I have this thing about not eating in restaurants during flu season. I don’t care what anyone says, it can’t be healthy. How could it be? People come to work whether they are sick or not. It’s the corporate way. Feeling a little body slammed? Coughing your guts out? Holding your stomach? It doesn’t matter. Who cares? You don’t get paid for staying home.
What does this mean for the rest of us? It means that if we eat out, we eat whatever bug they are serving. We know this, yet we open the menu, as if somehow we are immune to the latest string, and I don’t mean potatoes. And it doesn’t help when the server comes to the table and says, “I’m sooooo sick.” This should be our first clue to run. But that wouldn’t be nice, so we order the omelet and watch as the server sneezes.
Time to get our coats and make a hasty exit. So what if the server is verbally warning us that she’s about to croak in front of our very eyes? So what if she looks like she’s been punched in the nose, and her eyes are swollen, and the manager from you-know-where doesn’t seem to notice? How sick can she be? The establishment wouldn’t let her wait tables if she was that ill. Would they?
Still, from the looks of it she’s been wrestled to the ground by mucous monster. We've got to save ourselves. This is difficult to explain to Charley.
“Let’s go Son, we’re eating somewhere else.”
“The server is sick. We don’t want to get what she’s got.
“Yes I are,” he says. And why? Because he sees the server heading to the table with chicken.
“Honey, the server has some kind of bug.”
“No not, Mom, her got kicken.”
“That’s not what I mean, Son, we don’t want to get the flu.”
“We are NOT staying, now get your jacket.”
“Eat.” He points to the food. “I hungwee. My belly growlin'.”
Brad and I look at each other. It’s decision time. Stay or go. It’s just one dinner. Besides, she’s already set the plate in front of him, achoo.
If you know anything about Down Syndrome, you know only too well that once they’ve got their mind set, that’s it. At least that’s how it is with our Downs. Flexibility does not enter into the DNA. That, and who wants to go out in the cold only to head to another restaurant where some other server probably has the flu.
“Looks like we’re staying,” Brad says.
Oh, what can it hurt?
Surely not everyone who eats at this restaurant gets sick, so pass the ketchup, and get out of the way.
And with that stupid decision, we caved. The food wasn’t too bad, although anything would have tasted good as late as it was. But what the hay, we had full stomachs. It was a perfect ending to the day. Except for one thing. And this is where I won’t go into specific detail, but let’s just say there are worse things, but I don’t know what. Charley’s flu bug totaled 4 days. I’m on my 5th. Thanks waitress. Thanks restaurant. Thanks stupid decision. Cherry flavored Kaopectate anyone?
Even so, as I write this it occurs to me that even the flu can have it’s upside. First, I’ve lost six pounds. Second, Charley makes a pretty good nurse. He’s covered me with blankets, put pillows behind my head, brought me the phone, put the cat in my lap so I don’t have to suffer alone, and cleaned the house without being asked. He’s kept his TV turned down, and delivered ginger ale where I sit, and kissed my forehead.
Come to think of it, maybe we should eat out more often.