The adventures of Tonsillitis Girl, an unusual superhero

This is what I do when I’m home sick (with tonsillitis, coincidentally). Click through to read how Tonsillitis Girl battles a sore throat and the forces of evil.

Even sick people can be heroes.

Let me, so normally unassuming in tortoiseshell glasses and straight brown bangs, duck into the nearest telephone booth and emerge as Tonsillitis Girl, complete with blanket cape, fuzzy socks and a utility belt full of throat lozenges. I can stop villains in their tracks just by having them glimpse my uneven cheeks and hear my hoarse voice. Why resort to actually fighting crime when I can repulse it? And then pelt those fleeing villains with extra lozenges. There is nothing like lozenge welts to deter future criminal schemes.

Wonder Woman might have her lasso of truth, but I have double barrels of wit honed by frustration and swollen, achy glands. It’s surprising how quickly a captive will crack under a barrage of jibes about his or her love handles. And if they comment on my lopsided face, so much the better. The sarcasm train is running on a full load of coal today, chugging though town belching out flames and scorching leaves and eyebrows. You stoke the fire, you will get burned.

Take what happened to my arch nemesis, the Drugstore Demon (also known as Randy). He staged a heist on the city’s supply of skin care products. That madman was dangling tubes of Clearasil in front of a chorus of outraged teenage girls and laughing each time he jerked the magic tubes away from their flailing hands. He isn’t called a demon for nothing, you know. Anyway, I stormed in, stopping only twice to hold my aching head and grab a bottle of aspirin, and herded the now whining girls into the aisle with the fashion magazines. Don’t worry, I just flapped my cape at them until they moved. I may be Tonsillitis Girl, but I work for the forces of good. I don’t spread this around.

The Drugstore Demon, with his pockets full of Clearasil, was unable to move fast enough around the piles of body wash and sunscreen (not only is he devious, but he always insists on making a mess), so I cornered him between the loofas and shampoo aisle.

“You monster, preying on those insecure teenage girls,” I said.

“What?” He strained forward to hear. Remember, hoarse voice.

“You shouldn’t have done that.”

“But I did,” he said. “I did, and it’s funny. Look at them cry.”

I stepped forward. “Give me the Clearasil, and I promise not to hurt you.”

He laughed. “You, hurt me? Go back to bed, sweetheart, and get some beauty sleep. Your face will thank you.”

That made me mad. Normally, I stick to thwarting my enemies with well-reasoned arguments (and projectile lozenges) on my quest for justice and the right to have blemish-free skin. But no girl wants to hear she needs some beauty sleep. Even if she is in the throes of tonsillitis. Especially with tonsillitis. Take it from me, boys, a girl wants to hear she’s cute even when she’s sick. Even if she knows it’s not true.

I narrowed my itchy eyes (I am also afflicted with chronic allergies) and scrutinized this drugstore-pilfering villain, taking in his greasy hair and sallow skin. “Ah, I get it,” I said.

“Get what?”

“Trying to even the playing field, are you? Think you’ll finally get a date if the girl is as insecure as you are? Look, pal, just because a pretty girl won’t give you the time of day doesn’t mean you need to take away her face wash.”

His skin paled even more. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

“Oh, really? Then why steal the Clearasil?”

“Because. Because I wanted to.”

“Well, that explains a lot.”

He looked affronted. “I don’t have to explain myself to you.”

“You don’t need to,” I said. “It’s obvious. You can’t get a date, so you’re getting revenge. Do you really think a girl with acne will go out with you if she knows you’re responsible for stealing her skin care regimen? She won’t. I’m afraid your plan is doomed to fail.”

He sputtered indignantly, and his knees started to shake. I knew I almost had him. Just one more jab.

“Besides, nothing can save the socially awkward. Not even girls with bad skin.”

His knees gave way and he toppled, taking a display of depilatory creams with him. I motioned to one of the girls, who by now had stopped crying.

“Hold him down while I get dental floss,” I said, and she and four others rushed forward with cries of satisfaction. Two girls sat on the doomed Drugstore Demon’s arms, two on his legs and the fifth pulled tube after tube of Clearasil out of his pockets.

I went through two containers of dental floss. He was trussed like a chicken, arms and legs bound, then attached by more floss to a pole on the side of the pharmacy counter. I also threw a lozenge at him. It’s my signature.

“Well, girls,” I said (ok, more like rasped), “your skin care is safe. The battle with blemishes will be won.” I struck a heroic pose, my blanket cape spread triumphantly over bags of spilled candy.

Amidst their thanks, I toddled out, avoiding shaking hands so as not to spread germs and grabbing a bottle of Purell. Another day saved by Tonsillitis Girl, who earned an evening in bed with a hot cup of tea.

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1 Comment

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One response to “The adventures of Tonsillitis Girl, an unusual superhero

  1. Leslie

    Three cheers for Tonsillitis Girl- righter of wrongs and writer of songs.

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