Alaskan Death Flu and Debbie G.

In the timeless words of Monty Python extra John Young, cast in his classic role ‘The Dead Body That Claims It Isn’t’: “I’m getting better!” But oh, have I been sick. Spine aching fever sick. Cold sweat shivering sick. Raw mangled throat sick. While technically undiagnosed by a medical professional, I insist that I contracted the rare ‘Alaskan Death Flu’, brought back from the northern wilds by my current houseguest, Mr. Philip Westoby. Damned sailors! Always spreading disease from port to port. At least this one has the decency to hold over for a few days and care for the woman he’s infected with cold compresses and the like.

I stayed home from work Tuesday and slept for 17 hours. It was awesome. The only thing I bothered to wake up for was a delirious stagger along Bloor to pick up brunch, reading material from the Beguiling, and medication from Shoppers. Yesterday I went back to work, and I think I can honestly say that never before has the OPS received less value for their money. I was so doped up on DayQuil that I looked like the new poster-girl for zombie chic. People coming by to drop off file folders at my desk kept fidgeting with their bangs and sideburns, doubtless worrying that I hungered after their brains. Mmmm… brains.

Now I have to get my recuperation on, since there’s a lot of stuff happening in the next few days. Joe Sacco is talking at the ROM tonight, and I bought my non-refundable ticket last week so I’m going come hell or high fever. And this weekend is all about Paul & Amy’s wedding in Belleville. The wedding should be… interesting. I’ll be sharing a hotel room with my friend Chrissy, whose birthday party I nearly unforgivably missed last Saturday. You see, my burly men-folk and I had already been out celebrating Edward’s recent birthday at Las Iguanas with Mexican food and margaritas, so I lost track of time and needed a reminder, in the form of an aggrieved phone call from the birthday girl, that I ought to be at HER party at the Bull & Firkin. Well, three phone calls, actually. But I digress.

The exact details of how my wardrobe change happened are pretty foggy, but I recall offering up my all-time worst outfit as a sort of apology for tardiness. There had already been some cheeky garment shenanigans earlier in the evening, when Phil brought forth his trove of pirate treasures from Alaska, including a large quantity of salmon, booze, chocolate, and oversized tacky souvenir t-shirts. I immediately set to defacing my t-shirt, which was a lovely grey cotton XXL number featuring a cheerful red and yellow tugboat on the front. First, we trimmed the dangling, elephantine sleeves to make a fashionable cap-look and stylin’ gloves from the excess; then, we tackled the ballgown-like length, trimming the front up to my waist and snipping the back into a retro tailcoat divide, to add some swing to my sling. The neck was widened slightly to allow for décolletage, and extra fabric from there made a Karate Kid headband that screamed “who wants some?” I wore that outfit up to Bloor Street, but it was decided that I needed to be even more garishly attired to really show myself as a penitent soul. Like a hair shirt, but uglier.

My Mum, bless her, has a gift for finding the tackiest possible item of clothing at any given garage sale. Even more disturbing, they always seem to fit me. One of her more recent discoveries was a pair of 80s cocktail dresses, complete with flared ruffle skirts and tight, low-cut bodices. It was a close call, but in the end the yellow/red/green toucan-and-hibiscus dress lost out to the acid-wash denim/white-lace Debbie Gibson number. I got corseted into the couture of choice, donned a pair of jeans underneath and a beaver fur coat on top for warmth, called a cab, and within moments arrived at the Bull. I sat at the bar and made merry with old friends, while the gents amused themselves with pool and video golf.

My act of contrition was a success: Chrissy forgave me, after dishing out some mockery about the eye-popping amount of cleavage that my slutty eighties attire cantilevered into view, and making several obvious but well-deserved comments about my beaver. We drank cider together and all was well. Our hotel room this weekend will be a space of peace and harmony, not a hotbed of bitterness and revenge. Now if we can just keep from saying or doing anything really out of line at the reception…

Today I am listening to ‘The Teaches of Peaches’ and reading Michael Chabon’s ‘The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay’.

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