The Week of the Biblical Plague

EngorgedThe Beginning of Curses

I wonder if anyone really notices a plague on its first day. I am guessing that people might just say things like: “Gosh, I can’t remember the last time I saw a locust,” or “Jiminy, there sure is a lot of pestilence afoot today.”

On the first day of our biblical Plagues here in Prague, I say, “Geez, it’s been raining like crazy.” Still, I don’t think about the Bible or plagues. I think that I live in central Europe, which means bad restaurant service, legal prostitution, and rainy springs. And then I go back to my television show, which is about an apocalypse. I should see the premonition.

Rain and Hail

On the third day of almost literally unrelenting rain and a constant veil of darkness, I feel as though Prague is the setting for a horror or thriller movie of some sort. The dark skies are a perfect backdrop to a Hitchcock flick, and the continual rain is straight out of Se7en.

Still, in the back of my mind some little guy is standing on a hill asking the skies, “And what exactly is a cubit?”


By day four, it’s clear that we have been hit with a plague of darkness, as the sun hasn’t made an appearance in over a hundred hours. Meanwhile, the plague of paranoia is sitting on my shoulder like rambunctious water fowl. Are we being punished for something? Are the Czechs being punished for being too hedonistic? I knew that damn legal prostitution and delicious beer was too good to be true! Maybe it’s for Zeman?

Oh, whatever the reason, I am going down with them. I guess it’s only fitting.

The rain has continued for several days and the river is rising. Preparations are made for the imminent floods; emergency broadcasts telling people to stay in, shutting down metros, and putting up enormous retaining walls. It’s coming. The people of Prague stock up on canned food, and cases of Pilsn and Gambrinus.

In my head, the little guy asking about cubits is now loading two of every animal onto one of Prague’s party boats.

I await my punishment.

Flood and Pestilence

On day five, my punishment arrives. I am hit with a stomach flu that makes getting eaten by a zombie look like a pleasant alternative. From my new home – toilet – I am hearing news broadcasts of floods, people getting swept away, houses collapsing, and pubs shut down.

I live on a hill, one that is a major pain in the ass – pun – to scale every day, but now affords me both dryness and perspective. I crawl to the window with my binoculars and look down into the valley at the Vltava, which is far higher than I have ever seen her. She is storming along, creating an angry brown path, battering the railway bridge, and eating away at the surrounding trees.

I watch until my colon mimics her.

The Writing on the Wall

I fully expect the world to end. It’s probably not good that all of the television I have watched in the last month has started with the premise: So the world ends because of…

Under my window, what was once a small stain in the dry wall has now spread out to become a huge patch of wetness. It reaches for a few feet in a sort of shapeless blob. However, a good fever and waves of stomach pain tell a different story.

This is the writing on the wall. It means imminent doom or misfortune for the future is predetermined.

And I ain’t in it!

I feel like Belshazzar.

The Birds

On the morning after all this, I wake up to find a very wet Prague, but one that is still in existence. My fever has broken and I decide to flick the finger at the plagues by going for a run. The city is half underwater, but there are people around.

Yet the waterways and paths have been taken over by birds. There are geese, ducks, swans, and pigeons everywhere. They stand on signs, eat refuse, and wander into the roads. They ride the debris down the river like arrogant surfer boys.

I wonder if anyone notices a bird revolt on its first day, or maybe they ask things like, “Jeepers, where’d all these birds come from?”


  1. #1 by Emma on June 6, 2013 - 10:26 pm

    I was looking around the store for an “I hope you stop pooping soon” card (or in German: “Ich hope du stopt Pooping zoon”) but alas, I couldn’t find one…

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