathered on the paint and hoped nobody would notice, being as it was all white paint anyway, and the pattern was supposed to be random after all, wasn’t it?
If you’re reading this now, it means that you are lucid AND that you are currently in one of three categories: you’ve already HAD H1N1, you now HAVE it, or you’re GOING to have it. Therefore, in the interest of all parties involved (including rednecks), I’ve decided to save you the time and trouble of going to WebMD.com or to your local clinic, and have compiled the following Self Triage Questionnaire to help determine if you have in fact contracted this dreaded diabolical disease.
You Might Already Have H1N1 if…
You’re watching a World Series with the New York Yankees and “Don’t really care who wins.”
You can’t tell where your grey “Go Army” sweatshirt ends and your face begins.
Your name has been added to Rite-Aid’s “Customer Watch List” for excessive NyQuil purchases
You can’t follow the plot on Dora the Explorer
When you come to the door on Halloween, the kids ask, “So who are YOU supposed to be?
You’re now on a first name basis with the mailman
The Healthcare bill’s “Public Option” starts making sense
You can say exactly when the last leaf of fall fell
You actually considered calling your Mom for medicinal advice
You put on your Grease soundtrack just to hear Travolta sing, “I’ve got chills, they’re multiplyin’”…
You decide it’s easier to just wait an hour than to set your clocks back
For the first time, global warming becomes real and personal
You tell the “Trick or Treaters” you can’t decide
You suddenly realize that Apple Cider Vinegar is really just Vinegar, and the Apple and Cider are just marketing ploys
You log onto Google, but can’t remember how to spell H1N1
You discover that even the eyeballs in your eye sockets hurt
You start thinking, “You know, maybe Obama DID deserve the Nobel Peace Prize”
You’ve opened your mouth more times for a thermometer than for food
Friends stop emailing – just in case the virus can be transmitted electronically
You’re watching Fox News and decide that “Fair & Balanced” would make a great name for a law firm
At this point you’re wondering, “Why is this list so freakin’ LONG!?”
You’ve gone through more hot/cold flashes than Joan Rivers
You spend an entire day wondering if someone with an H1B visa contracted the H1N1 virus, would they then have an H2BN1 visa virus?
You find yourself craving Corn Dogs
Your kids now give you ‘air hugs’ to avoid contamination (even though it was those sneaky bastards that gave you the flu in the first place)
Your daily routine has become strikingly similar to your cats’
You have a recurring nightmare that your doorbell is ringing and a kid in an Obama mask it demanding another handout
Due to your significant investments, Purell has asked you to become a Board member
You realize, “Hey, Tom Brokaw isn’t on Nightly News”
Suddenly, voting Yes on Issue 5 sounds like a GOOD idea
The good news is - like earnings season, deer season, and the baseball season - even the flu season eventually comes to an end. Good luck surviving yours!
Douglas J. O’Bryon