As part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday, my goal here will be to not share too much information and that’s going to be a good thing.
According to the dictionary folks, “worst” is the superlative of “bad” – yeah, I get that. Worst might be badder than bad, but there are things that are worse than worst. Contrary to the definition below, worst is not the most unpleasant thing that can happen.
I spent this past week in Washington, DC. I was there on business, and the business all went well. Unfortunately, I was sick. Being sick is the worst. Being sick while traveling is worse than the worst. It has to be worser because worst isn’t bad enough. I hate being sick, but usually when I’m sick, the people, animals and things in my life come to the rescue.
I am fortunate to work for an employer who offers sick time. That means I get paid as if I was at work, even though I am home sick. I mention that because a lot of people do not enjoy that benefit and I think that’s sad. I don’t think anyone should have to go to work when they’re sick, and if I hadn’t always thought that, I would after this past week.
I did have to go to work while sick. Granted, some of you might not consider sitting on my butt in a meeting to be much in the way of work, but meeting-working-lunch-reception-dinner running from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm – yeah, that’s work. When you feel as if you are going to throw-up at any minute, it’s scary work. I was scoping out the bathroom locations like the men on those “gotta go, gotta go” commercials.
The scariest location was the home of Monday night’s dinner. We were in a private room in a popular restaurant. A restaurant with unisex bathrooms. Unisex bathrooms are a dumb idea. Have a couple nice cozy rooms for the women, but men can be much more productive in a mass-production setting. Unisex means, men suffer in the line with the women. Maybe a woman designed that as payback. I needed to be in a place where there would not be a line between me and a receptacle. After one bite of lettuce, I realized that I had to leave dinner for the relative comfort of my hotel room.
Relative comfort indeed.
Hotel rooms are comfortable, but – not – when – you – are –sick.
None of the things you need are there. Where’s my can of Adirondack Ginger Ale? Where’s my heavy ceramic tea mug. Where are my wife and my dog? Where – is – my – bed? Clothes? I don’t have enough clothes to be sweating stuff up at a fever pitch (pun intended). I have precisely one shirt for each day. I have to wear that thing from breakfast through dinner. I have one pair of jammies, and yes, I revert to jammies when I am sick. I can get these laundered, but yikes, that’s expensive.
My colleagues were concerned and very understanding. Still, I had made a commitment to be in these meetings and they weren’t going to be postponed. My company had paid a lot to send me to DC and I don’t think they wanted me to camp out in a hotel room, even a Courtyard. Alka-Seltzer Cold medicine and ginger ale would have to carry me through. Luckily, I discovered Adirondack Seltzer in the cooler at the meeting. That brought me a little closer to home.
If you haven’t guessed, I am not a happy camper when sick. I’m not a good patient. I want to take a pill and be cured instantly and during that instant, I want to be pampered, hugged and I want someone standing near me saying everything will be OK. I don’t want to be discovered by the maid lying in between sweat-soaked sheets on the day I am supposed to check out of a hotel. I imagine some thug like Paul Drake from Perry Mason – OK, how badly did I date myself? – tossin’ me and my bags into the gutter.
Actually, I love Marriott properties and I think the people would be helpful if necessary, I just don’t want to find out. I know my wife is helpful. I know my bed is comfy. I know my dog likes to lay down next to me and use me as a pillow. I know MuMu will still bite my hand and want to be scratched because it doesn’t matter how sick I am, MuMu is itchy.
The week dragged on but it was mostly uneventful, biologically speaking, at least in public – I sense the information border police approaching – ’nuff said.
The worst day was Monday and this is why I know that there have to be words worse that worst. Things were already pretty worse than worst when I had to leave the restaurant with the line to the bathroom and the ptomaine inducing lettuce. But, things got much more worse. I walked back to my hotel during a lull between torential downpours. I snagged a couple of bottles of ginger ale and I settled in for a nice quiet night. Much more quiet that I thought it would be. The storm had knocked out the satellite reception.