Smokey the Magnificent

Failing the Turing Test since 1986


You know what pretty much defines misery? Running out of Gaviscon in the middle of the night, while coming down with a sore throat. Not just a sore throat, neither, but a full-blown leak-from-the-face teeth-aching winter cold. When desperately wishing to sleep, however, it is the combination of a throat rasping with infection at the top end and being sizzled away by gastric juices at the bottom end that really makes life worth living.

So this morning, I sent Helpdesk Man out on a mission to bring me back pizza, which I was inexplicably craving, and enough Gaviscon to neutralise a citrus grove. Poor man, he tried. First he went to the Warehouse, which didn’t have any; but brought back the pizza as a peace offering, which the pig and I contentedly ate. It was a good one – pine nuts, apricot sauce and cubes of cream cheese. Then he kindly took the pig for a walk to the pharmacy. It was shut. In a burst of right-brained brilliance he headed for the local Indian grocer. The woman did not stock Gaviscon, but pressed upon Helpdesk Man a number of Indian herbal heartburn tablets. Unfortunately she did not specify what was in them, nor whether they were safe for pregnancy, so I didn’t quite fancy them (and Helpdesk Man, having been forced to taste one by the lady, was sympathetic. Apparently they were vile.) So he valiantly made a fourth trip to the supermarket, where the life-giving elixir was finally found and brought to justice.

That was several hours ago. Thanks to the Gaviscon, I managed a few hours of fitful, fevered sleep in a semi-upright position. Then I woke up rather suddenly, bleated a shrill and unwifely demand at Helpdesk Man, and was flamboyantly sick all over the bed while he was hunting around the kitchen for a bucket.

I do not reveal all this out of a base desire for pity, Gentle Reader. Rather, it is mere preamble to the next event, which was probably the highlight of my year so far. Several minutes after divesting my innards of chunder, I blew my nose in a fretful way… and a pine nut flew out.

Helpdesk Man is a lucky guy, I like to think.


  1. Betty Scandretti

    Have you considered, in the bowels of Christ, that you may be doing it wrong?

  2. smokering

    Wrong? I think you mean oh so right. I don’t know what kind of magical up you chuck, but being able to produce a clean, intact pine nut from a long-ago-nommed pizza is pretty impressive, I think.

    Sadly, I have spat my dogs twice since then, and was unable to replicate the feat. Just as well, prolly; dinner last night was tortellini.

  3. Jules

    I love visiting your blog. I go away laughing so much but perhaps also a little relieved that my life is so boring in comparison.

  4. Trish

    What … beautiful … prose …

  5. Keren

    Hahaaa! I read that blog post twice and laughed loudly both times. Ahhh. Good for the soul.

  6. nat