Dear Readers;


Two weeks ago, just prior to my birthday, I woke up one morning and felt sluggish.   As the day progressed, I began to feel worse.    I’m talking aches, pains, lethargy, and that way too familiar itchy tickle sensation in the lower portion of my throat and chest.  

Upper respiratory infection?   Maybe.   Bad cold?  Could be.   Swine Flu?  Probably.    That night, my fever soared to just under 103°.  It took a mere 45 minutes to reach that temperature.  I had  a varied version of the intestinal thing happening,  too.   It was nothing but a steady eruption of fevered farts.  They’re the worst.  Nasty and powerful.    Battling them could be the plot of a Dino di Laurentis disaster movie.   I was also verging on delirium.   I kept thinking I was in Russia.  I’m not sure why.

But I decided to soldier on because this flu stuff is old hat for me.  I’ve contended with ailments of the mouth, nose, throat and various respiratory infections since I was en utero.  Each year, I can lay odds with anyone in Vegas, that I will invariably experience two major outbreaks of something microbial.  On the day I fell ill, I realized I was in the throes of the second and God willing,  the final health related malady this year.   December and January are sick months for me and round two usually arrives in mid to late Spring  which forces me to seek  Sulfa drugs and what not.

I have a weak respiratory system, apparently.  It’s susceptible to allergens, mold and armpit stank.  I get congested at the drop of a hat, which was always great for my career as a broadcaster.   And on those days when it felt as if little Matt Roloff sneaked into my room in the dead of night and jammed two Tampons up each nostril, I’d always …ALWAYS have newscasts that included the letter “m” in every other word.

It was an unavoidable fact of life for me.

Imagine, “Good borning.  It’s 2 P-Emb.   This is  F-Emb News Channel, 97-Five and now here’s Bartha Bartinez, with your bajor headlines….”

Not pretty.

When I get like this, I dream of : 

  • a crew from Roto-Rooter, auguring my nasal passages.  
  • snorting acetone
  • nasally inhaling fire
  • applying something like one of those fuzzy, twisty pipe cleaner things and shoving it in one nostril and pulling it out the other side…waxing on and waxing off that nasty mock guacamole that’s all up off in there
  • praying for sweet death

As it always does, my head felt huge, pressure filled and swollen like John Tesh’s and consequently, I was forced to breathe through my mouth and I do, I do, I do loathe mouth breathers.  

But such is my life when sputum and snotum are the order of the day.  I’m still enduring after effects weeks after the fact.   The flu has gone,  but I still has left-over evils wreaking havoc.  Because of that, I have learned to hate the color of all things verdant.   I’ve  blown my nose and wondered when I  ate avacados during this dreaded plague.    

And the past several mornings,  I’ve awakened with a stuffed up nose, a dry mouth, parched throat and for some reason, Octo-Mom lips.     I get out of bed  and make a mad dash for water,  anything wet to moisten the Sahara like conditions enveloping my esophagus.   

But that morning, I woke up with a little something extra.  

Parched and dry?  Most definitely, but as I reached for my jug o’water in the fridge,  I felt something small and cellophane-like on the back of my tongue.   I tried to spit it out, but alas, I could not.   I was spitless.   So, I reached in and pulled out what looked like a wing….from a fly.

Had I felt better, the thought of ingesting a fly in my sleep would’ve made me gag and leave an identifiable trail to the nearest porcelain bathroom receptacle.    But on that day, I felt too ill.  I merely removed the severed wing from Laurelsbad Caverns and disposed of it.  I think on the floor.

I’m not sure why I (or why anybody for that matter)  would be appalled by this aspect of  nocturnal feasting.  Statistics say that we humans, in one year’s time,  consume up to 14 insects…WHILE SLEEPING!!!       If that’s true, then we will consider my little fly snack to be the first entry into my Orwellian “abdominal farm” for 2009.

I can handle that, but later that afternoon while suffering minor gastro-intenstinal distress, I allowed a small  amount of the methane menace  to escape.  And when I did, I didn’t hear that tale-tell gurgle blart, booming rectal concussion.

Nay, I swear I heard…


Two days later, my fever broke and I felt better but a little hr, my fever hovered aroundjpTwo days later, hours after consumming a potent Fiber One bar, I discovered the other wing  and unfortunately, like so many downloads, it too had an attachment.

I felt nothing as I sent the tiny, single-winged corpse to it’s watery grave.



  1. I will never be able to eat avocados again and NOT think of your damn nose!!!!!!!! Thanks LK

  2. I think mother is partly to blame for mine, yours and Kathy’s respiratory distresses because we had to endure her cigarette smoke for years. Remember how we would beg her to crack her window while we were travelling? It could get suffocating in the car.

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