Pardon my French

June 21st, 2007

Sorry for the lack of updates, but my server crashed. The result is that it has been impossible for me to post updates to my blog to the site (you might have noticed the site has been loading kind of slow). Many thanks to Jared for fixing it. You rock, Jared!

This is not the only tragedy to befall me this week. Something also bit me. Twice.

There is a law of nature that everyone with even a passing acquaintance with me knows: if there is any bug in the immediate vicinity that can bite, it will bite Meg. That is how I managed to be stung by a wasp INSIDE the Indiana University HYPER building during an aerobics class, and also how I managed to get lyme disease even though I hate nature and have never gone camping in my life and have only been hiking once in the fifth grade.

Anyway, whatever bit me (twice) did it while I was in the middle of my pool reading Victoria Thompson’s Murder in Chinatown. (FYI, She emailed me! Her name really IS Victoria Thompson! Also, there will be at least three more books in the series. Also, she’s really nice). It bit me so hard, I nearly dropped the book in the pool. Fortunately I managed to make it out of the pool alive, with the book still dry. But just barely.

Whatever it was bit me in the crook of my left elbow VERY HARD two times and now there are two pus-engorged, swollen red spots that have bloody veins radiating all around them on my arm that itch very badly but are not spider bites according to my long-suffering doctor (Dr. H, as in Hall. Not to be confused with Dr. H, as in Hecht, who is my NYC doctor. None of these should be confused with Dr. P, as in Paz, my neurologist, who recently diagnosed me with hyperactivity, which came as a surprise to no one and finally explains how I’m 40 and have published almost 50 books and still have something like 200 at home that no one has ever or will ever read but me) who allowed me to come in even though I didn’t have an appointment because I told him my arm was probably turning necrotic (it wasn’t, it turned out).

He did give me some salve, though, and told me to take lots of Benadryl.

He also says he thinks it was a fire ant.

But how did a fire ant get onto my float in the middle of my pool????

In any case, I am supposed to wear a bandage to ward off staph infections (a real problem on this island) but I refuse since any pressure on the bites just makes them hurt more.

Anyway, the combination of the crashing and my sore arm has made working nearly impossible which is unfortunate, since I’ve had a LOT of work this work. In addition to the many additions you will see around this site (well, OK, I didn’t do this, Janey did, but still) such as new links to websites that sell the complete sets of the audio versions of my books (scroll down on the Complete Books page), as well as a link to the audio version of Pants on Fire (you can actually hear a sample), and to sets of questions for Reading and Book Groups who might want to discuss Queen of Babble and Queen of Babble in the Big City (due out in just FOUR DAYS—and I have not even seen a copy yet. And yet, I have an entire box full of Avalon High: Coronation, Merlin Prophecy mangas, which are not due out until July 3. Go figure), I have also been busy writing for The New York Times.

Yes, The New York Times asked me to write an Op-Ed piece. I hesitate to mention it in case it doesn’t run, as often happens to freelance writers when we are asked to write things. But the piece is turned in and they said it would run, and THEY are the ones who asked for it. I don’t think it’s a secret that The Times is running a selection of pieces from numerous authors on their versions of the last scene of the last Harry Potter book. We were told we could write it as if we WERE JK Rowling, or in our own voice, or however we wanted.

Now, I would just like to point out that my first immediate thought was to do the last scene of Harry Potter as a spoof of a certain other finale that ran recently (I can’t go into details, but it was going to be totally brilliant). But another writer who shall be nameless called dibs before I did. So mine is something else. Look for these pieces to begin running on the Op-Ed page in The Times this Sunday, and going on until July 21 (I don’t know when exactly mine will run).

Anyway, getting crashed—and bitten–reminded me of the time my family took He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog on his first vacation with us, and we went to Breckenridge off season and were staying in a hotel where no one else was using the pool but the children of the people who owned the local Chinese restaurant. The children didn’t speak English very well, but they were trying to learn it, especially the teenaged son, who kept showing off for the pretty friend of his sister who was also at the pool. The son kept saying to us, “You go to my mom’s restaurant?” And we were like, “Okay, sure.” And he’d be like, “That’s cool, man!”

Then the teenaged son did this fancy trick with a kickboard, and his sister’s pretty friend looked impressed, so he tried to do it again, to show off.

Only this time the kickboard shot out of the water the wrong way, and smacked him really hard in the middle of his forehead.

And the teenaged boy screamed, not wanting to offend anyone: “Pardon my French…but that ****ing hurt!”

Officer Friendly, HWSNBNITB, and I had to get out of the pool and run away, because we were laughing so hard. Not at him, but at what he had said. Because it was so incredibly funny.

And of course, the whole rest of the weekend, because we are totally immature, we could not stop saying it, driving my parents and grandparents completely insane.

Parent: “Please pass the salt.”

Us: “Pardon my French…but that ****ing hurt!”

Parent: “Look at those beautiful mountains.”

Us: “Pardon my French…but that ****ing hurt!”

Parent: “Please stop saying that.”

Us: “Pardon my French…but that ****ing hurt!”

Then we insisted that we go to the Chinese restaurant, to see how the kid was doing. But it was closed.

And now, whenever anything really hurts, we still say it. I keep saying it over and over again about the bites my arm (and being crashed): “Pardon my French…but that ****ing hurts!”

Next time something is hurting you, try saying it. It actually works—you’ll feel much better. I promise.

Just don’t say it while your mom is around. She might smack you.

(I often wonder where that kid is today. And if he ever got the girl. I really hope so.)

More later.

Much love,

Meg