A nice cup of tea and some lung fungus

By Mir
May 21, 2006

[But first! A non-sequitor! I am SO ENJOYING all of the angry comments/emails I continue to receive about this post, where I thought I was making fun of a commercial but APPARENTLY I was REALLY saying that I thought cancer was funny. Because that’s the sort of person I am. The sort of person who thinks cancer is a laughing matter. That’s me! Anyway, I’ve been so successful with that, I thought it was time to expand my campaign.

So, I ask you: Have you seen the commercial for Coppertone Sport Spray? The perky, happy people in the commercial assure me that it’s the very best sunscreen EVER for their active lifestyles. Even the cyclist guy insists that it’s ultra-sweatproof and won’t run into his eyes no matter how much he sweats (and then they show him cycling, dripping in sweat). Can someone explain to me HOW the sunscreen doesn’t end up in your eyes when your entire face is RUNNING with perspiration? I don’t buy it.

And clearly this means I think blindness is funny. Commence with the hatemail.]

These are the sorts of deep thoughts I have when pondering my own life is too unpleasant.

Dude. Duuuuuuuuuuuude. This week. This past week will not go down in history as the worst of my life, but it is definitely up there on the Things That I Survived But Wouldn’t Go Through Again If I Had Any Say About It Whatsoever list. And me and my big mouth. MY BIG STUPID MOUTH. I just can’t stop joking that it can’t possibly get any worse. Because I am a moron.

Yesterday, the insurance adjustor came. Let’s call him Ramon. Because that’s his name. Ramon was very nice. And he had expensive shoes. I found it interesting that a man who’s making the rounds to a bunch of flooded properties would be wearing nice leather shoes, but this was because I was suffering under a misapprehension of what Ramon’s job actually entails. I thought Ramon was going to wade down in the basement! To assess the damage!

Silly me.

Ramon took some pictures outside (drainage hoses! spontaneous ponds! intact bulkhead!) and then came on in. I removed my socks and rolled up my pantlegs before taking him down to the basement. Down the stairs we went, and in a matter of seconds I was ankle-deep in water, expecting him to follow.

But you see, Ramon had those nice shoes. And Ramon, my friends, is no fool. Ramon stayed safely on the stairs. I slogged from corner to corner, pointing out various items of interest, while he snapped some pictures and stayed nice and dry. And he reiterated–as I’d already been told–that in the absence of a permanent sump pump, the damage sustained would not be eligible for coverage. If I’d had a sump pump, it would be covered as “equipment failure.” Without one, it’s uncovered as “shit out of luck.”

I was not feeling the love for Ramon and his nice shoes and his safe perch on the stairs.

And then Ramon made a critical error. Ramon surveyed the lay of the land… the soggy boxes, the splintering furniture, the still-an-inch-deep water, the running pump struggling to keep up with the seepage… and turned to me and said, “What you need to do here is get rid of the water and dry it out before the mold gets worse.”

I stared at him for a moment. I blinked several times. When I was certain that I hadn’t just hallucinated this missive, I answered him. “Really, Ramon? Is THAT what I need to do? Get the water out? WHAT A GOOD IDEA, I WISH I’D THOUGHT OF THAT!”

And then I clubbed him over the head with the sump pump, hacked him up into pieces with the various brooms and Swiffers and poles I’ve got down there, and buried him underneath the shed. It was remarkably easy, seeing as how the ground is still sodden and loose. His shoes are available on eBay.

Oops! I’ve said too much!

In reality, I fixed him with what I hoped was an icy stare and said, “Well I’m open to suggestions on HOW I DO THAT,” and then he chuckled. CHUCKLED. Because, you know, it’s FUNNY.

So yesterday was great. But it was okay, you know, because that was the worst of it. Things wouldn’t be getting any worse. Hahahaha!

This morning I woke up with a truck parked on my chest. It was (as you might imagine) rather uncomfortable. I spent a few minutes assessing whether or not I was, perhaps, having an infarction. Once I’d determined that death was (unfortunately) not imminent, I got up. Breathing was… laborious. But I would shake it off, and we would go to church! Because I am tough and it’s just a cold!

I was up for 15 minutes before I told the kids that 1) we were not going to go to church and 2) I was going to lay down just for another hour or so. I’d love to tell you how long that hour turned out to be but I don’t want to commit to print anything that might make it easier for CPS to remove the kids. (I like having them here, because Chickadee will eat my chicken soup when I don’t want it and Monkey lies down with me on the couch and then I don’t need a blanket.)

And logically I know it’s unlikely that I could’ve developed pneumonia overnight. I mean, yes, sure, I’ve been a little tired, and yeah, I wasn’t feeling so hot yesterday, and sure, my inhaler doesn’t seem to be helping and okay, I might be running a bit of a fever, but what are the odds? It’s just a cold. Or bronchitis. Or killer black mold from my swamp basement which is even now devouring my lung tissue at an alarming rate.

My money was on bronchitis until Joshilyn brought up the killer fungus idea. She’s such a good friend.

I would say that this coming week will be an improvement, but I’m afraid to tempt the fates. Let’s just think happy thoughts. Or something. I don’t know. I’m going to have another cup of tea and go stick my head in the oven. Just to dry out the fungus, you understand.


  1. Amy-GO

    That’s it. On my honor I will ship you a pie tomorrow. So go get yourself some drugs so you’ll be able to taste it.
    I was thinking of you as Noah, but now I think maybe you’re more like Job. And that is NOT A GOOD THING, my friend. Hope you feel much better soon!!!

