Somewhere in the introduction to one of Stephen King's books, King writes about going for certain visceral reactions. I'm paraphrasing him here, because whatever book it's in is about 2,000 miles away, but he wrote that the terror of a true scary moment is best, and then there was always the shock factor to shoot for, and if that didn't work, he wasn't too proud -- he'd try to gross the reader out.
So with that in mind...Phlegm slugs.
Along with a lot of other folks out here at the WSOP, I've been battling a rough virus for the last few days, one that's putting up a much stronger battle of its own than I'd hoped for when it first announced its arrival. I thought I was over it around Wednesday, coughing and sneezing up a few of the aforementioned creatures, one of which must have been three inches long when it landed and started to harden.
But, when Thursday morning rolled around and I snorted out a neon-green ink blotch, I went hunting for the nearest walk-in clinic or urgent care center or what have you. I finally found a "doc in a box" in a strip mall just off of I-215 West, and left with nothing for the virus itself but some Cipro for the sinus infection and some nasal spray for the allergic rhinitis that might be making things even worse.
"Swine flu!" I joked at Doc Bocks, though I knew it wasn't. I know how flu hits, and this ain't it. He didn't think it was quite as funny as I did, but I was the one paying for the audience. His cooler, if you will.
So far, recovery-wise, it's three steps forward and two steps back, and I suspect it'll be a couple more days before I return to full health. Lots and lots of folks at the WSOP are fighting this bug, and I suspect that Justin Smith was one of them, when I saw him sprawled across his chips at his Stud/8 final table today, looking for all the world like he was trying to save whatever energy he had. One of the WSOP dealers I know told me that it's a nasty bug that's been making the rounds for a few weeks.