This attempt at humor was written while recovering from the Swine Flu.

Dearest Colleagues,

I write this electronically-delivered letter to you in the hopes that you will forgive me. A terrible fate has befallen my lovely daughter V_______, and I am afrid that I now share in her misfortune. To protect you all from similarly horrible destinies, I must eschew your company this day.

It all started innocently enough, with a persistent cough. My eldest daughter would delicately hack to “clear her throat”. The coughs became more frequent and urgent. She developed a fever which burned her pure, innocent forehead. As time passed, she begain to writhe in agony, delirious with dreams of God knows not what Heavenly retributions and Hellish tortures.

My dearest wife E____ conveyed her to the pediatrician’s office on Sunday. Her doctor (a woman, by God! Ah, well. I know not what muse guides Science, but she must hold in favor the fairer sex) diagnosed V_______ with Swine Flu. The woman practiced her Art with confidence, perscribing the most modern treatments available.

We repaired to our home, powders and poultices in hand. The cure had barely taken hold of my dear daughter when I myself began to cough. At first, I denied the obvious. What strong man would not? Having fought in The War, my thoughts were not for my own safety or bodily condition but for that of my child.

I tell you now: Mr. Poe never wrote of horrors so small. The tiny demons that ravage my body even now defy all description, and to burden you with reports of the agony they cause does not merit further thought.

The submarine-like conditions of the Juicyorange office being the breeding grounds for animalcules it is, it is best that I remain far, far away. This is why I have decided to remain in an entirely different State of the Union. My sorrow at not joining you is only mitigated by the knowledge that you will not be exposed to the fiends that wrack my body.

In the fervent hope that this missive is not rerouted to your Spam folder,

With Deepest Respect,
James J. Menard
Babbage Engine Servitor