As I drove home Saturday morning after a miserable night at work spent coughing and hacking and, in general, being miserable, I decided that buying a paper would take my mind off of my troubles. Now, a few years back my aunt introduced me to the sheer wonder that is “The Saturday Edition of the Sunday Paper”. Do you all know about this? She was visiting at the time and said that we should buy a Sunday paper…..on a Saturday. I looked at her like she had two heads. I said, “how would we buy tomorrow’s paper today? Today hasn’t gotten finished yet, let alone tomorrow!” She laughed and said that you could buy the Saturday edition of the Sunday paper. Thoughts swirled in my head. How would this be possible?
I am now a convert to the ‘day-early’ newspaper. It makes me feel like I’m living in a time warp.
So, I went to the convenience store near my house and who should I see but Jack ‘Darn’ Elliot. (this is a family-friendly blog!) I just glanced at him, but I was too intent on making sure that the comics and TV guide were inside the paper that I wasn’t paying much attention to our local celebrity. Then…..he kept talking and it hit me. I muttered, in his general direction, that it was “like hearing radio in person’. I told him about how when I lived in Panama I wrote a column for the Tropic Times (I’m sure you’ve heard of it) and it would NEVER FAIL that the only time someone would recognize me in the store was when I had no make-up on, hair askew and my arms were stuffed full of Ding-Dongs and Doritos. (and I wrote a cooking column, for goodness sake! I should have been seen buying capers and wine!)
As we stood there talking about where I came from in Illinois and it’s proximity to the town of Cairo it hit me again….that fatigue, the general funk that had kept me down all night at work and I knew I just needed to get home and get to bed. I thought that nothing would cure this illness like curling up with the newspaper. I bid Jack adieu and headed out.
Hours later at home, my body wracked by what can now only be described as The Flu of Epic Proportion I was terrified by the thought that I had infected Jack and would be met with the wrath of his fanbase if I got their beloved leader ill. (And not in any taboid-worthy way, either, just by standing close to him in a convenience store!)
As I was busy hacking up the lower lobe of my left lung I pictured angry villagers chasing me with torches and pitchforks like I was some kind of Typhoid Cyndi.
So, let me just say to you publicly, Jack: I am sorry if you became ill after our encounter. I didn’t realize just how sick I was and how bad I would feel later in the day. In the wee hours of the night I thought about you and hoped that your health was intact. I’m sorry if I got any funk on you or near you.