At my middle school we all had to take a health class taught by our awkward bumbling eighth grade science teacher. We learned almost nothing from the class other than that no, frogs cannot have sex with horses and yes, most people have oral herpes. Finding out that most, but not all people have oral herpes was like finding out that some people in our class secretly still wet the bed (and you could figure out who just by looking at their face for sores!). One friend in particular decided that she did not already have oral herpes and would live her whole life without getting it. I asked her if I could take a sip of her water in play rehearsal once and she looked at me and said, “well, do you have herpes?”
“What?! No! I don’t have herpes!” I replied.
“I mean oral herpes. Have you ever had a coldsore?”
“I don’t know. Haven’t you? Haven’t you kissed anyone?”
“I have never had a coldsore and I’m not a slut so I don’t have herpes.”
“That’s not how it works!”
“I don’t want your dirty mouth sex disease. You can’t drink my water!” She retorted.
I ended the little debate by yelling something along the lines of “FINE! I’ll drink my own dirty mouth sex water!”, prompting glares from my teachers and friends.
I was reminded of this scarring interchange last night when I developed a head cold, body aches, a head ache, itchy eyes, a sore throat, and a runny nose. I descended from my tissue-filled sick bed and stumbled into the common room in a fit of sneezy, runny nose-y, headache-y, wheezy coughs to two surprised suitemates who immediately threw up their hands and covered their faces squealing “don’t give me that swine! Don’t give me me your dirty pig disease!” Not wanting to repeat the embarrassing incidents of middle school (otherwise known as my daily goal of the day) I left it at that, retreated backwards into my room and fell asleep to the lullaby of another episode of This American Life. When I woke up this morning miraculously un-cured I called the Nurse who told me I had swine. I refused to believe her, however and went and touched all the bagels in the Branford dining hall. Okay, I’m kidding but I still feel like a leper.
UPDATE: I do not have swine! I do have a common cold which I am combating with Emergen-C in shot form (sold at Walgreens), zyrtec, and Yale’s “miso” soup which really had nothing in common with miso soup other than cold tofu.