Text STEVE to 484848 (USA) or 393939 (Canada) to get show updates
The Column

That Time of Year

It's that time of year again. Which is a dumb phrase to use, since every time of year is technically that time of year again. Except perhaps February 29th, which only happens once every four years and in way too many movies.

Why is it that February is such a short month, anyway? I'm guessing it really has to do with the sun or moon or President's Day Sale and is not completely arbitrary. I remember, as an eight-year-old kid, being asked by a clever 10-year-old how many months have 28 days. I told him it was just one, to which he said, "no – all of them" and laughed hysterically before I punched him in the nose.

Okay, so I didn't punch him in the nose, but I should have. And I'm sure someone did eventually.

So it is that time of year again. You can tell a lot about yourself by what time you think I'm talking about. The holidays, college football bowl season, finals, Winston Churchill's birthday – it is obviously that time of year for many things. But specifically for me, it's the time of year that I get so delirious on Sudafed that I write long winded columns about times of years and punching 10-year-olds.

I'm sick again. Miraculously, I have not been sick for an entire year. I had a day of sniffles back in October, but they went away very quickly so they don't count. For those of you who have been with this column for at least a year (happy anniversary, sweetums!), you might remember that I was so sick last year that I slept through Thanksgiving. Not the celebration – the entire day. To catch you up on what happened afterward, I was bed-ridden for two weeks, and by the time I felt "better," I'd lost 30 pounds and was too weak to stand for more than ten minutes at a time. But on the upside, new clothes were much cheaper since I needed so much less fabric.

After two months of a strict peanut and olive oil-based diet, I got back to normal. And I have been healthy ever since (except that day I finished an entire jar of peanuts). I started working out again, eating better, and I hadn't bought a new box of tissues in months.

And then came Flagstaff. On the way to my eventual Los Angeles destination, we stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona. If Arizona is supposed to be hot as hell, it must have frozen over the day before we arrived. Flagstaff is in northern Arizona – where every November 25th (or at least the one I was there for), it gets down to 17 degrees at night.

I woke up the morning of the 26th sneezing. A lot. I grabbed the roll of toilet paper from the motel bathroom and headed to the car, but the housekeeper stopped me.

"Is that from the room?" she asked.

"Yes, but I've been sneezing all morning and last night the heat wasn't entirely, well, on," I answered. "I would really like to be able to blow my nose in the car, and the room didn't have any tissues."

"Okay," she said as she took the roll from me and walked away.

I wished she was more considerate, or at least better versed in the meaning of the word "okay." Left with no choice, I raided the napkin supply of a local Subway, and was forced to blow my nose into what could have easily doubled as oak tag.

Four days and an economy-sized box of Sudafed later, I am still sick. In fact, it's worse now. Not just because I am sneezing more and the Carpathians and Russians are fighting for control of my head, but because my nose is almost gone. My nose is so chaffed from the oak tag tissues that when I heal, I am going to need a replacement. Good thing I'm in LA.

I have done what I can to get over this. I am hopped up on medicine, so much so that I use the phrase "hopped up." I have raided the local supply of orange juice, and have used a redwood worth of paper products (again, good thing I'm in LA). But this cold has shown absolutely no signs of letting up. I'd punch it in the nose, but if it's anything like me, it doesn't have one anymore. Also, I can't lift my arms.

I am, of course, kidding about not having a nose. I still have one – it's just a big red nose. Which is fitting, since it's that time of year again.

You know, Winston Churchill's birthday.