  2. daysgoby

    I love the commercial talk! I heard the Nose-Burger ad the other day and laughed the whole way through it…

    Feel better, Mir. And GO TO THE DOCTOR!

  3. DebR

    I think if you weren’t going to get any insurance money out of him anyway that you should’ve dumped a bucket of water on Ramon’s shoes as a way to start getting it out of the basement – you know, like he told you to.

    So sorry you’re sick. I hope it IS “just” brochitis, which I currently have myself so I know it sucks, but it’s not as suckeriffic as pneumonia or killer lung fungus. Gaaaahh!

  4. Cele

    Hatemail – you’ve got to be kidding (and somehow I know you’re not?) People with no sense of humor…please roll over and GETALIFE. They will not be able to read that because they can not think outside the plastic baggie… People please get a life and then get a box so you can expand your horizons.

  5. Marvo

    Ramon is too sexy of a name for an insurance adjustor. Ramon is the perfect name for the sexy pool cleaner who cleans the pool with his shirt off, showing his sweaty, bronzed, sculpted body.

    I think you should’ve named the insurance adjustor…Um…Joe or Roger.

  6. Nic

    See that’s just bad customer service. He should have come with boots and waders just to make you feel like he cared. So it seems reasonable that he is suddenly “missing” and actually, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I saw him drive away from your house. Totally unharmed and dry (the jackass).

  7. Contrary

    You’re right, blindness is not funny. Temporary blindness, maybe.
    That could be funny.

    ( I wonder if the kharmic temporary blindness will hit me before I finish this com….ahsahsds1) Heh.

    Ahem. Anyway, Mir, I hope things are on an upswing for you. Ooops! I just thought how they couldn’t get any worse. Sorry!

  8. KimberlyDi


  9. Sumo

    Typical insurace adjustor.

    Look into getting a “utility pump” (Home Depot carries them). They don’t have to be submerged like a sump pump. They sit on the floor and pump down to 1/4″ water depth.

    Are your neighbors having the same flooding issues or is it just your place?

  10. stephanie

    Not that you want to hear this, but it is probably pneumonia. You should go to a doctor. :(

  11. aimee

    Ugh…feel better soon. I don’t think it’s killer fungus. It’s probably PMIA syndrome — Post Murdering an Insurance Adjuster syndrome. It’s common, but it’ll pass in a few days.

  12. Dawn

    Okay. Here’s what you do. Watch TV. Write down the names of all the drugs they advertise without saying what they treat. Take that list to your doctor and say you want them. All. One of them is bound to help. On the bright side, if one of them gives you a 4-hour erection, at least it’ll distract you from the breathing well? not so much, problem. Good luck!

    I do hope you feel better soon. And that Ramon steps in dog poo in his nice leather shoes. You should have ripped off one of his shoes and started bailing with it. Good lord, save me from smart-aleks like him.

  13. Jenn2

    Wait…cancer isn’t funny? Dman it. No wonder no one is laughing at my jokes. Next thing I know, you’ll be telling me ALS and paralysis are unfunny as well.

    Well, crap.

    I’m thinking good, dry thoughts for you.

  14. carson

    I haven’t read the specifics of how you are dealing with the water, but when our basement flooded, we used 2 wet vacs to get the water out. When we’d sucked up enough water (that would be when it was too heavy for me to carry so I had to get a Big Strong Man to carry it for me) it was time to empty it.

    And if you want to look on the bright side, you can ponder that my basement was not full of Rainwater Sent by an Angry God, but Raw Sewage from the Pipe Blocked by an Angry Pine Tree. (Can I mention the stomach virus that went through the house? And the company that left 3 days early?) That did qualify for my Worst Week Ever, beating out the week my mom died. (Once my mom was dead, that was as bad as it got. The Worst Week kept getting worse, as our house tried to self-destruct, without warning us with a spooky “Get Out!” or even the cute television people talking to my daughter.)

    Must. Stop. Here. This. Is. Not. My. Blog. But if you want to read a story that makes stormwater in the basement sound clean and sanitary, try this:

  15. Alexa

    Ha ha! Oh, nothing says “funny” like blindness. Unless it’s flooding.
    I think you should invite Ramon back over and serve him lemonade made with floodwater. I hope this truly has been the worst of it, and that your sickness is merely a fleeting case of Mopper’s Lung.

  16. the Mater

    Let’s see … you’ve been bailing water for a week while entertaining kiddies overnight, looking for work, worried about your son’s allergies, traveling alone by car for miles just to make an online writer-buddy ecstatic by supporting her play, and having to deal with a bureaucratic clown who didn’t even have the common sense or civility to wear his Timberlands to examine your basement. Now, there’s pressure in your chest and you’re feeling feverish … ya think there may be a connection?

    I give you permission to be sick. Send the kids to school, lock the basement door, go upstairs, take a hot steamy shower and fall in bed!

    Get well soon!

    Hugs, E xxoo

  17. Ing

    You need some commercial medication for your chest thing. Preferably something that does not cause oily discharge. I wish you all the best getting your basement dry ~ and you are a strong, strong woman for holding back from kick the insurance adjuster in the sack. You should have just nudged him and his nice shoes into the water though…kind of an accidentally on purpose kind of thing. ;)

  18. Lena

    You should have said to Ramon “Why would I want to do that? Why, just yesterday the neighborhood kids came over for a swim and, boy, did we have fun!”

    Take some bronchial tea from Whole Foods. It’s cold and you do a 2 tsp. a day. Works like a charm.

    Unless it’s HPV. Then…it won’t work. You better TELL SOMEONE THAT.

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