By DARREN HANDSCHUH
My wife has been a nurse for more than two decades.
She has been a mother for almost as long.
If you put the two together what do you get? Apparently, a house full of sick children.
I came home the other day from work to find my home had been invaded by a horde of youngsters ñ as it usually is. I have three kids of my own, but it is a rare day when it is just my own kids roaming my castle.
My home has become 'the house' where my kid's friends gather to hang out, play video games and eat everything that is edible, and a few things that aren't.
The difference this time was Junior's friends brought some friends of their own in the form of germs. They were infected with a very nasty cold, but that did not stop them from crashing at my house ñ it also did not slow down their eating, which I was kind of hoping it would because short of winning the lottery, buying all that extra food is going to put me in the poor house (where I am sure all those teens will follow in their nomadic quest for food.)
Anyway, as I pulled into the driveway, I was unaware of Germ-stock that was taking place in my basement.
I popped downstairs after a hard day in the salt mines ñ commonly known as my desk ñ to relax with my good friend, Mr. X-Box 360.
The electronic gaming wonder and me go back several years, and before that I was rather well acquainted with his distant cousin, Mr. Playstation.
Some people might say I am too old to be playing video games. I say poo-poo to you too. Mine is the first generation to play video games. From the adventures of that little yellow ball with the eating disorder, Pacman, to the amazing stuff they have today, I have lived the evolution of gaming.
And even though I am into the latter half of the f-years, I still enjoy grabbing a controller and smiting bad guys before they can take over the world.
But what does my gaming prowess have to do with the mini epidemic festering in my home? My infected son and two of his infected friends already had their grubby little paws on the controllers and you could almost see the germs crawling around, waiting for another victim to infect.
Once they were done their game, I grabbed one of the controllers covered it with a very liberal dose of hand sanitizer and went about saving the world yet again.
This time the enemy had a secret weapon ñ three secret weapons actually ñ in the form of a trio of teenage boys who sat behind me, watching me play while they gacked, hacked, coughed and snorted more snot than an elephant with a head cold.
I tried to concentrate on the game, but the noise from the peanut gallery was far too distracting and I decided to forgo saving the universe in favour of saving myself from having to listen to the snot fest that was taking place in the basement.
I asked my wife why there were two additional ill young men in my basement, and she basically said her mother and nursing instincts kicked in and she decided it was better for them to stay at our house where she could look after them and make sure they got rest and medicine. Besides, they were already there.
Kind of hard to argue with that seeing as we had already agreed to be 'the house,' so I resigned myself to the fact my home had been turned into an infirmary for the criminally snotty.
Of course, a few days later I was the one with the runny nose, hacking cough and general feeling of ickyness.
The cold was brutal and seriously knocked the wind out of my sales for almost two weeks, but because the teen crew was afraid of catching the cold again, they left the room every time I wanted to play the X-Box.
I guess there is a silver lining to every dark cloud.