Who gets sick over winter break? Oh wait, me… but it’s Delaware’s fault!

Two weeks ago, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. No big deal, I thought. People get colds all the time. This was on Monday.

By Tuesday, I was running a fever and was pretty sure I was going to die. But again, I figured it was just a cold and that I could tough it out until the end of the week, then take winter break to recover. I’m not a big fan of using my sick days unless Bruce is touring, at which point I tend to come down with a mysterious ailment that flares up whenever he’s playing anywhere on the East coast, clears up at the end of the tour, and returns as soon as a new tour starts.

Unfortunately, Bruce wasn’t touring and it wasn’t a cold. I had contracted the dreaded flu.

Which makes ZERO sense, because I got a flu shot.

Of course, I get a flu shot every year, and it makes no difference, because I seem to get the flu every year.

My uncle (an ER doctor) told me that the reason for this is that the flu vaccine only contains the most common strains of that year’s flu, so it’s not uncommon to get the flu even after getting a flu shot.

But I’m not buying that explanation. I know the truth.

Well, okay, I don’t KNOW the truth. But I have several very plausible conspiracy theories that make better explanations.

Theory #1: It’s a plot on the part of my students to punish me for assigning them a research paper on Huck Finn. I don’t think they actually have their acts together enough to perpetrate germ warfare terrorism on this level, but when I thought about what group of people had the strongest reason to want to punish me, my students ranked high on the list. And it wouldn’t be all that hard for them to do. They’d just have to find sick people and get them to sneeze on their papers. I then handle the papers and boom! I’m sick. But kids, if it WAS you, please remember that I HAD to give you that paper. The county says so. Trust me, I’d rather write one Huck Finn paper than grade sixty of them! It’s not me you should be punishing!

Theory #2: Montgomery County has figured out that the majority of my absences coincide with Springsteen tour dates and decided to make sure that I got sick during a break so that I couldn’t use the break for anything fun. Basically they could do it the same way the kids could: infect a paper then give it to me as a memo or something. Again, unlikely, however, because I doubt the county has time to check my absences against Bruce’s tour schedule. And I’m 99 percent sure that if they can’t afford to give us raises, they’re not funding germ warfare.

Theory #3: Government Conspiracy A. This one really only applies if a lot of other teachers had the flu over break too, which I’ll find out today and get back to you on. Because what if the flu shot doesn’t REALLY do anything, and you need to GET the flu to be immune to this strain of it? I could see them infecting all the teachers during a break when we’re already going to be home and therefore saving money on substitute teachers. Think about it. It’s actually a smart plan!

Theory #4: Government Conspiracy B: The government is responsible for spreading the rumor that the flu shot makes you sick because they don’t actually have enough to inoculate everyone who would get it otherwise, and when they read my blog post about the flu shot NOT getting you sick, they realized I had to be stopped, so they infected me to keep me from blogging (which was actually quite effective for those couple weeks if that IS the case).

Theory #5: It’s Delaware’s fault. Right before I got sick, I went to New Jersey for a concert. Now I KNOW New Jersey didn’t get me sick, because I love New Jersey. I mean, if I’d been in Seaside Heights and contracted an STD, then it’d be a Jersey Shore thing, but I’m pretty sure Asbury Park isn’t spreading diseases. But I DID have to drive through Delaware to get to New Jersey. And stupid me, I stopped at the rest stop there to go to the bathroom and get gas. Which means that if Delaware WAS trying to silence me because of my blog about how much I hate their state, they definitely had the opportunity.

My best guess? Theory #5. Because when in doubt, I choose to blame Delaware. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the South Park movie would have been FAR more successful if the song was “Blame Delaware” instead of “Blame Canada.” Just to be safe, next time I head North, I’m keeping my windows tightly up and not stopping until I’m safely out of the state. I’m onto you Delaware, you’re not going to get ME sick again!

Two weeks later, I’m finally feeling mostly better. But I WILL find a way to retaliate Delaware. You’d better start sleeping with one eye open.

Just saying.