If The Prude were to tell you that she had a minor bout with stomach flu yesterday, would you know what she meant? Or would you be seized with a mad urge to tell her that it was NOT flu, which is only upper respiratory, but was actually ‘food-borne illness’?
Or would your innards rumble a bit in commiseration? because you too refer to this misery as the flu?
Someday, The Prude will need to make a choice. Correct terminology is critically important to the Prude lexicon, so I may need to make the educated choice and refer to this delicate condition as ‘food borne illness’. But Family Tradition, being equally important and bearing the weight of several generations of mothers and grandmothers nodding wisely as they cleared the way to the outhouse/water closet/ restroom, set the big Dutch oven with a little water in the bottom next to the bed for up-erps which couldn’t wait for the outhouse/water closet/restroom, and kept saltines and soda pop at the elbow of the person or persons suffering from ’24 hour flu’. (The previous sentence appears to be a fragment. I dare you to figure out how to repair it.)
To continue. The Prude was feeling a bit blech yesterday. This meant she consumed cola (7-Up flu drinkers, don’t hate me. Cola is the Prude Family Flu drink of choice) and crackers and watched daytime TV. As she listlessly flicked through the channels with the remote she saw a commercial that set her heart singing, which immediately caused her fragile stomach to cover its ears and moan pitifully. The Prude quickly reconciled heart and stomach, so she could ponder the commercial.
In it, a well-groomed but harried looking young woman is questioned by a Voice in the Sky. It asks her if she needs more Time to enjoy Life, Living, and Loved Ones. Immediately the young woman’s heart began to sing. (It sounded like ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’). She dashed home and awaited further instructions from the Voice. It told her (The Prude was holding her breath by this time) that if she would pay her energy bill online, she could increase Time spent in and with the 3 L’s listed above!
The next scene showed her clicking her little mouse button to pay her bill, and the commercial of my dreams closed with the no longer harried woman and her loved ones doing some special and loving life activity that The Prude can’t remember.
The Prude shut the TV off as visions of More Time danced in her head, at which point her stomach begged her head to stop dancing or there would be trouble. Gingerly stepping through the office, The Prude timed how long it took to find the energy bill, write out the energy check, place it in the energy envelope, affix a forever stamp and return address label, walk it to the mailbox, put up the flag and walk back into the house.
3 minutes, 24 seconds.
The Prude was a bit deflated. The joy in the harried young commercial woman’s face and the breathless excitement emanating from the Voice in the Sky had led The Prude to expect a slightly larger chunk of time. However, she was determined to enjoy that extra 3 minutes and 24 seconds she would gain a month. But first she needed to set up the account to pay her bill online.
She sat at the computer, excitement emanating from her fingertips. At which excitement her feeble stomach demanded that if everything was going to keep singing, dancing and emanating, The Prude better Look Out. After a precautionary trip to the restroom, The Prude once again settled down to begin the process that would Save Time. But her feet were chilly. She dug her slippers out of her closet, which necessitated her standing almost on her head which necessitated another cautionary restroom trip, a quick brushing of the teeth and tongue, and a trip to the kitchen to get some precautionary soda and coke. She settled at the computer and began the inevitable tussle with the energy company, its website, password needs and general persnicketiness.
52 minutes later The Prude had used up her More Time from the next 18.8 months. If you have anything fun you want to do with me that takes 3 minutes and 24 seconds, please let me know in June, 2012. Thank you.