The Jewish Flu Shot


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411: My kitchen, just back from Krupin’s

If my funeral were held today, you’d be listening to: “Draggin’ Hooks” by the Cowboy Junkies

So they ran out of flu shots this year.

I used to be the kind of person that doubted everything everyone in authority said. I assumed those flu shots are just going to make us more susceptible to the bug in the long run. Then Sarah came back from Harvard with the fear of god in her. “Every PhD student in the public health policy department at Harvard says you’re an idiot if you don’t get a flu shot.”

So I casually looked for one only to find out they aren’t available. Then I got the flu. As did Sarah. Luckily, Krupin’s is not out of Matzoh Ball Chicken Soup. I went and bought four large tubs and eight matzoh balls. I didn’t ask for a syringe, but everything else about me screamed “junkie”.

I was pale. I was sweating. I was bundled up way too much given the remarkably warm weather we were having. My hands were shaking, and my pupils were probably dialated. I asked for soup and extra matzoh balls in a conspiratorial whisper that suggested I was up to no good.

This isn’t my first trip to Krupin’s. BJ got sick a week earlier, and we brought her two tubs of soup and walked her dog. I’m sure the Krupin’s people think I’m a soup addict or something.

I didn’t want to announce loudly in the waiting area of the deli that I had the flu and I wanted some soup to cure it. I figured that would be like announcing I was a typhoid carrier. Typhoid Mary, who refused to acknowledge that she was a carrier, ended up incarcerated on Roosevelt Island in the middle of the Hudson River outside New York City when she refused to isolate herself and her germs.

I don’t know how far they would go in Washington DC, but I knew this much: I don’t want to spend the next ten days incarcerated on a rocky island off the coast of Georgetown until I was no longer contagious.

Besides, there’s no way to heat up soup out there.