The Journal of…Ick, I Touched It

CupAndPapers, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Lately, it seems like I’ve been getting all the wrong mail. The mail in my mailbox is not for me and, conversely, my mail sometimes goes to the neighbor. This isn’t usually a problem, we just swap over yard work, evening walks, or the like, but, every now and again, it makes life really interesting.

One of my neighbors is a biologist. She works for the folks who make Tylenol on some kind of water filtration and she does, I’m guessing, other “biological things” for her job. She runs tests, she works centrifuges, and the like. Sort of like CSI without the crime. You get the picture.

The other day, I opened the mailbox, pulled out a big magazine, and realized it wasn’t addressed to me, it was actually hers. No problem, I thought, I’ll just drop it off first chance I get. I flipped it over to see what it was, and that’s when I saw it. It was called “The Journal of Infectious Diseases.”

Now, call me crazy but, if you were to get anything, anything at all, by mistake in the mail, wouldn’t “The Journal of Infectious Diseases” be kind of near the top of the list of things you really didn’t want? Even “notice of jury duty” or annoying “you may have already won” notifications might be more welcomed. I mean, maybe these journal-writing people actually have something? Can they spread it through the mail accidentally? Anthrax anyone? Can variants of the Herpes virus live for more than a few hours in a tight, dark mailbox? I’m scared. (I’m afraid, I’m very afraid.)

All that and now I have to go ring the bell next door. “Excuse me, but, I think this is yours….” How, exactly, do I do that without holding it by the edges while making strange faces at my neighbor? Maybe I need an aspirator, a gas mask, some big rubber gloves, and a long-handled clamp? (Not to mention her holly plant. I have to walk around her pointed holly plant that always pricks me in the knee. Man, that really hurts.)

Next time I sneeze, I’m going to look over my shoulder, at that magazine, and wonder.

Until next Ah-choo…


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