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I had a bad night and didn’t sleep much. By the time morning arrived, I was tired, achy and generally feeling punk. Since I’ve lived by myself for several years, I am accustomed to looking after myself when I’m under the weather. Oh, when Gill was here she tried to help in a health crisis but, to be honest, she was usually the one with the health issues. I rarely get sick. And as lovely as she is, Gill doesn’t really know what to do when my health is in question.She knows about Crohn’s and arthritis but I have neither.

So now that L’il Sis is here, I have someone to minister to me…well, boss me around. She takes just a little too much glee in presenting pills and potions for me to ingest. “Take this acidophilus,” she ordered sternly.

“But I take my own brand every day! I don’t need more…”

“Yes you do. Besides, this is The Good Stuff — not that over-the-counter crap you get at Discount Drugs R Us! This will actually help you.”

“But, but…I don’t want to.”

“Is this the face of someone who cares what you, in your delicate, disease-ridden state thinks? I’m trying to HELP you.”

As I gulped down the massive pills, I choked. Of course.They were the size of Brazil nuts. “How is choking on your ghastly pills going to help my situation?” I asked angrily.

“Now, you must eat something. I’ll make you some of my nice garlic soup. That will kill any germs. Why don’t you crawl back into bed while i’m doing that? I’m sure The Pig will come up on the bed and keep you company.”

“Oh, really? Do you think she’d like that? I mean, I wouldn’t want to impose on her…” I asked this after we saw The Pig, the ill one with a major disease, vault effortlessly up the very tall bed, not breaking a sweat. It seems that having her spleen removed did wonders for her agility and strength. Maybe I’ll consider having mine removed. She certainly seems in better shape that I am.

My fingers were crossed behind my back, hoping my duplicity (as to my true feelings about ‘pigs’ in beds) wouldn’t be discovered and that she wouldn’t join me under my covers.They already stink of Vicks rub and a Chinese eucalyptus plaster. If I added Hound Stink and then garlic soup to the mix, I’d need large men with Hazmat suits to fumigate my room. And not to appear ungrateful for her ministrations, but The Pig snores like a freight train. Bound to prevent me from getting my zzzs. But I understood that L’il Sis was trying to help, taking charge (something she rarely gets to do), and imparting to me some knowledge from her nutrition courses. At last, she could help her sickly family.

But we don’t like help. We’d rather be miserable and moan about it. Just ask Gill. In fact, I suspect one of the main reasons Gill left for Britain was to escape our ‘helpful interventions and advice’. There is only so much advice you can digest before it makes you sick. Now, if she ever takes the desperate step of asking for help via email, if she doesn’t like what she gets, a quick mouse click and it goes away.

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