Battling Bugs and Keeping-up with the Joneses
A few weeks ago, I got a standard seasonal influenza shot. None-the-less, a bit over a week ago (more than two weeks after the vaccination) I became ill with what seems an awful lot like a flu. It can be hard to distinguish a bad cold from a flu, but a even a bad cold should be over in a week or less. It’s also possible that I’ve been hit by more than one infection (one opportunistically following on another), but Ockham’s razor argues for one cause. So I’d say that I contracted a flu that was not covered by the vaccine.
I’ve tried to get some work done; but, mostly, I’ve felt that the last week-and-something has been lost.
During this episode, while dreaming in a feverish state, I invented a very fine pair of characters for Li’l Abner. (An immediate problem is that Li’l Abner ceased to be an on-going story in late 1977.)
One of these characters is Amicable Jones, who is known in Dogpatch as someone who has always been able to settle any dispute amicably. The other character is his father, who was unfortunately unnamed in my dream but whom I’ll here call
Irascible Jones. Irascible Jones has not been in Dogpatch for a great many years. He’s instead been all over the world, creäting conflicts or involving himself in disputes that are never subsequently resolved.
Now it has been learned that Irascible Jones is returning to Dogpatch. Amicable Jones doesn’t much want a reünion; not so much because he has some generalized fear of new conflict, but specifically because, to settle his own disputes amicably, he has often given the other party something that, in fact, properly belonged to Irascible Jones.