May 21, 2024
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May 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I have a <kchugh-kchugh> sore throat.

Yeah, I know. A lot of people, when they say they have a sore throat, feel the need to cough in the middle of the sentence so you believe them.

I’m not even sure how my throat got like this. My guess is that it’s because I’m a parent and a teacher. But that doesn’t make sense. I’m always a parent and a teacher.

There are different kinds of sore throat, though. I have the kind where you have to clear your throat every five seconds. And it doesn’t even help. You know how when you’re trying to concentrate on something, and there’s someone in the room that clears his throat every five seconds and drives you crazy? Well, trust me; it’s more annoying to him. He doesn’t want to be coughing every five seconds either. He’s trying to get rid of something. And he keeps trying to do it in small coughs, because he doesn’t want to annoy you, but those aren’t very effective, which is why he has to do it more often. And at this point it’s too awkward to just try one big cough and hope that’s it, because you’re already annoyed about all the little coughs.

I definitely have to do something about this, though. So I’ve been drinking a lot of tea. That way, instead of annoying people with constant throat clearing, I can annoy them with sipping, slurping and blowing. And wet teabags at the side of my plate.

I don’t even like tea. I don’t even understand tea. I put it in the water, I take it out of the water, no leaves stay in the water, so what am I drinking? Isn’t it just water? Which is now dirty from the tea leaves? Brown water? This is mysteriously going to help me? Also, I literally have not bought tea since I got married, yet we always have tea in the house. Did it come with the house? I think the British left it here.

Also, I have no heat tolerance.

Either way, I’m drinking it like crazy, which isn’t great, because all our tea has caffeine. And we have no plans on buying any that doesn’t until we use up all the tea that we have. So, for example, last night I had five cups of tea, apparently so I could lie awake all night, clearing my throat. Because otherwise, who else is gonna do it?

Another issue that I have right now, aside from the constant need to annoy those around me, <heCHUM!>, is that it hurts when I swallow. So my wife gave me some random pills to take care of it.

“Here,” she said. “Swallow these.”

Yeah, that’ll hurt less. Especially this big one.

I’ve also been sucking on cough drops. They don’t really help, but they’re delicious. Plus I can eat candy all day and I won’t get fat, because it’s medicinal.

People have been trying to be helpful, though. Whenever you tell people that you have a <siiip> sore throat, they give you advice. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Mostly they want you to go away from them, so they give you something to do.

For example, some people advise you to gargle with warm salt water. Yeah, this may sound gross, but it doesn’t have to be salt water specifically. Just a warm, salty liquid. You can gargle on chicken soup.

Watch out for knaidlach.

Another home remedy that people do for a sore throat is keep swallowing every two seconds to see how the pain is coming along. That doesn’t really work to heal it, but at this point I don’t know if anything works. I don’t think you cure a sore throat. I think you just do these things to pass the time until it goes away.

But what do I do in the meantime? I’ll tell you this as a teacher: If you tell your students your throat hurts, you do not get sympathy. When a teacher walks into class and goes, “I can’t yell today,” the kids don’t say, “Well then we’d better not give him a reason to yell.” They say, “Well, I guess we’ll yell instead.”

When my wife has a sore throat, she stops talking altogether. Just like that. It takes me about 24 hours to figure out that she’s not actually mad at me, and by then she’s mad at me. For spending 24 hours asking why she’s mad at me.

ME: “Are you mad at me? Why?”

WIFE: Shakes her head “no.”

ME: “No? What did I do?”

WIFE: Glares.

ME: “See? You are mad at me.”

Maybe I should try that in class. I should just stand there and not say anything until the kids ask, “Why are you mad at us?”

No answer. Just a prolonged sip of my iced tea, for effect.

But that won’t work. Probably, my students won’t even notice that I haven’t talked for the entire period.

By Mordechai Schmutter

 Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia, The Jewish Press and Aish.com, among others. He also has five books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

 

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