Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

My Wife and Times

Daniel Will Harris

The Sandoval Signpost (Web edition) is pleased as punch (diet punch that is) to bring you the humor and insightful human observations of Daniel Will Harris, author of My Wife and Times. —Ed].


Up in the air, junior viruses...

By Daniel Will Harris

I just flew back from a family reunion in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona (and boy are my arms tired). The trip was great, but as always seems to happen to me, while I was touring someplace new, the "germs of someplace new" were touring me.

I felt like one of the unfortunate characters at the start of a Dean Koontz novel who contracts a rare and fatal disease by visiting some ancient burial ground (I'd just been to Mesa Verde, the incredible cliff dwellers site in Colorado).

The cliff dwellers all seemed to have mysteriously disappeared at the same time, and I'd just been walking in their old tracks, so who knows what I might have uncovered. While it's all very exciting to think I got this from an ancient race of people, in reality I probably got it from my nephew who's a very nice guy, but has a pierced nipple, so who knows where he's been.

(My niece would want me to remind you that she's perfect, and that I caught nothing from her except for some new slang. In case you don't know, "Sick" is now mysteriously akin to "Cool." Don't ask me why. My pierced nephew introduced me to "Hard" which is like "Cool" only you have to say "Hard" as if you were a pirate saying "Arrg." And my niece's favorite new phrase is, "That would be at the top of my list if you turned my list upside down.")

So I got on the airplane home—coughing up a storm, wondering if I was going to be the person who starts an epidemic called The Cliff Cough throughout the world.

I hate when I sit next to people on a plane who sound like walking germs, and here I was, doing it. So I covered my mouth with a variety of paper goods ranging from the inflight magazine (which helpfully told me where to buy gold bullion—just what I was wondering about mid-air), to Kleenex and napkins distributed with the peanuts—all in hopes that I wouldn't wind up at the top of a Center for Disease Control chart showing how this new cough began.

To prevent someone from sitting right next to me, I used a trick my flight attendant (and perfect) niece showed me. While the plane was loading, I "Made myself big" and spread out covering 1.5 seats, to discourage anyone from sitting next to me. This worked, so at least there was a small buffer between me, my new-found germs, and the rest of the world.

Luckily it was a short flight, and I wasn't the only one with this cough. This meant at least I didn't start it, I was just carrying it across state lines which, as far as I know, isn't a crime. What was I supposed to do, stay in Arizona until it passed? I know my mother would have liked that, taking care of me like the giant baby she (and my wife) think I am.

And now I'm home, feeling like someone opened spigots in my feet and let all my energy drain out. I've got all the classic achy, feverish, stuffy nose and cough symptoms, as an enduring reminder of my trip (as if I could forget all that family fun).

But don't worry, as far as I know I can't spread germs via e-mail. Yet another reason why the web is a great way to travel.

dwh sig


My Wife and Times Cover
If you would like to read more fabulous stories, you need Daniel Will Harris’s My Wife and Times. The 148 page book contains stories that are conveniently short, perfect for bedtime reading, or between airport friskings. Price: $15 postpaid and is available for purchase online at or on





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