For the past six days I’ve been in bed with the flu. I’ve consumed so much chicken soup I worry I’m going to grow feathers. (For convenience sake, they should invent a chicken soup IV drip.) I’ve been coughing so long I feel like I’m channeling Doc Holliday. Frankly, none of this bodes well for a coherent column, but I shall persevere if you will.

Actually, for almost 10 years I haven’t been sick once. (Other than the occasional heart attack.) Well, this is more than making up for it. One thing that still haunts me is passing on a flu shot. A doctor buddy, who shall remain nameless, commented idly that “the jury is still out on the flu shot.” Excuse me while I cough my brains out.

When this flu finally passes (or I do, whichever occurs first) I may have to join NyQuil Anonymous. There are so many empty green NyQuil bottles lying around that my apartment looks like a CVS version of “The Lost Weekend.” The 1945 movie was based on a novel about an alcoholic writer (duh) and was directed by one of my all-time favorites, the late Billy Wilder. On his 95th birthday, Wilder joked as only he could, “Had I known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.”

But back to the flu. Don’t you hate that first moment when your throat feels a little scratchy. I always hope I’m just imagining it. Two seconds later, however, I swing into action to ward off the imminent attack.

It seems everyone has their pet remedy for this moment of terror, from mega doses of vitamin C to a product with the ominous name Airborne. In the past what I’ve used successfully, until this nightmare, is Emergen-C, a packet of vitamins and who knows what else, that I used to swear by and now I’m swearing at.

These days no one can afford to get sick and the accompanying loss of time and money or both. “Oh, no, not now!” we say as if making a deal with the flu gods. Clearly in this frantic and expensive world there’s never a good time to get sick.

Between guzzling chicken soup and orange juice, I’ve had two TV distractions to choose from: the sequester crisis in Washington, which actually begins Friday; and the sleaziest murder trial since Casey Anthony, the state of Arizona vs. Jodi Arias taking place in Phoenix. (Actually Jodi makes Casey look normal, if that’s possible.) I chose murder over sequester as the latter would only give me a bigger headache than I already have.

In June of 2008, Arizona alleges that Jodi Arias killed Travis Alexander with whom she shared a kinky sex life in a bizarre lust/hate long-distance relationship. They contend that she shot him in the head and stabbed him 27 times, including slitting his throat from ear to ear. Jodi was thorough, I’ll give her that. “Allegedly thorough,” that is.

At first Ms. Arias denied she was even at the murder scene. Then she said two male masked “ninja”-type intruders burst in and killed Alexander. Then it was a man and woman. Then she admitted she killed him, but in self defense. She’s changed her story so much she’s a female version of Jon Lovitz’ “Saturday Night Live” character, “The Pathological Liar.”

In this death penalty case, Ms. Arias has been on the stand for 11 days. (Or as I call it, flu + 5.) While there are dozens of photos of her as a sexy bleached blond in tight clothes and tape recordings of her erotic phone calls with Alexander, in court she looks like a librarian, assuming that stereotype is still politically correct. (If not, I’m playing the flu card.)

At her trial, Jodi wears no makeup (a “make under”), large glasses it isn’t clear she even needs and often refers to herself in the third person as “Jodi wouldn’t do that,” etc. The whole thing is spooky, twisted and sick and yet it still beats the sequester.

If in the O.J. Simpson trial there was a mountain of evidence, here there is a tsunami and almost all of it kinky. Arias says on the day of the killing they had sex, but then Alexander flew into a rage, body-slammed her and chased her around his home.

She said she grabbed a gun from his closet and fired it as they tussled. While she says she doesn’t remember stabbing Alexander, she does remember putting a knife in the dishwasher (perhaps a neat freak?) and disposing of the gun in the desert. Coincidentally, Arias’ grandparents reported that their .25 caliber gun, the same type used in the Alexander killing, was stolen during the time Arias had visited them. (Jon Lovitz should sue her for unlicensed use of his character.)

If you’re up to it, the remaining days of the Jodi Arias trial are on TruTV from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Personally, I don’t think I can take much more. In fact, I wonder if it’s too early to make an appointment for next year’s flu shot.


Assuming he survives the flu, Jack can be reached at

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