the inquisitive one

The inquisitive one, having called the doctor in a panic, finally got the doctor on the line.

“How can I help you?” said the doctor.

“I have COVID-19!” shouted the inquisitive one.

“Okay. What are your symptoms?”

“I’ve been coughing!”

“Okay. Anything else?”

“I have a stomachache!”

“Anything else?”

“A plant is growing out of my left ear!”

“A plant is growing out of your left ear?”

“Yes! I think it’s celery. But it might be cilantro. They’re hard to tell apart as seedlings, you know?”

“Mm hm.”

“Also, doctor! A worm is living inside my bellybutton! And I don’t know what to do!”


“When I try to pull it out, it stretches, but it doesn’t break, or die, or come out of my bellybutton!”


“It’s gray, with brown stripes!”


“So I was worried, and so I stuck a thermometer in boiling water for 3 minutes, and it said ‘250 degrees Fahrenheit.’ Which seems elevated to me! And so that’s why I think I have COVID-19!”


“And you know those flat white mushrooms that grow on trees, in damp forests?

“Mm hm?”

“Something that looks like those are growing out of my toenails!”


“Oh! I almost forgot to tell you! When I try to comb my hair, birds fly out!”

“Listen. Have you showered lately?”

“Um. Well. I didn’t have time to shower when I was working at my pro bono job. And then, when the governor ordered us to stay at home, I thought, what’s the point? So it’s been, maybe, a few weeks?”

“As soon as we get off the phone, I would like you to take a shower. Okay?”

“COUGH COUGH,” said the inquisitive one.

“And watch that cough!”

“What do you mean; how do you watch a cough? People who have COVID-19 can’t taste coughs, and they can’t smell coughs, and they can’t see coughs, either. That’s what I read in the news!”

“When I said, ‘Watch that cough!’ what I meant was, ‘Call me if you can’t breathe!'”

“How am I supposed to call you if I can’t breathe?”

“If I get a phone call, and I don’t hear breathing on the other end of the line, I’ll know it’s you.”

“Okay. That makes sense!”

“Now, go take a shower!” ordered the doctor, and hung up.

And that’s just what the inquisitive one did.