Once there was a woman named Splerp who came down with a nasty cold. She didn’t have any sick days, because, as a self-employed musician, sick days are really just fancy for ‘loss of income whilst vomiting’ days, and Splerp didn’t want that. She marched through several days of work only to discover her body wasn’t recovering with its usual side eye laden rigor.
On Thursday night, she had had enough and decided to give herself a thorough night’s sleep by self-medicating with a mug of hot buttered rum. She prepped the drink and placed the mug on her nightstand. Splerp settled in for an hour of sipping and reading, which would have been sedately wonderful had it actually happened. Instead, she immediately passed out in a blaze of squelchy snores the second her head touched her pillow.
Splerp awoke the next morning mostly not better. She attempted to tidy about the house; she put clothes away, grabbed her empty mug from the nightstand and put it in the sink, did the dishes, and let her pet beagle, Ani, out. Ani lurched outside, fumbled about for a few minutes, peed, then lurched back up the stairs, missing a step, and fling-crashing herself into the screen door.
Splerp didn’t think too much of this, because Ani was a notorious goober. Splerp sat herself on the couch and embraced her solitary day off with all the misguided hope found in a mound of okra and fenugreek. She was mere minutes into the fifth episode of the fifth season of American Horror Story when she noticed Ani bloop-derping across the living room floor. Her little beagle was struggling with her hind legs and kept forgetting which direction she needed to go. Ani finally convinced herself to go upstairs, an endeavor that suddenly required listing to one side and then the other, with an occasional thump into the railing.
The top of the stairs turned out to be the summit of a goose chase, and Ani promptly changed course, although she forgot to turn around and wound up sliding ass first down the stairs. At this point, Splerp was concerned. This was more goober than usual. Splerp, being something of a concerned parent, immediately guessed either a stroke or a massive head injury, and began Googling with reckless abandon. As the results flashed across her screen (degenerative eyeball disease! acidic mucous syndrome! toxic collar dye poisoning! muscular dystrophy leading to dementia!), Ani attemped to join Splerp on the couch. Rather than pouncing onto the cushions with her routine gusto, she balanced precariously on her hind legs, then toppled over.
Undaunted, Ani got up, tail wagging, and tried again, flinging herself at the couch with all the bewilderment of the possibly recently demented. She hit the side of the couch and slid to the ground, her happy snorts betraying her shady ability to take the situation seriously. Splerp picked her up and cradled her and tried to decide if she could pull her own health together for long enough to be safe in a vehicle. Splerp held Ani up in front of her face, hoping vaguely for some telltale indication that immediate medical assistance was required.
Ani’s head sagged dopily to one side, and her furry belly rumbled and gurgled almost rhythmically. The little beagle huffed a little, and kicked her feet, then straightened her neck so as to meet Splerp eye to eye.
Ani opened her mouth and released a belch so wet, so lengthy, so belligerently unremorseful, that Splerp’s own mouth fell open in shock. And as Splerp regrettably inhaled the now bile laden fumes of cinnamon and nutmeg, butter, and rum, she bemoaned her choices, each and every one.
- Moral: always, ALWAYS finish your drink.