Sneezy, grumpy, dopey, doc

By Tiber

Yes, that’s right. Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc. The Four Dwarfs of the Apocalypse. My father has a cold.

This may not seem like breaking news but, believe me, when it happens, it pretty much breaks everything. They ought to put one of those honking warnings on TV, like the ones that say a tornado is coming. My father does not do sick well.

When we were little, Dad always carried a whistle that he’d blow if he wanted a kid to do something. This was how we all discovered the hidden passageways in the walls, because when that whistle would blow, you did not want to be the last person visible.

Today, that whistle was going off again, louder than ever. Plus, my mother had given Dad a bell to ring in case he wanted her and that too was bonging away, because Dad was beating it onto those old buzzers that still run over to the staff wing. Within minutes, a huge crowd was in his room, fearing that he was being attacked. But no, it’s just a cold.

When Dad’s well, he can easily have five projects going on but when he’s sick, he suddenly remembers twenty things that need doing immediately.

On seeing my father’s pallor, though, Cook had her own concerns. “This isn’t food poisoning…is it? I mean, no one’s dead, right?”

My mother reassured her that, no, it was just a simple cold, to which my father replied, ”Simple?!? You call my agonized and excruciating misery SIMPLE?!?”

And then Dad goes from belligerent geezer to pouty four year-old.

 “I want some ice chips. Cook, can you make me some that look like stars?”

That was it for my mother.

“Cook is not going to waste her time making you ice cube stars. How about if I hit an ice tray with a hammer and you can pretend the pieces are snowflakes?” I think she was being sarcastic but Dad said that sounded nice. So the rest of us ran away.

I will say this, though, we’re all pretty healthy.  And maybe this is one reason why. We’re all related to Dad and, God knows, no one wants to look like this.


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