Plague and Prejudice
Being sick sucks. It always sucks, but being sick as an adult is the worst. As a child, when you fell ill your parents doted on you, fluffed your pillow, made your soup. As an adult you miss work, have no doting, and the only pillow fluffing is from your head hitting the pillow over and over as you go into a fit of coughing.
Alas, I fell sick last week, spending all of it in bed. With upward mobility or even standing out of the question, I was left to amuse myself by re-reading the stack of comics by my bed and counting down the minutes to when I could take another swig of Nyquil. By some Providence my laptop was also on my bed, so I was able to amuse myself with the internet. Better still, Project Gutenberg had many classic novels online, so I was able to read things. Such as the collected works of Jane Austen.
And there was my mistake.
As everyone knows, a sick girl devouring Pride and Prejudice will inevitably be in want of the 1995 BBC version, starring Colin Firth. Reading the witty repartee of Mr. Darcy made me long to watch the miniseries, mainly because it takes a lot of concentration to read Pride and Prejudice and the Nyquil was doing me no favors. I turned once more to the internet, believing there must be a version of it on Hulu, Youtube, or the BBC itself.
Until that day, I believed the internet a vast thing, an ocean with fathomless depths. Apparently those depths do not contain even an inch of Pride and Prejudice. Of the crappy 2005 movie there were multitudes, sites practically begging me to watch Kiera Knightly slink around screen. But I was not fooled–it was Firth or nothing!
After nearly a day, I had to contend there was nothing. The closest I got was a forum where people lamented the fact it wasn’t online. Not for free, not on the iTunes store, not on Netflix unless I wanted to wait a week for the physical DVD to come.
Sinking, I began trolling bit torrent sites. Hope was giving out, the sky was darkening, I was running dangerously low on Nyquil, when suddenly–there! There was a bit torrent of it! Of the 1995 BBC masterpiece! Of my sick heart’s only desire! I grew happy knowing there were others out there, others I assumed who were also 22-year-old girls wallowing in a bed of filthy tissues for a week!
I started the download! It began! “Oh bit torrent,” I whispered, “How long will it take to unite me with Mr. Darcy!”
5 days! It was going to take me 5 days! I might as well be dead by then! Also, the download froze! Then my computer shut off.
The tears gathering, I used my last card–trying to find it through the LA Public Library system. I couldn’t drive but I could stagger, and stagger down the street I would if the Library on my block had it. I screwed up my face in prayer and entered the keywords: “Pride and Prejudice” “Colin Firth” “1995 BBC miniseries” “NOT Kiera Knightly.”
The results glowed on screen: out of hundreds of branches, only one had the DVD. And that DVD…was…available!
Jubilation! I heaved a mighty cry of joy, which came out as a wobbly hiss due to my sore throat. Seized by a fever other than my physical one, I clicked on the branch to see where it was. Tujunga! How close was Tujunga?
Tujunga was 20 miles away, and 30 minutes of driving. Without traffic.
“I’m home!” my roommate called as she walked in late that night. “I’m going to the store, you want anything?”
Colin Firth as Darcy in the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries, my heart thought.
“Soup,” my treacherous voice croaked.
To be fair, the soup was good. But so is watching the scene were Mr. Darcy walks out of the pond in a wet shirt.
So being sick sucks. Stock up on your vitamin C, eat an apple a day, and if you start to feel a tickle in the back of your throat immediately go to the Tujunga branch of the LAPL and get me their DVD of Pride and Prejudice. You won’t regret it.