Sick Day Time Machine | Mark’s Remarks

I walk around bragging quite a bit. Blowhards like me can always find something to talk about or brag about. It’s true.

One of the things I have bragged about for years is the fact that I rarely get sick. I haven’t had a good old fashioned cold for a long, long time. Even without a flu shot, I haven’t had the flu for more than 20 years. Yes, I fancy myself quite the healthy specimen.

I think one of the reasons my immune system is so strong is that I have been teaching little ones for 25 years. It can’t be because my eating and exercise regimen are consistent enough that I ward off evil germs. No, I think after being bombarded with germ after germ and learning to wash my hands every time I turn around, not touch my face, and pull down my sleeve when I go down the banister or touch a doorknob, I can safely say that I have an immune system made of iron.

But now and then, I will get a touch of something. A little bit of sinus. A nagging cough. Stopped up head with sneezing. I think these are more sinus and allergy related. Still, they don’t seem to last long.

I have used my share of sick days, but mostly for the check ups or “tests” that middle aged folks start to schedule as they grow older. Other sick days have been used to take care of a sick kid or take them to doctor’s appointments.

A couple of weeks back, I really was sick. There was no doubt about it. I began to lose my voice, felt lousy, and just wanted to recline and whine.

It has been a long time since I was at home, alone, feeling like doing nothing but rest and recuperate. I would venture out to the kitchen from time to time, but mostly I just sat around, curled up, trying to breathe and keep my head from popping off while I coughed.

It was weird, actually. There have been plenty of days I would have liked to stay at home, wearing my robe, not thinking about nor doing anything. But I can honestly say that it wasn’t as fun as I had thought it would be.

When people say there is nothing on television, they are correct. I suppose my tastes in entertainment have changed. I can’t seem to get into talk shows anymore. They are all about paternity tests and lie detectors. Seriously? Do these shows actually garner adequate ratings to stay on the air? Apparently so.

I flipped channels and even tried to watch a movie in its entirety, another rarity when you have four kids. Nothing seemed to strike my fancy and I guess being sick made me irritable enough that I did not have the attention span to watch a long movie. Go figure.

Finally, I found the game show channel. It was as if I were transported back to the 1970’s again. All of the orange carpeting and leisure suits. Women with big hair. Cheesy music which lead to the commercial — “We’ll be right back after this message.”

Indeed, all of the shows I watched that morning were shows that would have been on television when I was in junior high. I can see myself now, curled up on the couch watching “Card Sharks” or “The Pyramid.” I know the monetary value of the pyramid show changed over the years, so I left it out on purpose.

I thought about what my troubles would have been back in those junior high days. I had homework to do. I had a test that day and had to miss it. There would be making up work and catching up to do when I returned to school.

Funny how some things never change.

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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