Peace on Earth, Nargle Vaccines, and a Christmas Vacation

I have had a flu shot for the first time since the last public health panic. I think it was swine flu or bird flu or nargle flu or something, but it was not an experience that engendered my trust in the public health system.

So I would like it to be clear that my reasons for taking the flu shot were not scientific. I lack the ability or motivation to test the results of a particular generation of flu vaccinations. So I would be simply trusting what the health system says. That is social formation rather than science, so I insist that I took the flu shot out of superstition, purely.

But the superstitious leap is worth it, I think. Really, truly, I didn’t want to have the flu at Christmas, as I have had about half the time. Instead of watching family films and drinking eggnog by the Christmas tree, I spend half my Christmases in the little broom cupboard where we keep infectious people. It sucks missing Christmas.

Mostly, besides peace on earth and good will to my fellow humans and family time by the fire, I miss the turkey. Though I was sick and could not eat, the heavenly aroma still hung heavy in the house. But as my stomach turned it was gone, all gone! No turkey! No turkey sandwiches! No turkey salad! No turkey gravy! Turkey Hash! Turkey a la King! Or gallons of turkey soup!

Instead, after a few days, I have some dried toast and flat ginger ale.

I don’t know if this particular flu vaccine will save me from whatever flu threatens to ruin Christmas, but I don’t want it. So in a move of desperation, fingers crossed, I got the flu shot.

They used a frozen rag on the back of my neck to keep me from fainting. Fainting from the overwhelming miracle of science and the beauty of the unquestioned authority of government health, I mean, not the terror I have of needles.

Miracles, or luck. Or whatever. I don’t really care. I’m also taking vitamin C and ColdFX for the same reason: superstition. If I had lucky shoes or could light candles in a certain order, I would do it. I live 51 weeks a year pretending with everyone else that we live in a scientific worldview. For one week I can surrender to superstition so I can enjoy the holiday. The turkey, mostly, but also light of the world and hope and all that stuff.

Wow, this has turned out to be a terrifically cynical post that was really meant to wish people a Merry Christmas! Oh well. I think it is okay to have some things fail from time to time.

Except for turkey and family time I care very little about the holiday. But I do have an important Jan 3rd deadline, so I’m pulling back from the blog for a couple of weeks.

I am taking a Christmas vacation! Doubtless one with less hilarity, but also fewer calls to the police. I hope.

I will post a nice Christmas day note (not a terrible one like this), but I won’t be on social media or chatty in the comments. You all can, as they say locally, “have atter,” and continue the excellent digital discussion of books and the Inklings and everything. Myself, I will either be on the couch, at the dinner table, at my desk, or in the isolation cupboard under the stairs. I’ll return in January with some reading notes and then my planned series on “(Re)Considering the Planet Narnia Thesis.”

For now, best wishes on the season. And keep away the nargles.

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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10 Responses to Peace on Earth, Nargle Vaccines, and a Christmas Vacation

  1. L.A. Smith says:

    Wishing you a flu-free and restful Christmas, with plenty of turkey.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. danaames says:

    Merry Christmas to you & Family, Brenton!

    Don’t forget, frequent washing of hands with soap (no fancy “antibacterial” anything needed), along with keeping fingers away from face, is the best way to stop cold & flu transmission. I try to remember to wash my hands first thing every time I come home after having been in public areas. Working as a substitute teacher for the last 3 years has made me mindful and careful; so far, only one case of a cold from student transmission, Deo gratias.

    Our family watches “A Christmas Story” every year – and quote from it even when it’s not Christmas – it’s our “secular Christmas” tradition. My favorite part (aside from “It’s smiling…!”) is when Randy is getting dressed in his snow suit for school – reminds me of my early childhood in Montana and how many layers I had to put on just to go outside for a few minutes… And yes, I did walk to school, in the snow, uphill!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bookstooge says:

    Superstition becomes scyenze when it works.

    Hope you can eat lots and lots of turkey!


  4. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    I wonder if turkey soup is as good as chicken soup, for working up to eating again, after dried toast (or ‘Dutch’ rusks) and flat ginger ale (or Coca Cola)? – but I hope none of you, dear Brenton and dear Readers, or us, will have to find out, this year!

    Wishing you a joyful Christmas(tide – till Candlemas, Gregorian and/or Julian)!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yewtree says:

    Merry Yule and happy Christmas to all who hang out here in Brenton’s marvellous comments section, which is always a joy. I hope your Christmas is lurgy-free.


  6. Pingback: Bethlehem as the Hingepoint of History: C.S. Lewis’ Christmas Revolution Poem | A Pilgrim in Narnia

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