It has been a weird week so this might be a weird column. Though I’m fully aware sometimes I give you a weird column during a perfectly normal week.
Yes, it has been weird. Frankly–and I don’t tell you this for sympathy or understanding but instead I tell you this to make an actual point–I feel like death. Let me make it clear–I said I feel like death, I didn’t say I feel like the Merchant of Death. Don’t want the rest of The Landmark staff trading me for a WNBA player.
But I’m pushing through. Or at least trying to. If this column stops halfway through and I then post a “best of Between the Lines” you’ll know things went further south.
I remember last week in his column, Guy Speckman on page 3 alluded to the fact he wasn’t feeling great. So I blame him. Maybe I contracted something just by opening his email. Stranger things have happened. I wasn’t wearing a mask.
Speaking of WNBA players, I wonder if Brittney Griner’s basketball skills took a hit due to time spent in a Russian prison. I think we should invite her to Platte County and test her skills by playing some hoops with our talented Landmark staffers Speckman, Chris Kamler, Brad Carl, Tech Man Schneider and myself, of course. After all I did make 23 of 25 free throws one time, as you know if you watched the Scott Wedman episode of Landmark Live.
How would we divide the teams? It would give the people more than they bargained for to go shirts vs. skins. So we’ll split into teams like this: Everybody who loves America will be on one team. Everybody named Brittney Griner will be on the other.
For real, I like our chances. Speckman is a tall guy, got some impressive moves in the lane, I’m sure. By the way, he doesn’t like it when I talk about this but I have it on good authority that Speck liked to scrap when he was a young adult. He’s not a stranger to a throw of hands, is what I’m saying. We don’t need fighting skills for this basketball matchup but we do need his height and willingness to mix things up within the rules. Speck’s not as young as he used to be so may not have much jumping ability left in him. To fix this problem, I would play while standing on Speckman’s shoulders, for the purpose of trying to block Griner’s shots.
Kamler is a Harry Potter activist so he could contribute some weird wizardry or whatever it is that Harry Potter does, not real sure.
Tech Man Schneider has the skillset to hack into the scoreboard and manipulate things if Griner is getting the best of us. Music man Brad Carl will throw in some Trumpisms, say “fake news” a lot and insist the game is rigged. Brad can also serenade Griner with a song, maybe something similar to Folsom Prison Blues.
We got this.
Looking back I think this weird illness may have started on Saturday. I woke up with a foggy head (nothing new) and the weirdest headache. Not debilitating mind you, just weird. You know the feeling of a normal headache. This wasn’t a normal headache. It was in a different part of my head, that’s about the only way to describe it. I laid back down on the bed in the late morning. My wife insinuated I was being lazy. Words hurt, you guys. Anyway, I fell asleep until I woke myself up snoring. I told you things are weird. I was feeling close to normal by mid-afternoon so headed out to the Santa Parade through Platte City and the mayor’s Christmas tree lighting.
Things were looking up. Sunday was fine. Monday was fine.
Then Tuesday morning arrived and with it this feeling of impending doom. I woke up nauseated and bloated, which is an awful combination, by the way. My stomach not only felt bloated it looked bloated. Pretty sure I’m not pregnant. It looks like that time as a young kid when I unintentionally overfed the neighbor’s dog while they were out of town. The poor dog’s stomach looked like a mini Goodyear Blimp. My mom quickly suggested I was being too generous with the portions. I assume the neighbors heard about this because they never asked me to feed their dog again.
I did make it into the office Tuesday but was virtually worthless. Walked at a fast pace into the restroom a couple of times when my face started to feel flushed and it felt like the food I’d recently eaten was going to come up the opposite direction it had gone down. Somehow it stayed down. Maybe I would feel better if it had come out.
Mid-morning Tuesday I decided to head upstairs to our Landmark Live studio where we have a couch. Well, not really a couch. Not to sound like a hopeless romantic but it’s more like a loveseat. Whatever. Noticing it was only 55 degrees up there, I cranked up the furnace and then grabbed a space heater and pulled it close. I found a blanket and put my feet up, with a fourth of my body hanging off the other end of this “couch.” Was just getting comfortable when one of the smoke alarms in the studio started chirping. You know the chirp. The one that happens when the battery is low. The one that always happens at the most inconvenient times. So I grabbed a step ladder and dealt with the problem.
I eventually dozed off on the ‘loveseat’ for a bit but couldn’t ignore an urgent matter when Cindy understandably buzzed my phone for an answer. I then tried to tough it out for a couple more hours (I’m not a hero, this is what every sole proprietor in America does) but by mid-afternoon I surrendered and drove home to collapse in my living room recliner, from where I’m attempting to pen this column.
It’s now 8 p.m. Tuesday and though I feel far from normal and far from great, I think I’ll survive.
You don’t want it but if you get it, don’t mess around with this stuff, folks. Find a full-sized couch and go down for the count.
(Find Foley sharpening his basketball skills for the upcoming match with Brittney Griner. Email firstname.lastname@example.org)