Monday, February 04, 2008
We had some friends over for dinner yesterday. They were perfect company, so the title is not a reference to their conduct. As usual, it was our family that provided the disasters. Although I must say that three out of the six people we invited did call up to say they couldn’t make it. So much for our popularity.
It started with baby Wolf, who kept us awake all Thursday night, crying and wailing every half hour or so. We thought he was teething, a second tooth is popping through his gums. But the next day we found he had a high fever – 40.2°C which is 800°F if my calculations are correct (I never was strong at maths). In any case, it was severe and we took him to the baby repair shop. After much frolicking with needles and tubes, the doctor got enough blood out of him to determine that he had a whopper of an infection on both ears.
This medical emergency had taken us a lot of valuable time that we desperately needed to clean that dump we live in. So on Saturday we both worked hard to get rid of the elephant dung underneath the sofa and the ketchup stains on the ceiling next to the bats.
Then, Mrs.B started to feel a bit sniffy. And during the evening this progressed into a full blown fever with coughing and moaning and acute demands for blankets, medicines and attention. That night, she didn’t sleep at all and produced more wailing than a bay full of humpback whales singing the blues. Luckily, Wolf had somewhat recovered and he slept fine.
So on Sunday, our guests got greeted by the Mummy of Nefertiti without make-up. Mrs.B made it through the hors-d’œuvres, but at dinner, everything went haywire. Our guests were enjoying the excellent shrimp-omelette-tartelettes followed by a wonderful and very tasty Osso Bucco, when their appetites got hammered under the carpet. Mrs.B suddenly started to go very red and very hot – for once I’d gone easy on the spicy paprika so it wasn’t my fault – and then very pale. While everyone was feasting on slices of veal, she had a thermometer in her mouth. She saw her temperature rise to an alarming 38.4°C, when suddenly Wolf exploded!
There is no other word for it, he wasn’t just vomiting. An enormous spout of orange-yellow blubber blasted from his mouth, while two smaller jets of the same slimy liquid squirted through both his nostrils. It was like watching the space shuttle take off, with one main booster roaring and two main engines at full go. It was a rocket puke! Luckily we have a big table, or the guy sitting at the other end would have been blown through the window.
Several towels later, the flood was under control. We created an emergency centre to clean the little guy and to redecorate the room. Mrs.B was so impressed by it all that she spontaneously forgot to be ill – not for long though.
For some reason, our guests weren’t hungry anymore after all this. Which was excellent, because it meant more food for me.