“Oh my God,” I shouted, leaping out of bed. “This is it. I’ve got the ‘Rona.” I waddled from the bedroom to the bathroom mirror and stared down my throat.
“What are you doing now?” Mike groaned from the bedroom.
“My throat is sore. I’ve got it. We’re infected. We’re doomed.”
“For Pete’s sake…” Mike joined me in the bathroom and shook his head. “You’re fine.”
“I must kill these germs before I get the virus!” I exclaimed irrationally.
“You know, I don’t think that’s how it—”
“Salt water! When you have a sore throat, you’re supposed to gargle with salt water!” I announced.
“Here we go.”
I raced from the master bath into the kitchen and tore through the cupboards.
“Pink Himalayan Salt ought to do it,” I murmured, cracking some fine crystals into a cup, and filling it with warm water. I gargled a few times, aware of Mike’s judgmental stare on my back.
“That’s probably not doing–,”
“You’re right!” I cut him off. I dumped out the water and handed him the salt grinder. “Crack some of this right on my throat!”
“Come on, man, time is of the essence here!” I snapped my fingers in his face.
Mike rolled his eyes. “Fine. Lay down on the couch.”
I launched over the back of the couch, laid flat on the cushions, and then squeezed my eyes shut. “Do it.”
Then I heard Mike chuckle.
I realized in this frozen slice of time between the vibrations of his voice that I made a grave mistake. In my irrationality, I completely disregarded the fact that I cannot trust my prankster husband with a task like this. I didn’t have time to react before GIANT salt crystals were colliding with the back of my throat.
He turned the grain size on the grinder from “Light Dusting” to “Fucking Massive.”
“ARG!” I yelled, fumbling up, coughing, cursing. “What did you do?!”
Mike doubled over in laughter.
“You ass!” I shouted, sprinting into the kitchen, and thrusting my mouth under the tap to chase down the colossal salt crystals clinging to my tonsils.
As I was sputtering in the sink, Mike calmly took two glasses from the cupboard, then withdrew a frosty bottle from the back of the freezer.
“This is no time to panic,” he lectured. “Be calm. Be cool. Be smart. Stay healthy.”
I wiped my face and crossed my arms as he poured.
“This is nothing a little whiskey won’t kill,” Mike said cheerfully.
I scowled at him, but took the glass he offered me.
“To quarantine,” he saluted, clinking his glass to mine.
And we haven’t stopped drinking since.