Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Fungus The Toothy Man

My husband's face was bright red, but his entire body was shaking. My little girl's cough was so bad I'd run out of Tixylix and had to place two books under one end of her bed.

Only my eight-year-old son was feeling fine, but he wanted me to play Wii with him and I had deadlines looming.

'I can't right now, I've got to work,' I told him. 'Besides it's your bed time.'
So we ran the gauntlet of germs – me hiding my nose and mouth behind my cardigan – past the other two sick members of our family to the bathroom.

I stood chatting to my little boy as he brushed his teeth, white froth flying, then hurried him to bed.
'Sleep tight,' I said, kissing him. He tasted all minty. 'I'll see you tomorrow night.'

I had to get all my work finished that night as I was off to London the next day to sign a book deal.
I'd been asked to do a sample chapter a few weeks back, but I'd known a lot of other writers had gone for it too, so had forgotten all about it. No news is bad news in the freelance journalism business.

Then, suddenly I'd had The Call and was off to sign the contract the next day – if my family were well enough to be left.

I'd never been one for being ill. I'd been rushed to hospital once with pancreatitis, which can be fatal.
Even though I'd been in agony, and had to spend hours in a London resuscitation room with my own crash team I thought I'd be fine to go home after a while, once I'd taken a painkiller.

So I didn't hold much truck with colds and flu. But my husband's temperature was soaring and I needed him to rally if I was going to be the next J K Rowling.

So I dosed him up on everything I could find for flu, and turned the heating on in the bedroom, so he'd sweat the virus out.

The plan worked as he was looking much better the next morning. 'Will you be able to manage the school run?' I asked, concerned.

He could still hardly speak, his throat was so sore and his glands were up. But he managed to nod in between blowing his nose.

Now all I had to do was get our kids ready before I left to catch the train. My baby was already awake, I could hear her coughing. I gave her a bottle of milk, then went into wake up my son. 

He was under the duvet, snoring.'Wakey wakey,' I said, ruffling his hair. Nothing. 'Up you get,' I continued, stroking his face. No response.

Then I spotted his feet poking out the end of the duvet. 'Let's go,' I began, getting ready to whip off the duvet. Then I froze.

His feet were covered in a thick, white fungus. It covered the soles, and crept in between his toes. 'Oh no, you're sick too,' I gasped.

Maybe it was some terrible virus that was giving my family a temperature, cough and rotten feet. My heart sank, all thoughts of signing my book deal forgotten now.

I couldn't leave all three of them at home, sick. I'd have to stay and look after them. But first, I needed to see what this fungus was, so I could treat it.

I peered closer. I sniffed, then I began to laugh, relieved. I could go to London after all. My son just had a case of severe toothpaste-itis.

He'd made such a mess brushing his teeth the night before, the toothpaste must have flown everywhere and he'd trodden in it.

'Well at least it's given me something to write about,' I thought, heading to the station. Every good book needs a character who puts his foot in it, don't they?


  1. Well done on the book deal! And the lack of fungus too ;)

  2. Bless his little toothpasted feet! I'm surprised he didn't find them sticky and uncomfortable during the night!

  3. Best of luck on the book deal - it's a sure hit. Btw - Did I tell you about the time I came home from the school run to find toothpaste on my nose? Apparently it works wonders for spots if left overnight...(Note to self: check nose for toothpaste before leaving home!)

  4. Ha, hilarious Sam! That's the sort of thing I normally do - but didn't! x