Public Libraries are Hazardous to Your Health

This is a gross post.

I do not often get sick. In fact, in the past 3 years, I have been sick exactly 3 times. Fortunately, they have all come at the least inopportune times - during various breaks. I got sick two Christmases ago, and then again last Christmas, and now I'm sick again during summer break.

All three times have been really insanely awful sinus infections. I'm not the sort of person who gets sinus infections with every cold. No, I only get sinus infections when I get something--we're talking about foreign bodies here--stuck up my nose.

I don't go around putting things up there deliberately. Christmas '07, I sneezed with cheese in my mouth and got a bit of cheese stuck up in the back of my nose. Raging infection. Christmas '08, it was same show, only with cauliflower. Really awful.

This time, I got it from a book.

I've been reading Agatha Christie's Poirot novels, and checked a few out from the university library. The offending book was The A.B.C. Murders. It had been water-damaged and was quite moldy and dusty. Nonetheless, I stupidly insisted on reading it, as it was the school's only local copy. Well, I got a fragment of brittle paper, complete with mysterious, unknown, and probably highly dangerous black book mold, stuck up the back of my nose. I must have breathed it in. I felt it immediately and tried to get it out, but no go. Twelve hours later, I'm a pus-filled, mucus-spewing, 101.3-fever-running mess.

I'm returning the book in a bright orange ziplock bag with a biohazard logo on.

Tom G Varik