There I was, happy as a clam at high tide, not knowing that amongst the other birthday gifts someone had generously donated a case of stomach 'flu.
Of course, as is the nature of that kind of thing, I didn't discover this gift until about, oh, zero-bloody-dark-thirty in the Ay Em.
There I was -- happily involved in an intricate little dream involving the Doublemint Twins, a large amount of marzipan frosting, several gum drops, and a ring-tailed lemur in a umpire's uniform -- and I'm suddenly sitting bolt upright in bed, cold sweat everywhere, absolutely certain that I've just heard HAL 9000's redneck cousin announce:
"Total, Ah say, total containment failure in fahv ... fower..."
Somewhat confusingly, at the same time I was thinking that that sodding lemur needed his eyes checked, because I was clearly safe at third.
Come to think, there may have been some mild delirium issues.
"Ah ain't kiddin' none," continued the voice of BUBBA 9000, "Ah'm talkin' Biblical [deleted] now ... three ... two ... seconds to total containment failure ..."
Followed by an ominous bubbling rumble from somewhere betwixt my brisket and my fourth point of contact.
Bedclothes went one way, pillow went the other, and I'm high-stepping for the khazi quick, fast and in a hurry, snagging a handy trashcan on the way by.
Got there just in time to assume the position -- and I'm here to tell you that BUBBA 9000 is a master of understatement.
An unknown length of time later, and I'm blearily trying to understand how it could be anatomically possible for one human being to jettison that much stuff -- even using multiple exits -- without tossing out a major organ or two in the process when, hey! I'm face down on the floor!
Not a clue as to how I got there. Or how the hell my leg wound up wedged across the top of the toilet tank.
My first thought was to decide that I had either 1) managed to evacuate my spinal column during the height of the performance ... so to speak; or 2) I'd given myself a stroke.
Fortunately, my faithful feline companion, Ittycat, had followed me into the room and was sitting next to my head.
"Run, Ittycat! Get help!"
Ittycat sneezed sedately, rendering himself cross-eyed, and causing the painting of the bathing baby in the washtub mounted over the towel rack to crash to the floor.
"Go tell Chris I'm in trouble!"
Ittycat reached out and gently patted me on the face with a dainty paw. This is, I have discovered, Catspeak for: "Excuse me, but are you going to be much longer?"
Well, either that or, "Fall down again, funny human!"
I glare at Ittycat.
Ittycat blinked big (slightly crossed) gold eyes at me. Translation: "This floor is linoleum. It chills my toes. Ah, a handy ear to sit upon. Ta, ever so."
Now, the LawDog Theory of Emergency Medicine states that the seriousness of your medical condition is directly related to how embarrassed you're going to be when the paramedics tell the story of how they found you.
Face down on a bathroom floor? Check.
Cat sitting on head? Check.
Dancing yellow armadillo boxer shorts? Check.
Oh, yeah. We're past stroke and well into Ebola territory here.
I feel around the general location of my temple, grab Ittycat gently and set him on the floor, where he curls his tail around his toes and burbles happily; then I drag myself up the front of the bathroom cabinet to stare woozily into the mirror. I stick out my tongue at my reflection. No deviation.
"She sells sea-shells down by the sea-shore." No slurring, no more than the usual amount of spray.
I shade my left eye. It dilates and constricts as per usual. The right eye does likewise.
From the floor next to my left knee comes a sound somewhat like the detonation of a SCUBA tank, and I look to see Ittycat on his back, blinking at me in mild feline astonishment. His eyes, I note, are crossed yet again.
"We gotta do something about your allergies."
Since I have obviously not given myself a stroke, I pull meself to my feet, hit the requisite lever on the khazi, stagger three steps, fall back into bed and pull my pillow over my face with a groan.
Ittycat, of course, promptly hops onto the pillow with a contented trill, curls up and goes to sleep.
This, Gentle Readers, is exactly why Lassie was a dog instead of a cat.