Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! (Memorial edition)  »

You guys, I am dying of plague. I don’t know what happened, but ever since Monday, I’m not just contending with the awesome wonder of my usual back-pain, but also headaches, nausea, and sinus pain. The worst part is that while I am laying in bed worried that my appendix has ruptured or that I have ingested some kind of airborne pathogen that will kill me in a matter of days, Allen keeps claiming that it is allergies and that everything would be better if I just took a Claritin. This is why I can’t trust Allen: anytime I am sick, there he is insisting that I have pollen clogged in my nose or something (is this how allergies work? I have no idea! Because I don’t have allergies!) and that I should really take an Alavert and a nap and if I don’t feel better, a Benadryl in a couple of hours. It doesn’t matter the symptom, because it is all allergies all the time with him.*

"Allen," I could say to him. "I am burning up and my head hurts."
"Allergies," he would reply. "There’s some Claritin in the medicine cabinet. I bought 300 of them when I last went to Costco!"
“I don’t think it’s allergies. I am bleeding out of every orifice in my body. I am pretty sure it is Ebola. Could you call someone?”
"Bleeding profusely is a common sign of allergies!" He would reply. "Take two Alavert and put a cold compress on your head."
"Let me get you some Benadryl. Catching on fire is normal with allergies. Let’s just take a couple of deep breaths."

It’s a good thing that Allen isn’t a coroner, because everyone’s death certificate would just say “allergy complications” and crime would be at an all-time high. You dodged a bullet there, city of San Francisco. I, however, have to put up with him while I am unable to move from my bed and consequently am even more irritable than usual (irritation, Allen would say, is quite a regular occurrence when someone is suffering from allergies). I was going to make this week’s post all about happy things that happened, but because I am suffering and because there is a dearth of good things happening (last night I watched A Serbian Film and could not sleep. Man, social commentary, why you gotta be so intense?) it is more fitting that we spend the time we have together to silently wave a paw in respect to some amazing animals who passed away this year.

Have you guys heard of Shrek, the wooliest sheep in the world? Shrek not only took a stand against shearing, but became a media darling before passing away at the age of sixteen due to health complications [Ed. note: allergies]. How awesome is a sheep that refuses to be sheared? Pretty awesome. And then you think about it and realize that Shrek escaped in 1998 and spent six years hiding in a cave while both surviving (thrivin’) and escaping capture. That is like the best argument for how smart animals are. Would you be able to live in a cave for six years in total solitude? No? Well then perhaps we should serve you with a nice side of mint sauce.

In addition, Shrek, upon his triumphant return to civilization, met New Zealand’s prime minister, loved to chill with kids, and raised an incredible (cannot be calculated!) amount of money for charity? How many of us can say we are that awesome? My best story is about how once a woman peed on the floor of the video store I used to work in to show me that we were no longer friends. That doesn’t even come close to living in a cave incognito for six years.   Also, look how fucking adorable that sheep is. God, I wish I could make friends with one. Then we could cuddle and watch Gilmore Girls together.

You guys remember Knut, right? Man, that is one adorable bear. How is the world going to get along without him? Knut was, unfortunately, born in captivity in the Berlin Zoo and quickly rejected by his mother (as a nice Jewish boy I can’t even imagine what that would be like). In order to keep him alive, zookeepers raised Knut themselves, trying to make him happy and strong (I assume happy, but I don’t know because it is a zoo). Knut got incredibly famous for being such a survivor and once even landed a Vanity Fair cover. Unfortunately, Knut died at the age of four. We will never know if all the fame got to be too much (I imagine), but there has been talk that his mental state had been deteriorating for some time before his death (which: Obviously. You get rejected by your mother, strangers raise you, people stare at you all day. I would go crazy too). As soon as news of Knut’s passing had spread, the zoo was overrun with those who had come to pay their respects. Even Berlin’s mayor was among the many who mourned Knut’s loss. I’m almost in tears just writing about it.
That’s actual tears now; I just remembered Ming Ming the panda. Man, this has been a hard year already. Ming Ming was 34 years old at the time of her death, making her the oldest giant panda on earth. Did you guys know that pandas had such short life spans? I don’t know why, but I was pretty sure that, like turtles, pandas lived to be something like 300 years old. Maybe it’s because they just seem so majestic and incredibly wise. Ming Ming died in captivity, but as giant pandas are endangered species and the goal of the location she was at is to boost the giant panda population, maybe this is the only time ever that captivity is not as horrible as it initially sounds. What do you guys think? Am I totally off-base here?

That’s it for this week. I’m crawling back under the covers and giving Allen another call at work to remind him that I need Nyquil not Alevert in order to have a restful night’s sleep. This will be my 15th call, so hopefully he will bring me some—to stop me from leaving him angry messages. Send me links for next week and have a plague-free Wednesday.

*To be fair, it is always cancer as far as I am concerned. That is because, like Allen, I am also completely insane. And terrified of cancer.

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