If my sources are correct, influenza (flu) is from the Greek-- roughly translated as "Put Dr. Kevorkian on Speed Dial." As a flu aficionado , I am to the flu what a sommelier is to wine. Many a Saturday night I have staggerd across my living room looking more haggardly ill than both Mcqueen and Hoffman in Papillon. I can sense the subtle flavorings of each flu strain. Some have a hint of nausea with a whisper of migrane. For example, I can tell you the difference between remnants of the Spanish Flu or the surprisingly vicious but short-lived Uber Schenectady Flu.
The Baker Clan has been a favorite host and subseqent victim of the flues since the great plague.
For my non-flu oriented friends, I have compiled a list of my favorite influenza strains and their symptoms.
1. Hugging the Porcelain God (HPG)
This flu has a mysterious ninja-type quality. One minute you're craving bizarre foods -- something like poached loin of Yak with a seaweed demi-glaze, then suddenly you're making love to the nearest commode. This flu turns your stomach into a massive Yak tsunami. Should you be in the clutches of this flu -- drag the nearest futon into your bathroom and place it next to the toilet. The HPG flu is what we experts at BakerMuse call the Spew and Snooze.
This flu is so vile, you will be throwing up food you had as a child -- like Gerber's famous strained peas and liver. The worst part of this flu is that once the spewing is over the dry heave phase begins. The stomach clearly knows there's nothing left to toss, but feels compelled to repeat the act over and over again. I once found my entire stomach lining in the sink drain.
2. The Sasquatch
If you wake up and you feel as if a 7-foot, hairy version of Claude Akins is dancing on your chest, you've got the Saquatch. Forget about breathing my friend because you've just exchanged lungs with a 54-year-old waitress from Yuma who's single-handedly kept the unfiltered Camel Brand alive. First, your voice will automatically lower five registers -- so that you sound exactly like Susanne Pleshette. Then, as the Sasquatch works its way through your bronchial tubes you will begin to cough up a lung, and in some cases your body will turn completely inside out. North Pole Elves have their own version of this called Tinsel Lung.
3. Fire in the Hole (FITH)
As the name implies, you might as well Velcro yourself to the toilet, because this will be an extended stay. This nasty virus goes straight to your intestines and begins to propagate like rabbits on a triple dose of Viagra. The so-called "friendly" bacteria are wiped out turning your colon into a large section of PVC pipe. Depending on which version of "FITH" you get, the variations are labeled as followed. The Howizer. This should be self-explanatory. In fact, this is a flu best investigated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Caution: Hold on to the toilet seat or you will be rocketed into the nearest attic. The Calcutta. This awful flu combines the worst features of both Howitzer and the Hugging the Porcelain God. Should you play host to this double whammy, I would suggest a pair of asbestos diapers. Mrs. O'leary's Cow. This is the worst. It's a five alarm fire and you're sitting on it. You feel as if a million Habanero peppers are partying in your lower intestine. Some conspiracy buffs believe this may be the major cause of Global Warming.
4. The Short Circuit
This may be among the most mysterious of all the flu bugs. It is gender specific. This flu attacks the kind of men who are bubbling cauldrons of testosterone. Men who get up a five AM, put on some natural hemp underwear and go out fishing with nothing more than a bent nail and dental floss.
Unfortunately, this flu short circuits the brain and suddenly this man's whole life is the LifeTime Channel. This man will put on a comfy robe, sip chamomile tea and watch movies with names like "The Stranger I Married," or "My Husband, my 2nd Cousin" and weep all the way through it. This phase can last up to three days. If the man starts talking about a desire to knit a tea cosy, call 911.
I have about 50 more of these viral personalities catalogued. I write them down all now, but the Lifetime Channel is on and I think Tory Spelling is starring.