*Kings vs. Sports Illustrated
*Paris Hilton is No Mother Theresa
*Putting the "Fan" in "Fanatic"
*Thinking Man: Happy New Year
*I'm Listening
*Punky Brewster Scares Me
*Don't Get Smart With Me
*Checking Out a Check Up
*Yeah, Thanks
*Steve Hofstetter is Your Friend
*Post Halloween Wrap-Up
*My Letter to Me
*The Night the Heat Went Off
*Turn That Crap Off
*You Might Be a Redhead If
*To My Future Children
*Shine Your Shoes, Mista?
*Flying Forward
*DotCom Dating Dish
*Paging Paige Page
*Watch While You Eat
*You Have Got to Be Kidding Me
*Come Home, Rachel I. K'Benjamin
*Get Out Of My Bathroom
*Subway Going Under
*Driving Forces
*Singles Anonymous
*Know When to Fold Em
*The Mirth of America
*Also Known As
*Smooth Criminal
*What That Mass Email Really Said
*Dude, Where's Your Car?
*Thinking Man: Can't We All
*You Might Be a Redneck
*A Nice Hawaiian Punch
*100,000 Friends
*Mine is Bigger Than Yours
*Good Answer
*T Stands for Terrible
*I Love You Guys
*Mitch, All Gone
*Birth of a Hate Mail Archive
*Never Do Today What...Ooh, Shiny
*Can You Hear Me Now?
*Fast Food, Slow Digestion
*Homeland Security, Eh?
*Quality Training Purposes
*The Show Went On
*Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
*Putting My Foot Down
*Breaking the Chain Mail
*Happy Valmochrismaweenygiving
*Mr. Clean's Illegitimate Brother
*The Quest For 10,000 Friends
*Forgetting Paris
*Magnetically Challenged
*New Year's at the Barefoot Boogie
*Instant Carma's Gonna Get Me
*The Biggest Loser
*Steve vs. Kentucky
*Gone in a Flash
*How to Destroy Your Car
*Ghouls, Goblins, and Candidates
*My Freedom From Your Freedom
*Drive Unto Others
*Please Don't See This Movie
*I Love The Clip Shows
*Column of Atonement
*Happy Anniversary, Sugarhill
*Life, 9/11, and the Interstate
*Your Band Sucks
*Spending Wisely
*The Blind Dating the Blind
*Grilled Cheese With a Side of Hip Hop
*The Drive to 25
*Are You There Margaret? It's Me, God.
*Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House
*Seacrest! Out!
*Harder Than You Think
*Glad To Be Here
*Thought for Food
*Feeding the Meter
*She's Ready For Her Close Up
*Paging John Hughes
*Excusing America's Gas Problem
*Extra, Extra, Extra Long Time
*The Finals Countdown
*Your Friends and Mine
*The Future Mrs. Bueller
*Toasting Not Toasting
*A Tall Order
*Snaking Your Engine
*My Hair is the Color of Tomato Soup
*The Solace System
*You Say Potato
*It’s Getting Less Cold in Here
*This is Not a Virus
*Pitchers and Catchers
*Another Night Not at the Movies
*Higher and Higher
*To Write A Wrong
*They Call it Super for a Reason
*Imagine All the People
*Lost Wages, Nevada
*This Just In
*Why Are All My Stands Red?
*For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls
*Silent One Day Sale, Holy One Day Sale
*I Want To Be That Guy
*Felicity Doesn't Always Mean Happiness
*That Time of Year
*My Cranberry Sauce Looks like a Can
*The Legend of Fat Dead Steve
*Two Beldings in One Building
*Happy Halloween From Happy Valley
*Three Stations and Nothing On
*15 Shots of Nostalgia
*Here's To the Dancing Guy
*Teaching an Old Dog New Sticks
*If You Could Choose Just One Dumb Question...
*Obligatory Pun on The Word Tired
*I've Grown Accustomed to Your Wet Nose
*What Do You Want For Your Birthday?
*What a Long, Strange Trip
*Open Letter to My UPS Man
*That Better Be Your Foot
*The Abandoned Lot is Always Greener
*Putting Down the Pieces
*Take One Down, Pass It Around
*Here, You Throw This Away
*Being Green at the Box Office
*Who Wears Short Shorts?
*America is an Okay Place to Be
*You Can't Stop the Rain
*Don't Feed the Alpha Males
*Don’t Sweat It
*The Special Plate Blues
*You Deserve It
*The Return to Popcopy
*They're Real, and They're Spectacular
*Keeping Your Prom Misses
*Guerillas in Our Midst
*That Weird No Bread Holiday
*The Ballad of the Buttless
*Something About Being Twenty-Something
*Have You Seen My Cell Phone?
*War, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For?
*Leggo My Ego
*I'm a Spazz, You're a Spazz
*Can I Please Keep My Pants?
*Engaged in Conversation
*Welcome to PopCopy
*Hold Me Closer, Tiny Bathroom
*My Two-Bedroom Furbee
*All’s Fare in Love and Daytona
*Open? Shut Them
*I Am Everyday Pimple
*Here Comes the Judge Show
*When, Praytell, Were The Days of Auld Lang Syne?
*What Are You Up To This Weekend?
*The Waiting is the Hardest Part
*A Night Not at the Movies
*Funny, You Don’t Look Flu-ish
*Does This Baby Come With Airbags?
*When The Hogan Family Was Still Valerie
*Blue (Haired) Tuesday
*In Loco Parents
*Moving Is Like A Vaccuum: It Sucks
*Thou Shalt Not Save the World and Get the Girl
*Like Oil and Stuff That Hates Oil
*How to Get Hatemail
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*It Happens to the Best of Us
*Talking To A Piece of Junk Mail
*When You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
*ICFS Disorder and Celebrity Kid Growth
*Electricity and Other Things They Cut Off
*When Pigeons Fly
*Goodbye, New York, Goodbye
*La La La-la La La, Sing a Happy Song
*What To Do at Work Besides Work
*Why is This Column Different From All Others?