Kage Baker, as I have noted, was amused by the story of Helicobacter pyloris.
I’m sure this was due to a life-long history of watching Disney nature shows, where everything was given a neotenic expression and narration by Sterling Holloway. Sort of like the DNA in Jurassic Park – that sequence was so absolutely Disney that Kage was in hysterics in the movie theatre.
I am not fond of the damn stuff, however. It not only causes ulcers, it can cause several other digestive ills. It is severely implicated in common gastritis – what mostly people call, utterly inaccurately, “stomach flu”.
Kage called it stomach flu. “I have stomach flu,” she would report balefully, staggering out of the bathroom with black wrath written on her dead-white face.
“No, you don’t,” I would say (sisters will take good care of one another but are not always the most sympathetic people). ” No one EVER has stomach flu. Influenza is a respiratory disease and only affects the lungs and bronchi.”
“Yeah, well, screw you, because I just puked up a lung. So there.” And Kage would retire for a couple of days of living on ginger ale and Pepto Bismal. I would read to her, and fetch Chinese War Won Ton soup when she graduated to food again.
But there really is no such thing as stomach flu, Dear Readers. It’s gastritis, or enteritis, or food poisoning, or an allergy or something.Whatever makes your stomach hurt, makes you throw up, and shake with fever, and ache in all your long bones as your poor muscles try to raise a fever – it’s rarely something fatal. It’s one of those supremely annoying malaise petites that strike out of the dark and make you wish you were dead, without ever guaranteeing you the faintest chance of such a blessed release.
And in case you haven’t guess, I’ve got one. I write now to excuse myself, and to get some satisfaction from dark humour at my own expense. I had to go invoke a renowned bacterium … now am I served back for my hubris.
Still, I know it’s probably only gastritis. Probably. Usually. I mean, this sort of thing is hardly ever anything serious …
Although, in the heat of summer and self-pity, my money at the moment is on cholera.
See you tomorrow, folks.