Monday, August 22, 2011

Suburbs of Our Discontent

"Upon my secure hour, thy uncle stole
With juice of cursed Hebona in a vial,
And in the porches of my ears did pour
The leprous distilment, whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man,
That, swift as quicksilver, it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body,
And with a sudden vigor it doth posset
And curd, like aigre droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine,
And a most instant tetter barked about,
Most lazarlike, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth body." (Hamlet)

I generally go through life preparing myself for disaster scenarios: My house probably will burn down because I didn't unplug the crappy toaster when I left for work; I will get my identity stolen, it's just a matter of when; and if I call to check in when I'm out of town and my husband doesn't answer the phone, then he's definitely had a heart attack, and the kids are playing “bouncy castle” on his cold, lifeless body.

Which is why today, when I was at work waiting for the elevator, and a drop of liquid fell on my lip—and then my lip started to burn—I knew that I had about an hour to live. I imagined what Hamlet, Sr. must have felt as his blood started to curdle and his body broke out in a leprous crust.

When I called my husband to tell him, he told me (in all seriousness) to gargle with Listerine as soon as possible. This is a man who believes everything will work out for the best: When we were dating in grad school he accepted a collect call from his jerky landlord who had just been arrested by the ATF and agreed to take care of his pit bull while he was in the clink— because that could never end badly. So imagine my panic when he took my doomsday scenario seriously.

So far, I haven't started sprouting any horns or slurring my speech, but there's still time. And just think of the settlement I could get from my employer. Hey—maybe there's an upside to this yet...

1 comment:

  1. Dude. Carney Hall needs to go; as if the ginormous mushrooms weren't enough!