He woke me! He really woke me!!!

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My mom, on the other hand awoke startled, bolting upright like an overdone pop-tart shooting out of a burning toaster. She’d accost you with a hysterical “What’s wrong?” or a frantic “Who died?” It was just…stressful to wake my mom.

Addicted to…what?

Sidore and Dave, what a beautiful couple.

Do you need to feel better about yourself? Seriously, I watched a tv show the other night and I realized that whatever problems I have, they are MINUSCULE compared to problems out there in the world.

I hate to sound like an old fart, but tv has really sunken to a new low. I watched this show called “Strange Addictions” on TLC because my only other viable options were the Kardashians and Bill O’Reily. I couldn’t stomach either of those. Not surprisingly, this show deals with people who have strange addictions. They basically define an addiction as something that distracts a person from the real pain in his/her life. Last night they profiled 4 addicts.

The first was a man addicted to his “synthetic partner.” Basically, this odd little guy was living with a human size (quite beautiful) doll with whom he was deeply in love. He spent all of his time with her. He loved conversing with her and described her as open, loquacious and clever. He was rather shocked though, by her surprising bashfulness during the television interview. He ate every meal with her. Fortunately her dietary needs were negligible. He even slept with her, and yes, I mean that in every sense of the word.

I felt badly for this man. But he kept insisting that he was perfectly happy this way, that his “girlfriend” kept his loneliness at bay, and that there are hordes of other people out there enjoying the benefits of “synthetic relationships.” Really? That’s kind of alarming.

Next up was a woman addicted to her blow dryer. (I’m not making this up.) She needed to have it with her as some type of security blanket. But the key component to this addiction was her inability to fall asleep and stay asleep without having the dryer turned on and lying next to her in her bed. I’ve done a bit of research and there are actually a lot of people who suffer from this addiction. There have even been documented tragedies of fatal house fires that began due to blow dryers catching fire in beds or on carpets. But even this dangerous reality could not sway this woman from sleeping with her nighttime hot air machine.

There was a young woman addicted to tanning. It was scary and sad, but not all that uncommon. But the final segment featured a woman who was addicted to eating coach foam. This was truly tragic because the synthetic fibers were poisoning her insides. But all I kept wondering was, “How does an addiction like this start?” I mean, what prompts someone to begin chowing down on her sofa? I’ll admit I often find myself too tired to meander over to the fridge during Jimmy Kimmel Live. But I’ve never even contemplated digging into the couch for sustenance. Frankly it sounds kind of primitive and cannibalistic to me. I mean, my couch is like part of my family.

Anyway, the point here is that you may be suffering. You may battle depression, feel enraged by society, yearn at times to strangle your two small children, but in reality, there are people out there eating couch foam, sleeping with their hair dryers and having sex with mannequins. Come on, how bad is your life really?

Stop whining about the damn flu!

OK, let’s get a grip. Swine flu is the least of your worries. This is a media circus of ridiculous proportion. Swine flu (caused by a variation of type A influenza) has infected 40 people in the US so far. That’s hardly anything to go out and buy a facemask over. Only two people have needed hospitalization and none have died. So, calm down, breath deeply, and take the quarantine sign off the front door.

This is the kind of crap that makes me furious. People are completely freaked out about this and there’s no reason to be. Yes, this is a new strain of swine influenza. Yes, it appears to be passed from human to human. Yes, there will probably be many more people infected. Some elderly or immune-compromised people may die. But are you aware that regular influenza infects 50 million people every year and kills 35,000! If you want to worry about something, worry about why you chose not to immunize your children from influenza last fall when you had the chance. There’s a way better chance your kid will contract the plain old garden version of influenza than the more exotic south-of-the border version everyone’s so panicked over.

It would be nice if the media had something better to do than terrorize the nation over a treatable virus that could maybe, perhaps, it’s within the realm of possibility, mutate into some kind of out-of-control, drug resistant pandemic. Swine flu (which is extremely susceptible to our anti-viral drugs) does not pose a serious health risk to most Americans. So can we please talk about something really dangerous like a nuclear-armed Iran or why the hell fiancée Megan Mcallister is standing by her Craigslist Killer man Phillip Markoff? I mean that’s something worth talking about.

Cough Suppressing

Eli’s home sick today and I’m feeling pretty cruddy myself. I just got over a two-month bout of pneumonia and am more than a little bummed that I feel it reasserting itself. I have my post antibiotic doc appt. at 1:00 and since I’m still feeling bad, I figure I should go. So I pack sick little Eli into the car and drive across town to the doc’s office.

Eli, who’s been feeling tired but not horrible, immediately begins to melt down the moment we step into the office. I sign in and shuttle him over to a quiet bank of chairs. He dramatically drapes himself across three chairs and places his head on my lap. Then he proceeds to cough rhythmically to the beat of the muzak that’s playing overhead.

I start reading some magazine about losing three dress sizes in two weeks and quickly lose consciousness of the coughing. Suddenly this elderly woman from behind the desk marches over to Eli and gets right down to his face and puts two pieces of tissue into his little hand and says, “Why don’t you use this to cover your mouth the next time you have to cough.” She then turns on her heel and marches back to the safety zone of her desk which is behind one of those waste high check-in counters.

“Excuse me?” I say barely audibly. She doesn’t turn around. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought this was a DOCTOR’S OFFICE. You know, where sick people come. To get better. Maybe I’m mistaken.” I am now working myself into a state of pure ire. I mean, he’s four years old. Forgive me that he doesn’t always cover his mouth when he coughs. Personally, I’m just happy that he says “excuse me” when he “boom booms.”

Am I wrong here? Is this lady out of line? Being the wimp that I am, and because of my rigid upbringing to respect my elders, I do not confront the offending woman. But I’m seriously irritated. I mean, we’re sitting in a doctor’s waiting room and my son is sick. That hardly seems like such a bizarre occurrence that it would warrant a rude talking to by the office staff.

But you’ve all disagreed with me before. Please, tell me who is right.