In what has to be my favorite of his stories about the period of his childhood that his family spent on the Greek island of Corfu, Gerald Durrell tells of a visit that they had by a minor French nobleman. The picture that Durrell paints of the Count is that of a prissy, autocratic French nobleman with “such a thoroughly Gallic interest in the edibility of everything with which he came in contact that one could have been pardoned for thinking him the reincarnation of a goat.” “His philosophy, if any, could be summed up in the phrase ‘We do it better in France'”.
Because Durrell’s family, strong willed and just a tad on the eccentric side themselves, and because these tales are _mostly_ accurate, but not necessarily without some descent into fancy, the story of the Count is fraught with mishap and hilarity. The story ends after the Count has left Corfu, but sends back a letter warning the Durrells that he has developed a disease called “Moops”. Since post-pubescent men who contract the Mumps often end up with swelling and inflammation within their testicles, it can be a fairly dangerous disease. The Count’s letter ends with “I am in clinic inflicted by disease called moops. Have inflicted all over. I finding I cannot arrange myself. I have no hunger and impossible I am sitting. Beware yourself the moops.”
Ever since I first heard that story — maybe 11 or 12 years old — any virulent, hideous funk has been, in my mind, “the Moops”.
Well Monday I got the Moops.
Monday was my first day back at work after my recent hand surgery. I felt well enough during the day, but started to feel a bit off on the drive home. Assuming I was just hungry I came home, ate dinner, and sat down to watch The Nightly Show with Larry Willmore.
In between the middle of The Nightly Show and the time I ended up in the Highline ER (about three hours) I lost three pounds. Any time anyone even mentioned food to me I’d throw up again. Even trying to distract myself with The Gummybear Song was enough to make me puke (hey, gimme a break. I *like* it!). I spent the next three hours getting worked up and then filled up with anti-emetics, IV saline, and (wheee!) morphine.
Feeling hideously guilty, but entirely certain that there wasn’t any way in HELL that I’d be able to go to work yesterday, I texted my boss when we got back from the ER at 2 a.m. and told her that I wouldn’t be coming in on Tuesday, but I would make it Wednesday (a.k.a. today).
Well, yeah. That was a nice thought.
My temperature only dropped below 100F this morning and I have eaten a grand total of three pieces of toast and one hardboiled egg in the last 36 hours. Also I’ve been vertical now for two hours and I’m going to have to go lie down again as soon as I am done here.
Friends, family, Ladies and Gentlemen, loyal readers of UADN, beware yourself the moops. This is a truly GROSS bug, apparently highly virulent, and pretty damn violent. If you start feeling yucky, go see a doctor because losing 5 pounds in 2 1/2 days is not usually recommended by the medical profession.