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9:16 a.m. - 2001-05-29


For the first time in years ... I'm staying at home all day on a Tuesday.

As I've said here about two bazillion times ... Tuesday is my deadline day at work.

I've shown up on Tuesdays when my dad was in the hospital undergoing brain surgery. I've shown up with severe bronchitis. I've shown up with the flu, I've shown up just days after my baby was born and my wife still couldn't get out of bed.

And it was fucking Pinkeye that laid my ass out.

Pinkeye. The most wussified disease ever. The disease that sounds more like a tropical drink or a kitten's name.


So I went to the doctor yesterday. The nurse asked me what was wrong and I told her I wasn't as beautiful as I used to be.

She laughed and then said "No really" and I looked her in the eye and the terror crept across her face like a caterpillar on steroids.

She thought I had been shot in the eye. Or that I had somehow gotten a cherry tomato lodged snugly in my eye socket.

She called the doctor in and Dr. Chimichanga came running in.

"What the problem" he said, with Moo Goo Gai Pan dripping off his chin.

"I think I have pinkeye," I said quietly as my eye oozed.

He pulled my eyelid up and then pulled my cheek down with his thumb.

"Ah, you have PINKEYE!," he said, saying "pinkeye" very loudly. "How long you have?"

"About five days now," I said.

"Why you not come earlier," he screamed.

"I've been out of town," I said. "I just thought I had something in my eye, that's all."

"You have PINKEYE!" he said. "Pinkeye...verrrry contagious."

"Yes," I said and then tried to sound scholarly, "I looked it up on the web."

"You shake hands with people?" he asked.

I thought about it. I shook hands with Tim, Schmez's Elvis impersonating husband. I shook hands with my dad twice. I shook hands with Ehab and his colleagues in North Carolina. That was all the hands I've shook in the last week.

"Those people ... they now have PINKEYE!!" he said.

(So uhhhh...Schmez ... tell Tim to expect a burning sensation any day now.)

Chimichanga prescribed some $30 eyedrops and told me to stay away from other people until at least Wednesday. If my eye is still red and puffy on Wednesday, to not go near anyone until Thursday, etc.

So now ... here I am ... alone ... in my quiet computer room ... the dog wondering when in the hell I'm going to leave so she can jump up on the sofa and rub her dog ass all over everything ...

The craziest thing is ... I don't feel that bad at all. My eye still feels like something's in there, but I'm used to that feeling by now, having had it for a week. It burns a bit ... kinda like when you haven't slept for 24 hours and you're shining a bright light in it. Other than that, I feel like a million bucks. I can't understand why I can't go to work. I mean...shit...if someone else did catch this, it's no big deal. Your eye's all bloodshot. People stare. They try not to, but they're only human, so yeah...they stare. It burns a bit ... no worse than accidentally getting battery acid rubbed in your eye with sandpaper.

What's the big deal?

I dunno.

But I plan on enjoying this first time ever when I don't have a hand in putting the paper together. I can't wait to hear how long it takes them to get the paper turned out. I think today will finally be the day when everyone at the office sees EXACTLY how much stuff I have to do on Tuesdays and exactly how hard I work, since they all think I'm a slacker because I've been doing it for so long, I've gotten pretty damned good at what I do.


I don't really have much else to talk about. After my doctor's appointment, I came home and went through several hundred press releases to see what went on while we were out of town last week and what needed to go into the paper this week. I then typed out several stories and emailed those in.

I then became about as boring as C-span, huh?

Anyway ... I'm late getting this posted because I had to do all my work stuff first and email that into the office this morning rather than do this.

I wrote five long stories and two columns this morning, so I'm kinda all wrote out.

With that ... I'm gone.

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