The Mark Side of UCSB: Come On and Get Down With the Sickness

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It’s the most wonderful time of the year because flu season is upon us. Go find the nearest contagious mouth. Then you should either give that person a nice wet kiss or inhale the sweet air being exhaled from their infected lungs.

Flu season sickness is like the golden ticket of diseases. At best, the symptoms are merely coughing, sneezing and a runny nose. At its worst, flu season includes headaches and stomach pains that cause a person to be bedridden for a couple of days. But, it’s not the symptoms that make getting sick so special but rather the opportunities that they provide.

As if anybody needed another excuse to miss class, getting sick presents a legitimate reason to be absent. Even with midterms, sickness is a great tool. Keep prospective cheaters away from your answers with a nice, hoarse cough and refuse to wipe your nose on anything other than your forearms and hands. On the flipside, cheaters can use similar tactics to get a quick peek at some answers or notes. I’ve done both and they work perfectly well, especially since half the class is doing the same thing. If you aren’t down with cheating, then try asking for extensions on assignments. Most professors and teaching assistants are cool enough as it is and will let you slide for an additional week.

Has somebody been getting on your nerves lately? Then it’s time to get all Typhoid Mary on their ass. Take every chance possible to breathe, cough and sneeze on them or their belongings. Then laugh as they slowly progress down the infected route you went through mere days earlier. What are they going to do to you? Make you even sicker? If the Cold War has taught me anything, it’s that it all comes down to the pre-emptive strike. The sooner you get sick, the sooner you get better. You don’t want to get stuck trying to fight the more resistant mutant strains of germs found toward the tail end of flu season.

Use germ warfare as leverage to get your way. Tell people to shut off their god-awful music. Take full control over the thermostat and the room window. Prevent yourself from getting sexiled. Once you get better, you can dismiss your asshole behavior by attributing it to the sickness.

Sometimes it isn’t necessary to be so aggressive. People tend to feel sorry for the sick. They’ll be willing to get food and take notes for you. Last year, I suggested to my roommate that he sleep in the living room if he didn’t want to get sick. He agreed, and to my surprise he enjoyed sleeping in the living room so much that he stayed there. All of a sudden, I had a bedroom for two all to myself for the rest of the year! It works best when you’re at your frailest, so take it easy on the Theraflu before asking for a favor.

However, that leads to the best reason to get sick, which is the excuse to ingest yummy cold and flu “medicine.” Halls cough drops come in a variety of delectable flavors that put Jolly Ranchers to shame. Then there’s Vicks Nyquil, or as Lewis Black calls it, “the moonshine of medicine.” It’s already got a higher proof than malt liquor, but add a splash of bourbon or whiskey and it transforms into a magically potent trip to high heaven. You’ll certainly be the envy of many if you’re lucky enough to get prescription strength materials.

The best thing about colds and flus is that you’ll eventually get better, so make sure to take advantage of flu season. You can get sick any time of the year; but how many times is it considered acceptable to infect, bitch out or make others feel sympathetic to your condition? It’s like chicken pox, PMS and pregnancy all rolled into one. Get up. Come on. Get down with the sickness.

Daily Nexus Art Director Mark Batalla is a little Disturbed this week.

Posted by Batalla at 11:45 PM  


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