January 2010 Issue

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi


Note:  Due to the unfortunate lapse between our November and January issues (not to mention a disastrous cash-flow problem here at TWD World Headquarters), the Holiday Two-Subs-for-Just-Barely-More-than-One Special Deal described here has been extended until February 1, 2009 (or until we get around to taking down the Christmas tree, March at the latest).  So if you’re looking for just the thing to combat those post-holiday blues, we’ve got your ticket, with a spare for a friend.  As always, your support keeps this website up and running.  We now return you to our somewhat irregular programming:


Holy moly, all right, already.  Never a dull moment.

You’re probably wondering what happened to the December issue. Me too. I’ve been away:

Twas just days before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for one spouse, who was crouched on all fours at the porcelain throne, wishing he’d chosen dinner at home….

So a couple of weeks ago Hometown Buffet, an all-you-can-eat place here in Central Ohio, sent me a coupon good for one free meal on account of my birthday.

(Although I do not “age” as you humans do, I celebrate my arrival on your planet as my “birthday” out of solidarity with your plight.  It also makes things way easier at the DMV.)

We chose the Friday before Christmas as the happy date, because Friday is Fish Night at HTB (as they call themselves), and Mrs. WD is fond of broiled salmon. The food at HTB is not, as you can imagine, exactly the reincarnation of Lutece, but if you exercise caution, much of it ain’t bad and the salmon is always fresh. Besides, this was all gonna be half-price.

I actually hate fish, and on such occasions usually go with the broiled chicken, mashed potatoes and pizza that represent my personal food pyramid. The vegetarian marinara sauce there is also actually quite good, and they don’t overcook the pasta. It really isn’t a dump, in other words.

So we march in and chow down, and on my second trip to the trough I notice that they have a big tray of fried clams, the only kind of seafood I actually like.  So I eat a small pile.  A big small pile.  With tartar sauce that, admittedly, reminds me a bit of spackle.  Then, after a few pieces of carrot cake (quite good), we toddle home.  End of Act One.

That night I dreamed of Manderley.  No, actually, I dreamed of Borneo, which is very odd.  I almost never dream of Borneo.  Never, in fact.  But there I was, in a small village in Borneo, being pursued by giant stinging insects. It was an extremely vivid, cinematic sort of dream, which is also unusual for me.

I spent the next day in a weird sort of funk, and didn’t feel like eating much of anything. That night I had more B-movie nightmares, also very vivid. The only other time I remember having such baroque nightmares was when I took Percocet after a gall bladder operation years ago. In one dream, for instance, I was at a book fair in Atlanta, and they had given me a very fancy but completely blank name tag, which really upset me. I went on to dream that I was trapped in a dead city full of ghosts, but that name tag thing actually bothered me more. Hi, my name is nobody. Wanna talk about my invisible book?

The next day, Sunday, I really felt strange and sick, so strange that I went back to bed in the early afternoon. When I woke up at around 6 pm I felt dizzy and nauseated, so I headed for the bathroom. About halfway there I sort of collapsed on the floor. Even to me, up until then convinced that I merely had a bad case of indigestion, this was clearly a Bad Sign.

Next thing I know I’m downstairs in the living room, arguing with the EMTs that they should take me to Mt. Carmel East in Columbus rather than to the local Fairfield Medical Center (FMC). I won. Take my word for it, you don’t ever wanna go to FMC. I’d rather take my chances with the local veterinarian.

Page 1 of 3 | Next page