Hump Day: Cold-wracked columnist cackles with glee, coughs in chagrin

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

For several days over the past week, I’ve been pretty much housebound due to a very serious illness that women mock with open disdain and men fear to their very cores. Yes, my friends, I had a man-cold.

Now, the man-cold is not just any type of cold. It’s a vicious illness that virtually disables the males of the human species at least once per year. During this week or so of intolerable suffering (and whining), the male cancels all appointments, stays on the sofa watching television and generally complains about how the world is ending.

Female folk — especially those who’ve experienced childbirth without an epidural — heap scorn upon those with man-colds. “Thank goodness you didn’t experience childbirth!” one Facebook friend wrote when I advised the world that I was dying of a man-cold. Others displayed bald-faced pleasure at my suffering, as if I was dancing in front of them like some sort of congested court jester with a runny nose.

Due to the complete lack of sympathy I was garnering online from my so-called friends, I did some research to prove that the ghastly man-cold was right up there with being beheaded, passing a kidney stone the size of a baseball and going too far in when cleaning out your ears with a knitting needle. In other words: awful.

Man-coldI found one video on YouTube that did give us pitiful men a lot of sympathy when suffering from the if-it-isn’t-deadly-it-should-be man-cold. Although it was uploaded as a comedy video, the video entitled Man-Cold Ambulance gave me a brilliant idea: there should be an ambulance service set up especially for men suffering from man-colds. Off-duty paramedics could make some extra cash on the side getting those of us with man-colds glasses of juice, teddy bears to hug, changing our adult diapers (too sick to go to the bathroom, of course) and to tell us everything will be OK. That’s all we’re looking for, after all — a bit of sympathy in a cruel and uncaring anti man-cold world.

Please don’t call 911 to access Man-Cold Ambulance. They won’t believe you’re dying and will tell you to not to call back unless you have a “real” emergency. Excuse me, emergency snobs, but having a man-cold is a real emergency! And yes, Medicare should cover it. I expect to see that in election platforms during the next election.

And lest you think I’m picking on women for not having much sympathy for those of us suffering from man-colds, men are just are just as bad. You see, to cover up their own shame from having suffered from their own man-colds, they revert to poking fun and calling names, such as “Suck it up, buttercup!” or “Handle it, princess!” I ignore their jibes. Obviously, they’re ashamed at their own past man-cold behaviour and are trying to make themselves feel better by pointing fingers at others. I pity them.

Don’t come crying to me the next time you die from a man-cold, you unsympathetic swine. And yes, I will cackle with glee over your open grave as they lower your phlegm-filled casket after you gave up the ghost following a sneeze so powerful that your brain flew out of your mouth. (Friendly advice: Aim for a wall for easier cleanup. Avoid furniture and pets, unless it’s feeding time. It’s best not to drive or operate heavy equipment for a day or two afterwards until you regenerate new brain cells.)

I’m not sure why we men tend to suffer more from colds than women. Is it all in our minds, or should we just stand up for our right to suffer and complain like other minority groups do? What about our own special parking spots at retail establishments, huh? If pregnant women and families with small children deserve sweet parking spots near the door, surely men with man-colds deserve the same privilege.

Until this happens, I suggest that all of us with man-colds cough on the door handles of every vehicle between our car and the front entrance. Spread the love, I say: ‘Honey, who put green slime all over the car door handle? I have it all over my hands. And why is that very handsome coughing man with the runny nose laughing and telling me to put my fingers in my mouth and rub my eyes?’

If I have to suffer, we all have to suffer. That’s my life’s mantra.

I don’t know why men with man-colds clearly suffer more than women with plain old run-of-the-mill fairy-dust baby colds, but I’m pretty sure it’s because we’re just more intelligent. Yes, I said it. I have no argument to prove my point, so you’ll just have to trust that I know what I’m talking about. You probably wouldn’t understand the extremely complex explanation anyway.

Isn’t there a lawyer out there who’s willing to take on a class action lawsuit to get those who’ve suffered from man-colds proper compensation for our pain and suffering? Surely the government could cough up (snicker!) a few pennies for the millions of Canadian men who suffer from this debilitation week-long affliction year after year! I had to cancel business meetings, volunteer work and family events because of my man-cold. You’d think someone would be willing to send me a big fat cheque (even a little skinny one would be nice) to say they’re sorry.

There’s also a clear shortage of support groups for this disease. Don’t you think I deserve to be sobbing in front of a group of strangers with mascara-stained tears drawing lines down my face as I recount the horrors of sneezing on the back of the head of someone in the lineup to pay for cold remedies at the pharmacy? I certainly do.

Now let’s hope things don’t get worse, like a paper cut. Shivers down my spine!

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