Complaints from the common cold
If anyone has been given a rotten deal, it is the common cold. I finally tracked down old CC and got him on a Zoom line; boy, was he in a grumpy mood.
I said, so how are you these days?
And he says in a sour, snappy voice, how do you think I am, it is bad enough being upstaged by that Covid-19 guy, but this is my season and he has stolen my thunder, look around you, no one is even getting me, I am not even a blip on anybody's radar.
I guess it is because he is a lot scarier, says I, you are the good guy in this influenza fam.
Do not flatter me, he snarls, this was my moment in the sun, the flu season where I hit you hard with runny noses and people walking around holding tissues and thaying they hab a thellible chold.
That is true, I said, no one is really bothered about you, I can see why you are feeling so neglected.
You've no idea how I feel, this is the change of season into summer, I had a whole new range of sneezes and chills and here
I am, a nobody, where is the soup and grandmother's recipe and the smell of Vaporub and that guiltless two days off from work, it is not fair.
I nod in commiseration.
Why are you nodding like that?
I'm feeling bad for you; it must hurt to be ignored.
You do not know the half of it, things have gone so down the drain people are not even talking about me these days, I am the pariah of the flu family.
No, no, no, I say warmly, we still speak fondly of you, why just the other day we were saying how come no one is getting the common cold, it is like all the normal illnesses have taken a vacation.
Staying placatory I say, hmm, you are right, this Covid-19 fella has made us more careful about ourselves, so you are not getting a look in.
He gets all crestfallen, his voice breaks as he says, I miss this season, it used to be more fun, like Santa Claus I would sneak in on the unsuspecting and sprinkle a little cold dust in their eyes and they would get all bleary and teary and go thniff thniff atishoo and my job would be done, onward Rudolph, to the next one.
You came on a reindeer-driven sleigh?
It is a figure of speech, mister, suffice it to say, I came, I saw and you concurred and went for the Panadol.
I say, those were the good days, we could use inhalers and steam baths and absorb vitamin D in the sun.
I have a question, he says, still surly and sulky.
Shoot, I say, sock it to me.
How come you never wore masks for me and didn't think twice about passing it around, huh, tell me that.