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'Twas the night before Sickmas - Rob Felt

Behold... Christmas Eve, and I lay with a still. On the couch near the tree with a fever and chills.

No sugarplums danced in front of my eyes. My throat hurt so bad that I thought I would die.

'Fore I left to Ohio, the doctor I saw, and with pills in hand, thought my wellness was law.

But as the plane shook and rose in the air, doubts grew in my mind and my neck sprung a flare.

The pain I ignored, smiled and swallowed the pills. This stuff better work, I had paid all the bills.

The annual party, full of friends and merriment? Well it happened on time, and all but I went.

All the snow on the ground and the songs in the air! My fever rose high and I couldn't less care.

My gifts went unwrapped until the last minute. They usually glow, but my heart wasn't in it.

Food was laid out - a magnificent dinner. I should've got fat, but I surely got thinner.

Smells wafted forth, filling the home. I'll pass on the gravy, I'm making my own.

The Season passed thusly and didn't improve. I left with a taste of the bitterest mood.

And as my plane returned to the sky, there was white on the ground and red in my eye.

So laugh at this poem, if it's funny I'm glad, but truth be told I'm really quite mad.

Well that's that. You didn't expect me to carry on in rhyme for the whole column, did you? You ask too much!

In the past year I've had strep throat 3 times, which means that I've turned into some kind of sickly girlyman, and that just makes me angry. Not once in my life had I been infected with this illness until a year ago, and now we're like old pals. Chummy, ain't it?

For a week now I've had the gravel throat, as I like to call it. The first batch of antibiotics I was prescribed had no effect. Maybe I was unknowingly part of an experiment and I was assigned to the sugar pill control group.

After I got back from my fantastically sick Christmas in cold front Ohio, I returned to the doctor and loaded up for round 2 of the pill popping frenzy. Slightly different ammo this time. The battle is currently under way.

So many pills. Countless pills have fizzled apart in my stomach this past week. This might lead to some kind of ulcer condition, which could only require new medications and more pills.

All of this has really keyed up the perennial New Year's resolution of health and wellness. I haven't been eating all that much lately, and to be honest it's refreshing. Maybe I'll call it the "Easy Streps to Health" diet and make millions writing a series of best-selling guides on how to eat as if you were sick. Far worse ideas have been successful.

For now, though, I'm simply looking forward to next year. I can only assume that I won't be as sickly, because it would be impossible to top this year's performance.

Happy New Year!

Rob Felt is the photographer for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or rfelt@henryherald.com .