Smile Politely

I Will Not Die of Meningitis

Good day, gentle reader. I remain, The Campus Wit.

As of late, many people have approached me and questioned my moniker. “Why do you call yourself The Campus Wit? In three posts, you have yet to say anything remotely witty.”

In response to their griping, I have conceded and decided to begin acknowledging to calls of “The Campus Curmudgeon” and “The Campus Prick” as well as “The Campus Wit.” So feel free to call me by any of these names if you somehow see me, but please know that I will continue to ignore you and your friends just as soon as you approach me.

Today, however, I have a fourth name: “The Campus Hypochondriac.”

Why? One word: Meningitis.

This horrible ailment has hit our campus, and I am terrified. Two cases have been reported, and I am certain that I will be the third. From what I have read, the main symptoms of meningitis are a stiff neck, a headache, and a high fever. Since I heard about the scare, my neck as never been so stiff and my head has ached with the force of forty banshee howls.

Now all I can do is wait for the fever.

I am staked out looking for it. I’ve got my binoculars, mini-doughnuts, portable urinal, and I’m ready for the long haul. If and when I see that ol’ fever coming towards me, I’ll be ready.

I really hope that the day never comes when I will have to unleash my fever attack plan because I fear that the University of Illinois will never recover from the pure visceral power of my bombardment. Therefore, I am doing my best to avoid fever in any way possible. This is proving quite difficult.

Why does no one else on campus seem to be worried about the possibility of imminent meningital quietus? Does no one realize that it can kill you? I cannot believe the indifference and sometimes, even anger, with which my meningitis survival strategies have been met.

The other day I was sitting in Espresso Royale in sheer terror, waiting to meet a class-assigned study partner who insisted on a public place to engage. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that a woman was about to drink out of a cup from which someone else had previous partaken. Quickly remembering that meningitis spreads through mouth to mouth contact, I alighted from my seat and leaped through the air towards the woman. By the luck of the Irish, I managed to knock the cup out of the woman’s hand before she managed to bring the possibly virulent cup to her lips. I crashed to the ground, slid forward ten feet, pushed off the ground, and did a 360 flip before landing squarely on my feet.

I triumphantly looked around and expected the entire place to erupt in raucous and interminable applause.

I was sadly mistaken. Instead of people clapping their hands, they started using them to beat the crap out of me. I screamed, “I was just trying to prevent a meningital infection!” over and over until I lost consciousness. When I woke up fifteen hours later, the place was closed and my clothes were ripped, but I knew it had been worth it. I had saved a life. Even though no one realized it.

(Disclaimer – I have never been to Espresso Royale, nor any other campus establishment with more than three people gathered together.)

Apparently, no one else is worried about meningitis on this campus. But no matter. I will continue to stave off infection for the duration of my life. We’ll see who has the last laugh.

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