The feelings of doom descended late last week when the other half of the household started sneezing and reaching for Kleenex.

A cold, that simple virus that has thwarted medical science since the dawn of man, infected the Thompson abode. I ran for the orange juice and vitamin C tablets, avoided kisses and hoped like hell that fate would not point its fickle finger in my direction.

Yet disaster could not be avoided. Coughs, fever and that general feeling of biologic disruption struck late Monday afternoon and evolved into a full-blown head cold by Tuesday.

As with all colds, the timing could not be worse. While my body temperature rose, temperatures outside plunged, the wind howled at double-digit speeds and I had to face a group of students to try and satisfy their hunger for knowledge of digital photography.

I approached the classroom in a decongestant-induced haze, armed with handouts, photographs and a box of tissues. Two hours later they left me and my pile of discarded Kleenex, saying they would be back next week and thanking me for whatever I said. I have no recollection of what happened during those 120 minutes.

Somehow I made it home, managing to stay on the road between coughs, nose-blowing and fever-impaired vision. She who gave this to me tried to assuage her guilt with glasses of orange juice, more decongestant and constant apology but her pleas for forgiveness fell uppon stopped-up ears.

I lurched towards the bedroom and slipped into a Nyquil-induced coma, passing the night with vivid dreams of boiling oil, poisonous spiders and dismembering punishment of the woman who infected me with this terrible, incurable virus.

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