You're right. I don't belong here. Not on a Thursday.
For the better part of a decade, I have been writing "At Large" columns (once again, that is not meant as self-deprecating humor about my shape) on Wednesdays and Sundays.
So what am I doing here on a Thursday?
Actually, I'm just happy to be here at all after one of the three worst personal bouts with midwinter illness -- the flu -- I have ever encountered. I still don't understand what happened. Like any good senior citizen, I got my fall flu shot, I always try to wear weather-appropriate clothing, and I have my wife shovel most of the snow.
How could I have gotten so sick?
That's one of those mysteries of the universe we'll never know, just like why is there no cure for the common cold (or the flu, for that matter), why the Cleveland Browns have never made it to the Super Bowl, or why I can't drive a "stick."
What I do know is how much fun it is not to be at home during the daytime when you are used to being in the midst of The Herald-Whig newsroom.
Instead of interacting with my fellow reporting pals, I spent what seemed like an eternity watching TV offerings I never knew existed.
I missed hearing Maggie Menderski talk about her favorite sandwich that is not really a sandwich because it has no meat -- just a lot of unidentifiable green stuff. I also missed getting the latest rundown on pro wrestling from Don O'Brien. I even missed having Matt Schuckman try to convince me Missouri will be the next national champion in both football and basketball.
Instead, I spent four days either curled up in bed or my favorite recliner covered with a minimum of 16 blankets, watching some of the worst television ever created by representatives of the free world.
I'm not certain, but I think having to watch at least a portion of what I did might have added another day or two to my suffering. As close as I can recall, these were the five worst viewings, although I could have missed a few in between naps and nausea:
1. "I Hate My Butt!": Seriously, that's the name of this "show," which is actually more of an infomercial. It concerns some supermodel's secret to an alleged perfect derriere. All I know is it was a pain in mine.
2. "Parenting 101": This show guarantees I will regain control of my child's behavior. My youngest child is now 29, so whatever I have failed at is a lost cause by now.
3. "Tattoo Nightmares": I found this one was not a good idea with a queasy stomach.
4. Anything on the Food Network: Not recommended when the supply of Pepto-Bismol is running low.
5. "Have Turkey Neck?": This introduces a noninvasive way to tighten sagging chin and jaw skin.
May I say again that I am so glad to be back at work?
So very, very glad.