Voice Rest

After a long week of caretaking the universe, my body cried uncle, played host to the community crud bug, and sent me to the couch for several nights. And to the clinic.

Where, thankfully, we found the virus hadn’t wormed its way into my lungs (bronchitis likes me, and I wanted to kill it before it had a chance to move in for six weeks. And pneumonia? I wouldn’t wish that on anyone…). No huge deal, just a bad cold that zapped energy and seared vocal cords more than anything else.

And the nice nurse practitioner says complete voice rest. No talking. No whispering. Twenty-four hours.


Though the thought of not speaking about anything to anyone for a stretch appeals to my introverted nature, my control freak and bigger-than-they-should-be opinions didn’t quite take to that.

Neither did the three critters and two boys I live with. The cats didn’t like me clapping, snapping, and stomping at them when their curious/mischievous/animal natures emerged. Which happened every thirty minutes while I was ill. Not so much when all is smooth. (I don’t think they liked me on the couch.)

My boys didn’t much care to read from a screen or text message when I’m sitting four feet from them and could just tell them where the butter is.

Or what time such and such is.

Or how hot the iron should be for that type of fabric.

Or whatever else they couldn’t find or didn’t know.

This would have been impossible with young children—or very old folks—but I did okay. I caught myself scolding the bitty boy cat once—then reverted to clapping at him. Something like “Don’t lick that—” That was three words.

And then one very squeaky, strained, and exasperated “really?” escaped my throat during the hubby’s football game. Before the game started, actually. Aimed at the commentators on the surface, but maybe aimed at all fans of those pre-game, post-game, mid-game, post-post game conversations.


Now, I understand commentary explaining plays as the action happens. Who has the ball? Where on the field? Flags? Rulings? All that I can see as necessary.

But that other stuff? That they get paid for? To fill time???

Here’s a rundown of the lines that drew out that painful squawk.

Big Dude Commentator #1: So, my very famous colleague who gets paid a million per season to commentate, what does the home team need to do to win this game?

Big Dude Commentator #2: Well, they need to move the football down the field and score touchdowns.

Big Dude Commentator #1: Exactly, #2. I couldn’t agree more…

Score touchdowns to win the game.

Wow. I don’t know much about football, but…


It just came out. Word number four on voice rest.


It went on and on. The over-stating of the massively obvious. And they were serious.

Hubs was enthralled, hanging on every word. I imagined the fans of both teams sitting on the edges of their recliners or couches or bean bag chairs equally enthralled. Nodding in agreement as they chomped their pretzels and swigged their beverages.

I imagined how the players, watching the replay of the game, would sit and nod in agreement. The losing team going, “Man, we should’ve listed to Big Dude Commentator #2 before the game. Maybe we’d have won…”

I took my hands—both of them—and covered my mouth tight lest I set ablaze anew my poor vocal cords with a massive rant.

Had I the breath, dear hubs would’ve gotten quite the earful on how the airwaves would be better served with documentary pieces on the history of the stadium or the host city. Or a spotlight of a player that did some good in their community.

Or how regulation footballs are manufactured.

Or blooper reels (though the live commentators were covering that, unbeknownst to them).

Or kittens on parade.

Almost anything else.

If I hadn’t already germed up the couch, I’d have found a new place to be. But, the couch was my spot for a few days and so football it was.

Big Dudes stating the obvious. Cats licking things they shouldn’t. Hubs hot under the collar because his boys didn’t do well. (How is that fun? A constant fog of frustration over something you can’t control?)

And I couldn’t yell about any of it.

Four small words in 24 hours, five syllables. Not too bad. The line may end up in a story one day:

Really? Don’t lick that…

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