I’ve had a cold for almost two
weeks. The worst part about having a cold is everybody knows just by talking
to you, that you have a cold. I deal with the public a lot so I have been bombarded with
“you have a cold? or you think its
“what are you taking?”
“how long have you had it?”
“you sound like, that lady, what was her name?”
It goes on and on. People LOVE to
talk about colds. My mother will call
“you sound worse”
“you sound better”
you get the zycam?”
“are you drinking orange juice? You gotta drink orange
juice. Shit, I got orange juice here, I’d give it to you if you were around”
If you're sick, you better be prepared to answer some God Damn questions.
If it’s not the questions, it’s the
relaying of their own personal cold story or someone else they know that
recently had a cold.
“I had that. Two weeks. Took me two
weeks to get rid of it”
“this guy I know, he thought he had
allergies, turns out he had pneumonia. No shit”
“last winter I had a cold for 3
weeks. The doctor couldn’t do anything just had to let it run its course. Then I
broke my foot and got colitis. You know what colitis is?”
When I have a cold the last thing I
want to do is chat. I want to be home in bed feeling sorry for myself. But no, I’m
not sick enough to cancel my obligations. I’m sick but I’m not sick enough. I have to be
I’d rather have a bellyache. Then
it’s up to me whether or not I tell people I’m not feeling well. As I kid I had
a lot of bellyaches. Shit, I would get sent home from school with a bellyache. Half
the time I just ate too much and I wanted to lie down but still, my belly hurt.
As an adult I never fake sick. I never cancel shit claiming “I don’t feel good:
even though I’m feeling perfectly fine. Faking sick is so much better than
being sick. Faking sick is pulling a fast one on your community of people. And I
never do it. I gotta start faking sick. THAT I would want to talk about. I would even strike up the conversation.
“Hey did you notice I wasn’t at
work last week? I was sick. God I was so sick. You don't want to know what I had. I was bedridden. Nothing worse than Mother Nature telling you to lie in bed and watch TV
for days. It was terrible. Do you have a cold?”
When I was younger I liked when I
had obvious physical ailments. Once, a Queen bee stung me on the lip while I was
sleeping. I woke up and the bee had its stinger in my lip, dead, hanging from
my face. I rose from my bed trying to keep my head from moving, I went to wake up my mother who grumbled “go back to bed” so I did.
Yes, I am an obedient good sleeper; I can fall back asleep with a cold dead insect
hanging from my bottom lip. No problem. Needless to say my lip was swollen. I
could not have been happier. I went to school with the dead bee in a see
through sandwich bag. I didn’t wait for people to ask me what happened; I shook
that bee in my friend’s faces and dove right into the story. Most people gasped
when I told them my mother sent me back to bed with a dead bee on my lip but I
pointed out the most impressive part, my obedience. To this day, I like to be acknowledged
when I do what I’m told.
When I was ten I got sun poisoning
in Florida. My face swelled up and had little bumps all over it and it was
really itchy. We had to go to the emergency room while on vacation. My father
was all pissed off he was missing time in the sun. I was annoyed because my
itchy face made me lose my appetite and I really liked to eat. Especially on
vacation. By the time we landed back in Boston, my face just looked red and
flaky. Like a bad sunburn. I tried to tell people about my big bumpy face but,
without being able to SEE it, well, it had less impact on the kids. At least I had
my appetite back.
My cold seems better but as far as I’m
concerned, I’m still sick.
I have to bartend and I have a few
shows this week, I decided to take a preemptive approach to conversations about
my cold. I ran into a friend earlier ( I almost wrote acquaintance but in the event
the person reads this I want them to feel like they are more than an
acquaintance even though I don’t know their last name)
Me: hey, how are you? I have a
cold. Just took some decongestant and had a juice. So I’m addressing the situation.
For all I know it could be allergies.
Him: That sucks! I’m late I gotta
run. See ya
Me: See ya wouldn’t want to be ya
Him: Yeah well, your nose is
Me: Guess I better catch it.
Him: Ha ok well, hope you feel
Me: (as he walks away) you do, do
He didn't bite. Attempt to keep ridiculous conversation going: FAILED
Everybody says they hope you feel
better but nobody says “You know what, you should call in sick”
That’s all I’m really looking for,
is for someone to tell me what to do.
Thanks for listening
Kendra is a stand up comic
living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of
her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t