Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

A Virus Among Us

Written By: Humor Mike - Mar• 01•20

If you have to protect yourself from the flu, you should do it fashionably.

If you know anything about me, then you know I am always completely reasonable and rational. Iím so even-tempered that I was voted ďmost level-headed??? when I graduated from kindergarten. While other kids were playing with blocks or other silly things, I was doing advanced toddler yoga over by the swings. Yes, if anything, I am well-balanced Ö kind of like a set of new tires.

That noted, it should come as no surprise that I handled a recent sneezing incident on the DC Metro with dignity, style, and grace. As to be expected in public spaces this time of year, there was a chorus of unique coughs on the train. Here a cough. There a cough. Everywhere a cough-cough. If you listened closely, you wouldíve sworn you were listening to Beethovenís ďMoonlight Sonata.??? There was just no way I couldíve been prepared for what would happen next.

As I stood there, minding my own business, a youngish woman with no signs of illness took a spot beside me. We were fine for a few stops, but then something happened. Although things appeared to be fine on the outside, her innards were in distress. There was something burgeoning from deep within her that longed to get out. Something was coming.

If only I had known this ladyís internal struggle, I could’ve made better life decisions. Perhaps I could’ve switched trains at the next stop. Maybe I could’ve pulled my hat down to cover my entire face. Perhaps I could have pretended to be listening to the new Lady Gaga song and shimmied my way down the aisle away from the lady with the distressed innards. Truth be told, I was really listening to a lecture by Joyce Meyer about how I needed to be a better person. Yes, it was personal. She used my government name.

And then it happened.

I watched the ladyís head whip to the left and then to the right in my direction. She was searching for something. If I didnít have the slowed reaction speed of an elderly male, perhaps seeing her face bawl up would’ve been enough for me to have known to pretend that I was Neo and use some maneuvers from The Matrix to avoid what was coming. Unfortunately, my back doesnít move like that anymore. Nor do my knees. And nor do my hips. These hips donít lie.

The lady made a decision. I’d been chosen. I saw her elbow begin to rise. Apparently, sheíd learned the trick of sneezing into her elbow. Unfortunately, she was either a little too slow to execute it correctly, or she was a bit too uncoordinated to pull it off effectively. Letís just say if it were a basketball game and she was standing at the free-throw line, she would’ve completely missed the puck. She would not have hit a birdie. Not even close.

Her elbow was a good five inches below her nose when the sneeze escaped. Since sheíd chosen to spare the person to her left, I had an up-close-and-personal view of this womanís bodily functions. It felt inappropriate. I didnít even know her name. Since she completely missed her elbow, I was hit with earth, wind, and spittle with a force that almost took my hat off my head. Before I could grapple with the magnitude of the situation, I found myself falling backward. I would soon find myself flat on my back on the train floor covered in things that probably hadnít even been discovered yet.

Some of your flu fashions will need to be washed first. You’ve been warned.

Because I have empathy, I understood the ladyís plight. I, too, have been on a train and suddenly felt the need to cough or sneeze. As a matter of fact, just last week, a random cough built up inside of me and attempted to break free. Since I knew that a single cough would make everyone believe I had the flu or coronavirus, I fought the urge to let it escape. And it was a mighty fight.

Iím happy to report that I ultimately won that battle, but I did not do it completely unscathed. My attempt to keep the cough internal made my eyes water to the point that tears were streaming down my face uncontrollably for a good five minutes. Picture Niagara Falls in the winter, but instead of being in New York or Canada, youíre on a Red Line Metro train and the water is falling from someoneís face. Yeah, picture that.

As I continued wiping my eyes, first with the back of my hand and then with a variety of tissues Iíd found underneath the train seat, I wondered if it wouldíve been better to have just let the cough out. Perhaps it wouldíve been a quickie cough and everyone could’ve moved on with their day. Instead, I sat there crying like my world was about to collapse. Of course, my world is always about to collapse, but no one else is supposed to know that. Besides, Iíd already cried in my closet that morning. I was done crying for the day. After all, Iíd already taken enough pills from my shrink to ensure I would emotionally feel nothing until at least later that afternoon.

Fortunately, that internal cough appeared to be a one-time thing. I wasnít sick. And even though that lady sneezed on my face and I rolled around on the train floor until I was covered in previously chewed gum and throat lozenges, it doesnít appear that Iíve died yet, so maybe Iíve successfully dodged whatever viruses or bacteria I may have been exposed to. Actually, several Walmart experts said they found more germs on a computer keyboard than they did on a toilet, so perhaps I could have licked the Metro carpet or eaten one of the lozenges and still been OK. I donít recommend you try it though.

Because I know that my readers depend on me, I want to assure you that Iím taking the appropriate precautions to dodge whatever is going around. So far, Iíve gotten three flu shots and I plan to get two more next week. Iíve also been washing my hands for the required 20 minutes as recommended by the CDC. Furthermore, I havenít been touching my face unless I needed to smooth out my forehead wrinkles or to cover the bags under my eyes while I tried to impress or coerce a potential suitor.

Since Iím not dating, it wasnít hard to invoke the no-kiss policy to avoid germs. However, for the strangers on the street that I wouldíve typically offered a kiss to because I didnít have a dollar in my pocket to support their cause, this is probably very disappointing. Instead of doing unnecessary handshakes or nose boops, I’ve created a fist-bump, air-kiss, no-high-five, hand-wave gesture that Iím willing to teach you all for the low price of $19.99 per session per person. And, yes, I do take food stamps. I have to so that my mama can attend.

Flu fashionistas can still be expressive!

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: www.humormike.com
Facebook: michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

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  1. Man, I feel the same way. I was on the Red Line the other day and I moved my seat because some clown near me was sneezing and coughing and wasnít even covering his mouth. In addition, I washing my hands a lot, and I carry wipes with me in my bag, and Iím not shy about using them. I think of the TV show Monk. He was always reaching for wipes and people gave him the side eye. Well, I understand him completely now. I use my wipes too. lol

  2. Robb says:

    Omg. Three flu shots and two more next week and offering kisses to strangers got me. LoL.

  3. That means a lot coming from you, Robb!

  4. You are not alone, my man. On the ride home Friday, I think there were about five people coughing and sneezing at various times. Some of them were covering their mouths and some of them weren’t. I would have switched trains, but I knew the next one wouldn’t be much better. I probably should get some wipes!

  5. Will S. says:

    I have Clorox wipes. I use them all the time. Not only do I wipe the area where I sit but I also wipe my hands if someone shakes my hand. I received some packages I ordered and I used my wipes to wipe down the box before I even opened. Yeah I may be overly obsessed. But hey, better safe than sorry.

  6. Humor Mike says:

    At this point, I wouldn’t consider any steps to be overly obsessed. Every day we seem to hear some new thing about the virus that we didn’t know the day before. It’s like, “Umm, so you know how we said yesterday that the virus would be the Michelle of the group and just hang out in the back? Well, the virus just took out Kelly and is now heading for Beyonce. Whoops! We got that one wrong. Govern yourselves accordingly.”

    Keep wiping, my man. Keep wiping!

  7. Terence Parrish says:

    Very very funny, and I’m not saying this because I’m your dad! ttn tntparrish1@verizon.net

  8. Humor Mike says:

    Oh my gosh, Dad!!! That means a lot!!! Donít tell Mom about anything you read. Whew.

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