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2003-05-14 4:56 p.m.

Being sick is so dull.

I woke up yesterday morning about 7AM, jarred by a new alarm clock. Instead of the singing chicken alarm clock that has started my mornings for ten years, my day began with stabbing pains in my stomach.

Stabbing pains were soon joined by painful gas, nausea, aching, chills, sweats. Man, what a bad trip. After calling in sick to work, I slept until 1PM. When I woke up, I felt a little better. So, using the power of positive thinking I got myself dressed and got my car keys. I figured I would drive to Redwood City and pay for our RV repairs. Then, I would continue to Cupertino to work for the rest of the day.

It didn't quite work out that way. I couldn't stand up in the RV because the heat and stuffiness made me feel faint and nauseated. So, I would ask the mechanic to step outside of it with me. Then, in direct sunlight I also felt faint and nauseated. I walked to take refuge in the shade of nearby tree. I sat on a curb, holding my head in my hands. This was clearly the worst I have felt since I got chemical pneumonia and an ulcer at the same time a few years ago.

Rob, the mechanic, slapped me on the arm and asked, "You don't look so good. Do you wanna beer?" He had beer on his breath.

I was barely able to muster a "No thanks." He was a hospitable man, though, and he wanted me to be comfortable. "You wanna shot?"

I couldn't help but laugh, even though it hurt to do so. Was he being ironic or did he sincerely think that a shot would help me?

I payed half of the money for the RV repair. I didn't have enough to cover the rest. I went to the store to buy something, anything, to alleviate the painful symptoms while allowing the sole good symptom—sleeping all day—to continue.

I browsed the antacid section of the drug store for at least 15 minutes. See, this is the problem with letting me go to the store. I carefully read the ingredients of every single product and compare prices as if the money actually made some difference. What is the difference between Mylanta and Maalox? Is brand name different than generic? Is there a value difference between $0.323 pand $0.347 per unit if the two have slightly different ingredients?

I get almost obsessed, you see. Judging by the time and care I spent reading the labels of antacids, an observer might think I was trying to decide something actually important, like what college I was going to go to or which child I was going to adopt.

In the end I made a decision and bought some stomach–pain acid–reducer pills made by 3M. 3M makes excellent adhesives, paint and automotive chemicals, so I figured they'd also know a lot about the intricate workings of my gastrointestinal system.

And then I drove home. There was absolutely no way I would be able to work, unless my job description somehow all of a sudden got changed to "lay sweating in bed, drifting in and out of sleep while suffering a medley of both dull and sharp abdominal pain".

This is all I ate yesterday.

I spent the rest of the day in bed, unable to sit up. I wanted to write in my diary, but I couldn't sit up. I wanted to read a book, but I couldn't sit up. My temperature pegged at 100 F and wouldn't budge. I got up once to eat some cottage cheese. All it did was make my stomach hurt more—something I didn't really think was possible.

So I got back in bed, watched a few episodes of Upright Citizen's Brigade on my iBook, and then fell asleep.

I felt a little better when I woke up today, although not good enough to go back to work. I was able to eat a sandwich for lunch, though. Wow, I can't believe I am impressed by the noteworthiness of eating a sandwich. Geez.

Ok, so in spite of the total lameness and boredom of being sick and stuck at home in bed, there are three totally excellent things that happened:

1) The smelliest fart ever. Anyone who knows me well knows that I derive some sick pleasure from offensive smells. And, I have never yet encountered any smell which has made me feel nauseated—not a single one. But, Tuesday morning—using only my gastrointestinal tract and common household food—I created a smell which made me run to the bathroom, gagging, and trying to keep from projectile vomiting. This is the first time I have ever been made to feel ill from a smell. It was an incredibly satisfying feeling to know that I created this. And, also it made me feel great to know that I too could be nauseated by a smell. For my entire life I have felt left out because nothing ever disgusted me in this way. Finally! It happened!

2) Endless sweating. I completely soaked all my pillows, sheets, and blankets with sweat. I put on my robe to walk to the bathroom, and it got soaked in sweat. My bed reeked with the sick smell of the sweat of the ill. I had to throw away my pillow. There was no possible way to undo the terrible smell that I had unleashed into its fibers. Let's put it this way: Andie is normally very forgiving of me and my many smells, and she frowned and said "Peee Yoo!" when she got into bed. I took a shower—with soap, even! But, after that I still smelled like rotting sweat. I didn't even know that sweat could be rotting, but now I am pretty sure it can, because I have smelled it with my own nose.

We washed the sheets, although I am sure that it would have been smarter to simply burn them.

3) The largest nasal excavation in the history of Justin. Teams of left and right hand fingers worked together today to remove what turned out to be the largest yield from a nasal mining expedition in the recorded history of Justin. In order to share this great joy with the world, I have decided that I am going to auction these boogers on eBay and donate the money to charity. Click here to bid!

You could be the proud owner of the biggest boogers I have ever produced, all presented on the back of this glorious postcard! Bid on this auction here!