Last week I read Peter Bentley’s new book, Why Sh*t Happens (I am not being unexpectedly coy; this is the actual title). One of the more amazing moments I had with it is that I could actually understand–perhaps only briefly–his explanation of Einstein’s relativity concept.  Reading this book–or finishing this book, which I had begun on the ferry a week ago–while sick in bed makes good sense as it is a compilation of scientific explanations for the catalogue of small things that can go wrong in a day.  Relatively speaking, I was not too sick to read during part of yesterday but the effort of holding both a book AND a cup of tea put a strain on both my strength and coordination.

Sick is something I don’t do well or often: flu in January 1989 and again in October 1991, a cold that kept me in the purple room at Inez’s Bed and Breakfast, Portmeirion, in 2003, the hellacious cold I had in September 2007 and now this one in April 2009. Oddly, when moving into this house, I took precaution in preparing for my own amusement, however, should I be so struck.  As we chose wallpaper for several of frighteningly bright white rooms, I knew I was tracking for something that would hold up to that future day when I would be confronted by whatever we put in the bedroom, and become either repelled or comforted by it.


It turns out that I chose well, for this particular circumstance, although the photo is a bit dim and doesn’t show the background’s truly bright pale green. (Juggling book and tea were hard; imagine my failed attempts to add camera as well).

Perhaps it was that memory of the day spent in bed in Portmeirion, in a room painted lavender, in a bed with grossly fluffy grape-hued bedding, that motivated me to attend to this eventuality.  Although that day, as I recall, was far from hideous:  I reread Stephen King’s Carrie and didn’t feel at all put out by missing the trip Fred and Bob were making to the folly town where The Prisoner was filmed.


7 Responses to “Relativity”

  1. Al Goldsmith Says:

    Say! I just read Carrie a month or two ago. I just discovered that Mr. King is an excellent writer. I’d been avoiding him because of his associations with horror.

  2. halifaxing Says:

    Yes, he can write. Try his nonfiction on writing. And I have a story for you about his high school English classes…..

    • Al Goldsmith Says:

      On Writing was actually the first thing I read by him. If you’ll save the English Class story until June, I’d love to hear it. Glad you’re feeling better.

  3. Mary Burkey Says:

    How strange to find that we share a sickly Portmeirion connection. When Steve & I were there in the summer of 2007, I spent some time throwing up in one of the Village’s rest rooms!

    Be seeing you…

  4. halifaxing Says:

    I do like Wales, but it remains full of sick memories. Fred didn’t even make it to rest room when he had your experience, up the road in Conwy.

  5. Mary Burkey Says:

    My sickly adventure began when I ate at an Indian restaurant in Conwy! Could we have found the source of the outbreak? Ah, the joys of riding by bus & train through the lovely Welsh countryside with bad curry sloshing around in the tummy…

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