Monday, August 22, 2016

Spidey Sense

The Colonel spent the weekend in a fever-induced hallucinogenic haze.  The massive swelling and intense pain (Category 6 on the Saffir-Simpson Nietzsche-Gregory Suffering and Whining Scale)  around a small site on his lower back led him to surmise that he had been bitten by a spider.  The fevered visions of webs shooting from his wrists seemed to verify that suspicion. 

The Colonel could have gone to the local hospital's emergency room, he guesses.  But he ain't smart and you can't make him.  Instead, he gutted it out for 48 hours and went to his personal physician's office first thing this Monday morning.  

The nurse practitioner who saw the Colonel took one look at the festering, swollen wound on the Colonel's back and immediately left the examination room, returning five minutes later in a full hazmat suit.  This did not particularly alarm the Colonel -- the Comely and Kind-Hearted Miss Brenda has a hazmat suit she dons frequently to do the Colonel's laundry.

"Colonel," she breathlessly declared, attempting mightily to maintain her medically professional demeanor, "I'm not sure I've ever seen anything quite like this."

"Oh, really?"  The Colonel was suddenly infused with a sense of perverse pride at his evident specialness.

"Well, you are in luck, Colonel.  I just so happen to be an arachnid bite expert, and based on the circumference of the site and the massive swelling, coupled with your fevered hallucinations, I think I know exactly what bit you."

Oh, really?"  The Colonel was intensely interested to hear the identity of the critter that had demonstrated the temerity to bite him.

"Yes.  I believe that you were bitten by the exceedingly rare Mississippi brown-spotted three-fanged vampire jumping spider."

The Colonel, who had theretofore been proudly presenting his formerly well-muscled back, turned to look her dead in the eye.  Even through the distortion of the hazmat suit's plastic face plate, the Colonel could see that she was maintaining a straight face.

The Colonel played along. "What's the prognosis?"

"Ordinarily, instantaneous death.  But in a small minority of cases, long-term lingering suffering."

"Well," the Colonel responded, "been there, done that.  Living through the Obama presidency, after all."   

The nurse practitioner broke out a hypodermic needle that was last used to harpoon a sperm whale, and injected a whale-boat load of steroids into the Colonel's formerly well-toned gluteous maximus, handed him a prescription for some more pharmaceuticals, and sent him on his way with wishes that he would feel better soon.

"No chance of that," the Colonel intoned in parting.  "Have you seen who is likely to be the next president?"    

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