I woke up yesterday sounding like Tallulah Bankhead and hoping it was allergies. Today I woke up sounding like Ernest Borgnine and feeling that I might be sick.

Yesterday was a somewhat rough day. I have two colleagues with serious health problems. Naturally, this makes me feel that I should ignore a possible cold, though there is in fact no logical connection. But there was a general grimness to the day.

I called our insurance agent that morning with a routine question and he assured me that we had no car insurance, so I went over there at lunch time. The nice young insurance man had told me they would close their office from 12:00 to 1:00, so I went at 1:00 precisely. They returned at 1:30.

They are next to a fast food restuarant, so I had my lunch there, if you can call it a lunch, while waiting for the insurance people to return.

The nice young man clicked around on the computer for a minute and said, and I quote, “Oh, wow, there you are! Seriously, I typed your name in like five times!” I was pleasant about it. Paid my bill while I was there, too.

There was no dinner time, because I have to go directly from work to pick up Partygirl so we can greet people.

This was my third week as a greeter. The first week I was put in a place where I was supposed to keep people from using the bathroom. The second week I was in a place where I was supposed to keep people from climbing stairs. This week Partygirl and I were together at the front door, welcoming the people in. Much simpler.

Then I went to volunteer in the children’s program. I was put in with the second graders. This was quite fortunate, since I will be finishing up the first grade book this week or next and moving on to the second grade book. I needed a refresher on what second graders are like.

They are like little animals. They snuggle up to you randomly and poke each other. They wiggle around all the time, and are incapable of sitting still. They are also highly enthusiastic. They all want to give the answers, even when they all have the same answer. Even if it is a true/false question.

They can all read, too. There was actually one little boy who could not read, but he was there with his brother, so he might have been younger.

The thing that is most striking is how smart they all were. The lesson was quite boring in parts, to tell the truth, but the children all had their brains going the whole time. In driving school, which was full of adults, there seemed to be some quite dim people.

What happened to them between second grade and adulthood? At what point did they stop being smart?

I have work to do today, but I may go to bed and try to head this illness off at the pass. Or I may have anotehr cup of tea and breakfast and allergy medicine and experience a miraculous recovery.

Oh, I have been meaning to tell you about the book I am reading for RIP, The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris, by Leon Garfield. It begins with a couple of schoolboys who, upon hearing about the Spartan custom of exposing babies on hillsides, decide to try it out with a little sister. It’s quite a splendid book, filled with dark humor.