16 November 2016
At home, the youngest brought home the first cold of the season. He has been (for two weeks), a snotty, coughing, irritable mess. He's never been a whiner, but he has bought that art to another dimension in his illness. We started affectionately referring to him as our little 'crabapple'. To which he took exception. No, he did not like that at all, and took the crankiness up a notch to screaming at us every time one of us would solicitously ask if he needed anything. A resounding and loud froggy "NO, LEAVE ME LONE!" would be thrown our way and we'd run from the ear shattering renouncement.
In short time, the eldest child came down with the same ailment, but alas, he has handled it well, but O'Hare is our resident whiner, so if he was whining more we didn't notice. It was a matter of time before one of the three adults in the house came down with this pre-winter cold and guess who it was? Yes, that's right this guy. The only one of the three who neglected his flu shot. Yes indeed, I feel like the Russian army walked over me. Me back aches, me chest hurts, me nose drips, and oh the coughing. Let me not forget the ferocious headache as well that makes loud yelling and whining from others almost intolerable.
Add to this predicament of mine, that I be pulling double shifts at work. One of me co-workers had a bad auto accident and is out for a few weeks, which leaves me to fill in for him. So while he is home recuperating, I have dragged meself into work being careful to stifle me sneezes, and cover me coughing fits by going out to the back stairwell where they echo resoundingly, and basically surviving on won ton soup, thanks to Ms. Jaio. Oh yes, she is still around, though she does not work in me department she checks in on me and seeing me slumped over me desk, me phone ringing and me not answering, she took charge like an ad hoc secretary. God bless Ms. Jaio!
Recently, I was told to get the story on a bridge closing in Portsmouth. It seems the people who live in New Hampshire and work in Maine, and vice versa, went to work one morning and crossed the bridge, finding upon their return to go home, the bridge was closed and they were stranded. No notice, no nothing and to add insult to injury it wasn't a day gone by that the middle of the bridge was removed so there was no hope of it reopening. Quandary for sure. There are other bridges, but they are a distance anyway you slice it, so this no notice was a thorn for sure. I went to find out why the sudden closing, and what was to be done.
I was feeling quite lousy, Ms. Jaio noticed this state of mine, and offered to go with me. We got meself in me motor and she drove to Portsmouth. The day in me part of NH was mild, in the low 60s, so I had only me suit jacket. I hadn't thought about the coastal weather at all. The wind was up to gusts that could almost knock you over, so by the time I got me story I was chilled to the bone as most of me investigation and interviews were conducted outside in the chilly wind.
In addition to feeling dreadful, I was very hungry. Ms. Jaio suggested we go to the British pub I know of to redeem the disaster of the Brit Beer Company (see 02 November 2016: ACK!!! Americans and British food not a good combination. It took some convincing as I could still taste that awful Kielbasa, but redemption along with Ms. Jaio's suggestion that it would be a hearty meal that was much needed by yours truly's body was just the thing. There I ordered sausages with Colman's mustard, and then bangers and mash, the real bangers this time with real mash and homemade gravy! It was a sniffling feast it was. I topped it with a shandy as I had to drive and the barman made it light for me. I did spend extra time to be sure any alcohol would wear off before I hit the road. Ms. Jaio would have driven, but highway driving is not her forte' so . . .
Beforehand, we could not find a parking space and got probably the last one in the parking garage. I had us on the upper level, so feeling poorly the six flights of stairs down (no elevator on that side) almost felled me by the time I reached the bottom. Therefore, I asked Ms. Jaio (since I was feeling shaky), if she would mind fetching the motor and I'd meet her at the pub doorstep. Off she went as I paid the tab. The pub is three flights up, so I had lurched the three flights down to a small hallway. I thought to wait inside but the door has glass you cannot see out, so no choice but wait on the stoop. I opened the door to a giant gust of wind that had me hair standing straight up, as I battled me way out to the street. It was freaking cold by that time, and the wind was lifting me jacket up so the cold wind was up around me ribcage, it blew up me pant legs and well, I was miserable cold! I sat on the stair huddled waiting. Behind me was a sandwich board that read, "beer tour" and the thought of cold beer made me colder. I couldn't stand being buffeted by the wind and cold, so I got up to settle as best I could in the doorway above me. It was just as I got into the doorway, hoping no one came out because they would not see me standing there, and I'd be a greasy spot on the wall should they open said heavy door. I needn't have worried about THAT because no sooner had I left me first perch on the step a violent gust of wind came up and lifted the heavy sandwich board and threw it where I had been sitting. Yes, I'd have been flat as a pancake, covered in bits of skin and blood if I hadn't got up when I did!
I looked at that board lying flat on the sidewalk, splinters of wood scattered here and there. I forced meself to go lift it so I could put it inside the doorway so no one else would be felled by it. Only it was heavy and in me weakened condition I couldn't get it lifted. I had a coughing spasm and moved back to the doorway as pedestrians came by STEPPING OVER the dead sandwich board. No one and I mean no one bothered to try to right it. By the time Ms. Jaio got to me (there was a line to get out of the parking garage), I was a mess of cold and worse remorse (for the sandy board's end), but thankful I was not injured or dead!
It has been a weekend and a few days since this happened. I be home today still feeling the chill from the sea breeze and damp of the water. Turns out the bridge was no longer safe and more so than first thought leading to instant shut down. They are building another bridge and it is started so there is hope for the commuters of both states. As for me, I smile in memory of the good fare that has made me have faith that someone in America knows the art of bangers and mash, but there is a bit of me that morns that sandwich board which looked probably to passerbys like an old drunk passed out on the sidewalk. It did look like too much beer tour to be sure. I wonder if it is still there, sigh.
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