Saturday, September 22, 2012

Burn Baby, Burn

The kids and I have been down with some sort of cold and fever nonsense the past couple of days. Actually, I've been down, the kids seem to be deriving greater power from combining their strength with the strength of the virus (call Professor X, I think I found him a new strain of super-powered mutant). I've been treating us with regular applications of Studio Ghibli movies and the omission of pants (ain't nothing a little half-naked cartoon watching can't cure) because I don't like to medicate fevers until they hit 101/101.5ish. I do have some vaguely well-thought-out crunchy theory about this that I picked up from somewhere: raising its temperature is the body's way of attempting to kill infection and thus should not be interfered with unless the danger to the body from raised temperature becomes greater than the danger from infection (or unless you have an important work presentation/therapy appt./first date and need to appear not to be the bride of Death).

There is a pleasant side effect of a low-grade fever, though. Unless you have something truly miserable like the stomach flu, being mildly sick with a fever is almost as good as being drunk (not that I've ever been drunk, Grandma, I swear...ah the dangers of having young, hip grandparents who know how to use the Facebooks). Everything just gets a bit shiny and blurry like someone took a watercolor brush to reality. It also tends to release pent-up creativity. One of my favorite Sylvia Plath poems is "Fever 103" which she wrote while suffering from a sinus infection. Of course, she was a great genius, and I am more likely to look over my feverish scribblings the next morning and think, "What on earth did I find so profound about that half-squished date stuck to the carpet, again?", but...nevertheless...

A low-grade fever can also have a similar effect to alcohol on socialization. For example, last night I had a conversation with Dylan that went roughly like this:

Dylan came into the kitchen as I was standing at the silverware drawer trying to remember which utensil you use to eat soup. I turned to look at him and said, "Whoa...your eyes are so shiny!"


"You know, when you turn your head, but your eyes don't follow all the way and then they finally get to the other person's eyes and they're all shiny?"

"Are you drunk?!"

"No, I'm just feeling a little like Captain Smith and Pocahontas."

Dylan, not being familiar with any music made prior to 1990 despite constant involuntary exposure to my Frank Sinatra Pandora station, stared blankly.

"You know," and then I sang, "What a lovely waaaay to burn."

"What is wrong with you?"

I sighed and explained, "I have a fever."

"Maybe you should take some Tylenol..."

"Nah, it's only 100.6. I'm good."

"Okay, crazy lady..."

So, clearly a fever is not optimal in any social situation in which you're trying to convince the other party you are sane/competent/serious/dateable/not eligible for involuntary commitment to a mental hospital, but still, if you're sick and you've got nothing else going on and you can't take Nyquil because you're nursing and thus-OMG-the-poor-baby, it can be a mildly good time.


  1. Oh you poor thing! Fever is one of the greatest songs ever (my friend Chrissy does a killer karaoke version). I hope you feel better soon!

  2. ug im sick too. fuck this shit.

  3. Feel better! I'm not going to lie, I'm loving the pink thermometer...

  4. I hope you feel better soon. I'm sick if being sick. You make it sound fun... Almost.