An English In Kentucky


















Tuesday August 28th 2012    Tim Candler

     There is a completely fallacious argument that suggests it's  never sensible to go near a medical dictionary.  The claim is, these monuments contain words and pictures that can act upon the imagination and drive a mind to produce random and sudden convictions unequaled elsewhere in literature, except perhaps when words and pictures are placed in the hands of the political class or mathematicians who work in statistics.  I believe it was the friend who lives too far away who recently offered the words "West Nile" in conjunction with computer screens, Artisan Wine, insect swatting and  keyboards. And I'd like to think it was meant as a comforting aside to the subject of a Fruit Fly Plague that I am so bravely resisting by courting a King of France's adage 'to take no notice.'  "West Nile," is both a Mosquito borne sickness and geographic location.  The sickness was first identified amongst people to the west of the White Nile, in the North corner of Uganda. It's the home of the Lagbara People, who are very adept at raising Guinea Fowl.  And here it's worth remembering, it was the Blue Nile, not the White Nile, that has it's source in Lake Tana,  about seven hundred miles north of the Ateso, that some legends insist is or was the route to Eden.

      I have set foot in the part of the world that is "The West Nile," and  following a series of even more recent events, one of which involved what I have decided was a Mosquito bite while I was amongst the Beans, I am now fairly convinced that I have been suffering from "West Nile" for at least fifty years.  It's a revelation that explains so much. An insight into behavior and ailments, vagueness of mind, incompetence at long division, complete absence of what I call 'genuflection' but which others prefer to call 'ambition' or 'career path.'  There's the wrist and knee, that cannot be described as belonging to athletic injury. There's  an extraordinary intolerance for other opinions.  Inability to understand the semi-colon or the colon.  There's a fondness for Butterflies and the invasive Buddleia.   But so much more important, I am able at last to see a tribute to my strength of character for having endured such ailments for so long without ever actually entering the final stages of "West Nile Fever" which is blessed release, or as the medical profession prefers it, 'coma followed by death'.  And I also think I might have Bilharzia, which puts me in the company of two hundred million people. It's a Snail borne sickness, or more accurately a Fluke borne sickness, that has a wonderful rolling name which substitutes well for the 'G,' 'D,' and 'B' words I find myself compulsively vocalizing while walking the ten yards that belong to the  ice cream display at the Grocery Store when there are children too old to be stuffed into shopping carts nearby.

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