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STORM: A visit from Coughy, the most annoying dwarf


Janet Storm

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Having a cold is like being besieged by a pack of surly dwarfs. Suddenly you’re surrounded by Sneezy, Achy, Sniffly, Stuffy, Sweaty and Sleepy. But worst of all the tiny terrors is Coughy, the world’s original hacker.

Long after the lesser dwarves have wandered off to bother other people, Coughy hangs around continuing to make life miserable. He’s the worst houseguest ever, interrupting my sentences, keeping me awake at night and causing a disturbance everywhere he goes. 

He’s been hanging around my place for close to two weeks now, and I can’t even begin to express how happy I would be to kick him to the curb. I’m sick of him acting up every time I try to swallow a spoonful of cereal — sneaking in from out of nowhere and causing me to spew milk across the kitchen countertop. 

I’m also sick of the dirty looks I get when he sabotages me in public. As I hack into a tissue I can see lips curling in disgust all around me. I want to shout, “It’s not me — it’s Coughy!” but I fear the general populace just wouldn’t understand.

A kind doctor gave me a prescription for medicine to combat Coughy’s influence. It helps, but is only a temporary reprieve — sort of like slipping him a few bucks and telling him to buy himself a nice dinner so I can get some peace and quiet. I bask for awhile in my solitude, but sooner or later he always returns. I can feel him botching up my breathing as clearly as if he were rapping on my ribcage.

“Hey there, I’m back,” Coughy gloats. “Did ya miss me?”

My little dogs are not fans of Coughy. They like to snuggle up against me at night, but Coughy rattles my body around so much that they sigh and move away. When he steps back for a moment, they sidle closer. But he returns until they finally give up and fall asleep on the other side of the bed.

Sometimes I wonder if Coughy’s persistence is related to some deep-seated attention depravation. After all, when the other dwarves are around — especially Sniffly and Stuffy — he is all but ignored. Maybe hanging on for an extra week or so is his way of standing out from the crowd. 

Or maybe he is just a jerk.

Whatever the explanation, I’m ready to serve him with an eviction notice. Hear that Coughy? I am going to make it my mission to get rid of you. I’ll wrap myself up like a mummy. No expense will be spared on Vicks Vapor Rub or steam treatments. I’ll keep taking my medicine and making your life miserable. You can’t win this one, Coughy, my man. Pack your bags and vacate before things get as ugly as Sweaty on a summer day.

I’d suggest you head to Russia. They love hackers there.

Contact Janet Storm at jstorm@reflector.com of 252-329-9587.