Scurvy, rickets, and carnies – OH MY!
Below is a tale of a typical conversation between me and my guy. Pull up a chair, and find out why he and I get on so well still after twelve years.
My guy (henceforth known as “M.G.”) is getting old. It’s a sad, but true fact. He’s got acid reflux, high blood pressure and some infection thing constantly creeping into his throat (bear with me here. I swear this isn’t a depressing post). I asked why he kept clearing his throat and he mentioned that he was out of a particular prescription. I lamented that keeping up with his medications was like a fulltime job.
Somehow this led, once again, to a discussion about diseases we saw on that old computer game “The Oregon Trail” (Yes, we’ve had this discussion twice in the past two weeks. I don’t know why). M.G. started naming off diseases/ailments he could get when he gets older like dysentery, diphtheria and scurvy.
At one point M.G. exclaimed, “Eat an orange, ya idiot!”
I responded with, “Or you could get rickets,” because I thought it was similar to scurvy. Since neither of us actually had the first clue what rickets actually was, he whipped out one of his many digital tablets to look it up.
But first M.G. went to the pages about the other ailments. He proceeded to go through the symptoms of these to see if he already had any. However he soon declared that common complaints of mine must surely be dysentery. I, of course, didn’t take kindly to the idea that I was suffering from something that had killed little Nicole on the Oregon Trail. Just to tick me off, M.G. read off pertinent information in a loud voice while I folded towels, and tried to ignore him. He mockingly went down the list of ailments associated with dysentery. Every other latin name ended with him saying, “That one was on House.”
Finally he got to the rickets article. We quickly learned that rickets wasn’t something a 39 y.o. guy would get in his twilight years. But upon reading the article and learning it’s an ailment that can deform children, M.G. mused, “I wonder if this is how carnies are made.” (For those who don’t know, carnies are the creepy people who work at traveling carnivals/funfairs)
I was momentarily speechless, not because I didn’t know how we’d jumped from nineteenth century ailments found on ships and wagon trails to CARNIES, but because I’d been right there with him! I got my voice back in time to retort, “Well, you see, when the mommy carnie and the daddy carnie…”
He ignored me to open another browser tab. And typed in “Carnie +rickets”. Google oh-so-helpfully offered up “Did you mean: Carrie Rickets? carnie tickets?…” I suggested he change it to “sideshow +rickets”. Once again Google wanted to sell us tickets to a carnival.
Determined to get to the bottom of carnie creation, M.G. typed in, “How are carnies made”. And he found a LITERAL article about how to become a carnie, complete with U.S. tax advice. I was once again speechless but this time it was with the things one could find on the internet (and that people aspire to become carnies).
That was when I decided it was time to get some editing done before he moved on to ailments found in ancient Rome or something equally as disturbing. I definitely didn’t need to hear that I might have the plague.