Having grown up on the road – and borne the abuse a last name that is an absolute Scrabble goldmine can garner – I am keenly aware of the modus operandi of the bully.
And of the unhinged.
You may have been witness recently – here and perhaps on your own blog – to the miscreant who believes that his anonymity has imbued him with power.
I’ve come to know, in, oh, these 29 years on Earth, that the half-lidded look of dismissal, coupled with the curled upper lip of disdain, goes a long way toward letting someone know that you’re sick and tired of their foolishness and that they should, if you’ll pardon the expression, beat it.
It is when they can’t see that look, however, when there are no immediate consequences to behaving badly, when that person is free to disgorge conspiracy theories that include the random and haphazard use of capital letters, at liberty to hurl obscenities at people they can’t see, that my usual methods for dealing with boors falls apart.
How will you know how sick of you I am if you can’t see my face?
And how will I miss you if you won’t go away?
This is the last time I will speak on this subject, as I tire of things easily, but the ability to comment anonymously on my blog has been removed. I encourage those without a gmail account to get one, if only for the purpose of commenting on blogspot blogs.
That said – and contrary to appearances – this post is not about the irrational among us.
It’s about Mary’s recipe to eradicate the cold that I have coming on.
She’s called me, early-morning like, as she is wont to do.
“Good morning, Acme World O’ Widgets.”
“Is that what you’re calling it now?”
“I knew it was you!”
“Heeeey,” she suspicions, eyes audibly narrowing, “why do you sound like that?”
“Like what? Like a toad with a hangover?”
“Nice,” she chortles, “and yes.”
“I think I’m getting a cold.”
You can hear Mary rubbing her little hands together. “OK. Here’s what you do –“
“Man,” I whine, “I am full-grown. I raised a child and –“
“Shhh,” she soothes. “Let me do my work.”
We laugh. Mary is a bit of a caregiver.
I give in. She’s the biker mother I never had. “All right, weirdo. Go.”
“OK. After work, you go get some cranberry juice and some Nyquil. You drink the juice, then you drink at least two doses of the Nyquil – are you writing this down?”
“Overdose on Nyquil. Contact local rehab center. Check.“
“Shhh,” she says, laughing. “You’re ill and don’t know what you’re saying.”
“Go on,” I say.
“You take a hot bath, wrap up in a big blanket, and turn on something truly stupid on TV. Might I recommend something in the prime time line-up?”
“Gotcha,” I say, pretending to take notes. “Hot bath, blanket, stupid.”
“You wait until your eyelids get really heavy or until they cross. Or both. I’ll leave that up to you.”
“Sure,” I say, smiling. “Everyone heals differently.”
“Shhh,” she says. “Don’t fight me. You’re feverish.”
“I’m not fever—“
“ONCE YOUR EYES CROSS PROPERLY,” she interrupts, “you go to bed, you pile the blankets up, and you stay there.”
“That’s quite the treatment plan,” I say.
“Hey,” she says, “I fuss because I care.”
9 hours ago