Saturday, March 7, 2015

Influenza A (H3N2)

With bowsprit

Okay, all hands on deck. Wash them first.

I was hoping there wouldn't be a reason to have to haul you all out here like first-year recruits, but something has to change. The Ship Of Murr is not in good shape. I'm sure you've all noticed that no beer has gone down the hatch for ten days and counting. Has it. All righty then.

And there has been no beer going down not because the Ship Of Murr is mean, or a sorry place to work, or someone vetoed the pipeline. No. It is because the Ship Of Murr had expected a mere minimum of maintenance and care from its crew, and those expectations have not been met. Instead the crew has invited everybody and his buggy cousin on board without any consideration of the consequences. The Ship Of Murr blames herself. She has never wanted to be one of those taskmaster types, all stern and demanding, preferring to believe that if everyone was content, they would all pull together and row as needed out of simple comity. There have been no edicts about behavior and nutrition and exercise, no palming the entire venture off onto Leviticus, no shortage of forgiveness. And that, she fears, has led to a culture of negligence that might as well be mutiny.

And as a result of the singular lack of discretion in inviting folks we don't even know onto the Ship Of Murr--"they're with the band," blah blah blah--we have been drifting in a tiny little circle for days and days and days. Did it even occur to anyone to check for viral contraband? Can anyone remember who's supposed to be in charge of the rudder? Because clearly nobody is in charge of the rudder.

This is not the sprightly party boat it once was, with the fresh paint and the champagne stain on the bow. Gone are the days we can load  up at the dock with sketchy strangers and celebrate into the wee hours. Back then we somehow found a way to set everything back shipshape within a day, and maybe we were a little lost and things looked a little foggy, but it's a big ocean, with not a lot to run into. We picked up our share of dings and scrapes and you never heard one word about it from the captain. Did you.

No, because the Ship Of Murr never thought the dings were that important. The Ship Of Murr always thought there were better things to do than keep up appearances. But now we're picking up barnacles at an accelerating rate. We're trailing weed. We look like shit, frankly, and that's still okay. But it does mean we're slowing down. We can't turn on a dime anymore.

And while you're all here, no poop deck jokes. It's beneath you. It's too easy. And none of you even knows what a poop deck is. Face it, you're not sailors. You're freeloaders. And it's time you shaped up. I shouldn't have to point out that there is a veritable shitload of phlegmy crap coating everything below-decks, and it ain't going to clean itself up. Don't even look at the cilia--they're doing the best they can, but they're overwhelmed. Start swabbing. Just because the little princesses that are supposed to be operating the crustacean tubes are on strike again doesn't mean everyone gets to sit on his entitled little fanny.

Not talking about you, pancreas. We don't any of us know what it is you do, but you must still be doing it, because we're still underway.

Maybe some day we'll get engulfed in a flocculent plume of whale poop or maybe we'll get systematically punctured by albatrosses irritated about the plastic gyre situation, but one way or another, this ship isn't going to sail forever. You want the ride to be as long and pleasant as possible, and you want your beer rations back, you'll exercise a little more caution.

Now clean this place up.

43 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. All pretty good except for the dang crustacean tubes.

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  2. You could fire the whole d*amn crew and get a new one, if you could figure out how to do that.
    Shape up or ship out, crew!!!

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    1. But what if I brought in a whole new crew and nobody knew their way around? Besides, the young people never stick with a job anymore. I think I have to take this group down with me.

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  3. Oh, dear! No pictures, even, This must be dire. Heal!

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    1. I woke up this morning and thought, first thing, "hey. I forgot to put in a picture!" Fixed.

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  4. Even the cat is doing it's part to make sure you get better: "I will sit on her so that she can't get up. She needs her rest..." It must be pretty bad if it got the cat worried! Get better soon!

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    1. Well, she IS a heat-seeker. Could be that.

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  5. She's a healing cat, all right. She knows where you're ailing and she's going to heat that phlegm up so it can rise, RISE UP and be gone. Feel better soon, Murr.

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    1. I'm at ninety percent, found the rudder, and we're bringin' 'er around.

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  6. Have you tried acidophilus? Available at the pharmacy. Sounds like the crew that looks after your bilge didn't get back on the boat after the massive shore leave you gave them recently. I think I'd substitute chicken soup for beer for a while, you know, drydock, as opposed to limping around the ocean with your 'malaria on board' flag flying.

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    1. I'll say this. No shore leave for a while. You gotta earn the shore leave. I've never ingested acidophilus even though I think we probably have some in the back of the cabinet somewhere. I'm actually a bit of a minimalist when it comes to medicine, with the exception of beer.

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    2. Acidophilus is bacteria which is already in you but which certain things like antibiotics or bad flu bugs can get rid of. It's not medicine per se, just restoring an imbalance.

