Before leaving for Egypt I devised a list of things I wanted to do and have done to me. “See Pyramids” was up there, as was “bribe a guy” and “invoke ancient Egyptian curse.” As luck would have it, mere hours after bribing a guy at the Pyramids to break into a forbidden burial chamber, I became terribly ill.
Not bowel troubles, mind you. Back in America, one of my mom’s spies informed her that I was ill, so she assembled an entire care package of Imodium AD which she was literally going to have overnighted to the US Consulate. Fortunately I made contact with her before she incurred the expenses, as I think I had some kind of fever (read: curse).
I was desperately tired, my eyeballs felt as I imagine they do when swelling past the confines of one’s ocular sockets, and a pitiful cough emerged. I lost the ability to stride triumphantly as I normally do, and instead could only manage to shuffle dejectedly from bed to bathroom occasionally asking other tourists for cyanide capsules.
I know what you’re thinking: “Why, it sounds as if you were cursed!” Right? Well, you’re never going to believe this, but the hieroglyphics we saw in the verboten Giza tomb detail the exact same symptoms I had!
Check it out:
Isn’t that uncanny!?
I deciphered this hieroglyph myself one day into my bout with Curse Virus when, after two painful hours at the otherwise impressive National Egyptian Museum, I bade Young farewell and shuffled home to look for more cyanide pills. I couldn’t find any, so instead I slipped into a semi-hallucinogenic fever and taught myself how to read hieroglyphics.
Later that day I still felt crummy, so I did whatever I do when I’m terribly sick/hungover. I curled up in a fetal position with the lights off and listened to podcasts of Garrison Keillor spinning whimsical tales about Lake Wobygone. Because Google Analytics tells me the cities and frequency of readers accessing my blog (not names or addresses), I can accurately assess that most of you probably already listen to A Prairie Home Companion. I’ve included this helpful Venn diagram I made to illustrate my demographic research. As you can see, I need not expend the effort explaining the charming mythical town on the edge of the prairie.
What I will say is that you haven’t really experienced a quiet week in Lake Wobygone until you start slipping in and out of consciousness due to some kind of Curse Virus. The experience was profoundly compounded by the fact that our hostel was next to a mosque, so every hour or so an imam would loudly chant the call to prayer, which would blend in with my weird dreams to concoct truly frightening prairie nightmares.
Around eight o’clock I burst out of bed screaming “Al Quaida ruined the bake sale! Al Quaida ruined the bake sale!” then ran into the common room sweating. Our hostel guy, Raheeb, snapped me out of it by saying he couldn’t find any of the cyanide capsules I’d asked for, but he did locate some laxatives and would I like some of them? I asked Raheeb if they were sugary and chewable like Flintstones vitamins, and he said no he thought they were probably just pills you swallow so I said I hated Egypt and went back to bed to hallucinate more about turbans and rhubarb pie.
Andrew Heaton is a writer and standup comedian in New York City. If this post made you laugh or think, kindly "like" it on Facebook.