YOU’VE HEARD of Montezuma’s revenge, the stomach illness that afflicts Americans who dare to drink the water in Mexico. Well, I’ve been afflicted with something far more sickening, malevolent and deadly.
It’s called LaVeta’s revenge, and it is tearing my body apart.
In order for you to understand the origin of this ailment, you’d have to go back to the first time I dared to write about my wife falling ill. I claimed that my wife had a “sick walk,” which was best described as Fred Sanford meets Grandma Dynamite. I said she had a sick sweater – a Mister Rogers number containing legions of lint balls.
I said my wife coughs in sets of three to heighten the drama, and that I could tell exactly how sick she was by measuring her “Misery Quotient.” That formula, I said, could be deduced by multiplying the number of coughs by her tissue use, dividing that total by the age of her pajamas, and adding that to the number of lint balls on her sweater.
In retrospect, I should not have written those things. I should have buried them in that dark and secluded place where marriage secrets go to die. But I needed a column that day, and the sick thing was just too funny to ignore.
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(Illustration by Richard Harrington)