the show: 08-17-06

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Good afternoon, Sports Racers. It's Thursday August 17.

I'm sick. I've crossed the line. I'm like, "watch the Tyra Banks show" sick. "Pretend my cats feel sympathy for me" sick. "Let myself eat whatever crap food I want" sick.

In full disclosure, this is a stage 6 out of 10 on the Illness Communication Exaggeration Curve.

You can use the Illness Communication Exaggeration Curve, or ICE-C, to find the mode of communcation that best suits your goals.

Use stage five, or no exaggeration, if you have nothing to gain from the communication — for example, if you are talking to somebody who has exactly the same sickness that you do.

Stage six is a low-risk, low-return exaggeration without falsification of symptoms. You can use this to engender low-grade pity and as a one-time excuse for poor performance. Repetitive use of stage six is to be avoided, as sometimes it's referred to as "being a pussy".

For extremely high-value, time-sensitive communication, use stages one or two, or extreme under-exaggeration.

"No, now's a great time to talk about my raise." [Sniffs] "No no, it's just allergies, you know — once a year. Pollen, you know — it gives me explosive diarrhea. Whoop, there it goes." "Hm? My hoarse voice? No... late night. 'RIDE ME, BITCH!' How many times can you scream that until, you know..." [Sticks out tongue and points at his mouth] "Aah."

It should be noted that these stages are extremely high-risk and must be carried out for the entirety of the day until you can return to stage five in the privacy of your own home. Returning to stage five at your desk or cubicle runs you the risk of being referred to as "that asshole who comes to work sick". Deposit tissues accordingly.

If you have low self-esteem and wish to leverage your illness to look cool, use stages three or four. These stages include an admission of illness along with a public announcement of your actions in spite of your condition.

"I woke up this morning and I said, 'You know what? I can't afford to be sick, so I'm just gonna plow through it. I'm gonna get wasted tonight. You know, alcohol kills bacteria.'"

"Mmm-hmm. So does bleach, why don't you drink that?"

Use stages seven or eight to leverage small favours from loved ones. Stage seven includes the random announcement of symptoms:

"Man, it feels like all the nerves in my skin decided to work overtime! Could you take out the garbage?"

While stage eight feigns the inability to deal with the symptoms at hand:

"Oh for God's sake, use a tissue!" [Sighs] "Hold on, I'll get you one."

"Sweet, thanks. Can you get me a burrito, too?"

Use stage nine, or mild falsification of symptoms, to leverage the irrational fears of people with children.

[Coughs] "No, I'd love to go to the baby shower, you know — and I think I could — but with all the kids, you know..."

Use stage 10, or extreme falsification of symptoms, to avoid major life duties.

[Sick-sounding voice] "Hi, ahem, Mar—" [Coughs] "Margaret." [Sniffs] Yeah, it's Ze. Ahem. Yeah, I'm not— Ahem. Not feel— Hold on. Blurgh—" [Dumps glass of water into toilet] "Ugh. Yeah, I don't think I'm gonna make it today."

[Coughs] "Yeah, I'm sure there's another liver donor."

Are the new viewers gone yet? This is Ze Frank, thinking so you don't have to.

[Screen goes to black] "Ahem. Yeah, I'm not— Ahem. Not feel— Hold on. Blurgh—" [Sound of liquid being dumped into toilet] "Ugh. Yeah, I don't think I'm gonna make it today."

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