By DARREN HANDSCHUH
I know it is just a matter of time.
Eventually it will get me, and I am not looking forward to it at all.
You see, I have three kids in school and that means every single bug that is running around the city will end up in my home.
I sort of feel like a condemned man: you know it's going to happen, there is no escaping it.
Currently two of the brood have some form of illness .
Junior No. 1 has the flu, not the throwing up until your spleen goes numb flu, but the chilly, achy, coughing, feeling crappy, I've-fallen-and-I-don't-want-to-get-up kind of flu.
That kind of flu I can live with actually. You may be out of commission for a few days, but it is the barfing-so-hard-your-hair-hurts flu I really hate, and I don't even have that much hair, well, not on my head anyway.
Junior No. 2 has a cold and sounds like a seal during mating season. His best friend has the same cold and the two hack and cough the day away, sometimes in perfect stereo, which means double the germs swirling around my home, with me in the bullseye.
Like I said, it is only a matter of time before one of the ailments strikes me down, and I hate being sick.
Of course the big concern right now is the swine flu, which also goes by the much-less gripping name of the H1N1.
I don't even know what H1N1 stands for, but I do know it is one nasty bug that I would rather avoid than play host to.
As far as I know the ailment named after a pig has not landed in my home and I hope it stays that way, but there is no shortage of viruses more than willing to pay us a visit.
And as flu and cold season gets into full swing, the germ incubator called school will be the first place the bugs head.
In an effort to combat the germ invasion, I use hand sanitizer by the gallon. It is almost to the point where I am pouring the stuff in an industrial-sized sprayer and hosing down the house. Just because I am destined to become ill doesn't mean I won't go down fighting.
Door knobs, once simply device used to open doors, have now become a thing of dread. I can't actually see all the little germs dancing around the brass surface, but they are there, waiting, always waiting.
And don't even get me started on the 'OK' button of an ATM machine. That is the one button everyone has to touch.
I know this is sounding rather Howard Hughes-ish, but the older I get, which I do every single day, the less I want to have a cold or a flu.
I am not running around in a sterilized suit or anything (but the thought has crossed my mind), I am just being cautious.
When I was younger, I could pretty much ignore a cold and just carried on as normal, but as Father Time continues to slap me around, colds seem a lot harder to tolerate.
The flu has always been a problem and has shut me down a few times, and with the swine making the rounds, one can never be too careful.
Fortunately I married a nurse, so medical expertise is close at hand.
“Honey, I don't know what's wrong with me. I think I have anthrax or the plague or something. My stomach is kind of burning and its making these weird rumbling sounds.”
“It's called being hungry, go get something to eat.”
“So I don't have dengue fever then? Are you sure? Maybe I have malaria. Is there malaria in the Okanagan? What if it's Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever? What will I do then?”Fortunately my wife is also very patient.