My head is a miniature Phlegm Factory. This current head cold has been running at full steam (or should that be 'snot') for over four weeks now and I'm SICK of it!
At around this time last year I wittered on about the news of 'our'(i.e. South Australian born) Andy Thomas floating about in the shuttle doing some sort of mechanical work; which reminded me of that old chestnut 'We can send Man to the moon, but can't cure the common cold.' Handy Andy's participating in a huge NASA program that supposedly costs more than the entire African continent's overseas debt to tootle back over to the moon and around the earth a few times. Why, I have no idea. What on earth are they going to see, feel or discover that hasn't already been done during so many visits before? It's hardly going to be a future competitor against places like the Bahamas as a fun holiday spot is it? I want Andy and his boffins to put their not inconsiderable energies, time and wallets towards eliminating the common bloody cold!
In the past five years or so, I've seen strong, fit and healthy people deteriorate into stooped and exhausted shells who can barely be understood behind the head full of mucus they're having to lug around from place to place. This snotty and coughy state is no longer able to shaken off with a hot honey and lemon drink and a day off, but carries on for weeks and weeks and weeks.
The suffering person has, by this stage, completely given up on common social courtesies and will simply trumpet their nose into a tissue with a noise not unlike that of a distressed elephant lost from its herd in a vain effort to rid themselves of a mugful of mucus. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has seen these poor bastards blow holes in their tissues due to the volume of phlegm that's been flung out of their facial flutes.And the coughing....!
On a far too regular basis, poor old Love Chunks has been in real danger of nearly hawking up a lung every night. He sometimes resembles the 'Anti Cancer' Man on the new cigarette packets as he strains to cough from a puffy red and sweaty face. And there'sno rest for him - or us, his loving family - when the lights go out either. Once his sweats and shakes have subsided, his throat iss revving up for its turn in the spotlight. Or should I say soundscape. With his snot-filled noggin, stuffed-up chest, regular puffs from his inhaler and wheezy struggles to breathe, that fleshy little punching bag at the back of his throat is in fine fettle. (What is a 'fettle' anyway?).
The resultant snores sound like an outboard motor that had been stuck in a swamp. No amount of loving jabs in his back with my elbow would stop the noise - even when he rolls on to his side - so he is kicked out of the marital bed and exiled into the spare room. (Only out of concern for his own welfare, you understand). With eighty year old double brick walls and two solid-wooden doors between us, his snores are then muffled to the mere level of a leaf blower at my bedside table.
It's so easy when you're not the one with the cold to think "Ah, it's just a cold, stop being a wimp," but when it's you with the cold, all you want to do is shove two test-tubes into your nostrils to let them drip freely and save you the bother of wearing away your face with continued tissue wipes. So Andy, lovey puss, sweetie darling honey boo - would you please consider parking that shuttle indefinitely and instead find a way to eliminate this dreadful affliction. You'll get more gratitude and news coverage than if you farted in the capsule.