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    3. Maybe that would keep me from tipping over so often.

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  7. No, no, you got it all wrong, it's all that hiking and gardening and whatnot that made you so run down you got sick. Tsk.

    To be serious, there's nothing like an all-out failure of the body to make one re-think one's choices, is there?

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    1. Used to be, when I got sick I didn't think death was a possibility. (Ever.) That's one thing that changes as you get older.

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  8. I have been surrounded by folks with flu, and so far (knock on wood) have escaped it this season. I credit incessant hand-washing and occasional hits of an OTC product called Airborne. (I am not a minimalist; when I get any kind of twinge my first thought is "What kind of pill shall I take?" Pathetic, I know.

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    1. Not really. There's probably some good stuff out there, but I just never got the knack or the knowledge. I remember the first time I was complaining about cramps and someone gave me a couple Ibuprofen. Where had THAT been all my life?

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    2. My daughter gets severe cramps and takes Ibuprofen by the handful. She gets to work and her eyes are spinning so they send her home again. Luckily she takes the bus and doesn't drive.

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    3. I guess I never had them so bad the Ibuprofen didn't knock them out. Gosh, I love being an old lady, except for the being closer to death part.

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  9. Right! the scabby varlets in your crew seem to be snapping-to! So you'll be ship-shape and Bristol fashion in no time.
    And if you're well enough that the grammarly mess of that statement annoys you...my job here is done.
    Cheers!

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    1. Annoyed? Delighted. Don't know Bristol fashion. I suspect my crew doesn't either.

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  10. Replies
    1. One night I thought I heard that whoop whoop we're going down Mayday Mayday sound.

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  11. Sigh. That particular illness makes a person feel that death has some charms.
    Get better Murr. You are a bright light in the world. Even if it is a snotty light at the moment.

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    Replies
    1. More of a crabby light. It's the damn crustacean tubes.

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  12. There are times when I think the First Mate on the Good Ship Saint Mikey is named Gilligan! It sounds like your crew currently makes you roll ball bearings in your hand. Take care of yourself, Captain Murr.

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  13. Only you can make the skull and crossbones sound like the Jolly Roger. Keep on hoistin' (phlegm, that is).

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  14. Right then folks, you heard the woman. Shape up or ship out!

    Get well soon Murr.

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    1. Eventually I'll only need a skeleton crew...

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  15. Ohhh, Poor wittle Murrmurr. I hear Pat L. is an excellent nurse and good at taking care of someone. Well, maybe they said something like "watch yourself or Pat'll take care of ya."

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    1. She'd look really hot in a nurse outfit, I know that.

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  16. Time for the Ship of Murr to listen to Stan Roger's song, "The Mary Ellen Carter," and (somehow, eventually) Rise Again. Hate to think of you felled, darling. Frickin' germs. How dare they. Love from Massachusetts. Makes me think of my sweet dad, coming out of brain aneurysm surgery/rehab and finding he'd lost 50 pounds. Choosing his words slowly and carefully: "I don't recommend this diet." Love you dear. xoxo j.

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    1. Holy cow. I'd have to chop my legs off to lose fifty pounds. And now you've got me thinking about MY dad. Waaaaaah!

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    2. I love Stan Rogers! May he rest in peace. Not you, Murr.

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  17. I feel your pain. Laid up with the cat myself. Phlegm! I never heard such noises in my chest!

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    Replies
    1. I know, right? I'm used to my noises coming from lower down. (So is everybody else.)

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  18. Don't go ashore, whatever you do! The gulls have probably found you by now, but the vultures don't care if you are still alive!
    I would tell you to flush the system, but I am sure it is flushing itself.Good luck and I hope you're feeling better, but don't come near me. I hope Dave is keeping his distance.

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    1. Wait a minute. The vultures don't care if I'm alive? REally? They'll take fresh? REally?

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  19. Is Dave OK? Because I know of another couple who BOTH have this rotten chest thing going, and word is they're fighting each other for the privilege of being the first to die. And how contagious are you now? (I wouldn't even be typing in one of your boxes if I thought this lurgey was communicable across the continental divide.) But this post proves you're not dead yet, and I don't think you're even close. The vultures won't bother you if you can wave your arms vigorously or throw rancid fat at them or something.

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    1. I could throw rancid fat at anybody. Not accurately, but still. Yeah, we're both just struggling to get back to normal, but we're okay. Dave didn't even get the flu--he got pneumonia. We both started out with a ragged cough and took it in different directions. Today, over one month later, I still cough a little, blow my nose a little, and my ears are stopped up (going on two weeks of THAT now). And we started up our marathon walks again but they really wipe us out.

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