There, amongst the post-nightclub puke, squashed chewing gum wrappers and a selection of other greasy, unmentionable attractions at a city bus stop was this lone, blue, peanut M&M.
It represents how I feel at the moment: once a object of glory, now infested by crap and disease of every kind.
Is it just me or have coughs and colds become more virulent, lengthy and painful in the past few years?
Sure sure, we get given antibiotics if a cold lingers on for too long and it's clear that a throat or chest infection has kicked in or there is too much chunky, lime-green snot on tap, but I honestly don't remember colds being this harsh when I was growing up.
If dealing with hayfever isn't already hard enough.....! A couple of nights ago as I was power walking my way home, I was attacked with a fit of sneezes so powerful I was in danger of peeing myself. Then, a gust of dry northern wind (as only Adelaide can do so well) blasted a fistful of dirt into my face, so I ended up staggering around blindly down the footpath wildly gouging at my eyes, sneezing like a stuck Acid House CD and doing my best to cross my legs and hope that no wee was coming out. One old lady who was bravely thumbing her nose up at the water restrictions stopped watering her roses and called out nervously, "Are you alright over there, love?"
The continual itchiness of hay-fever is made worse when a cold is thrown into the mix as well. We all know about the old saying 'We can send a man to the moon but we can't cure the common cold', and it rang true this week as I sat in a meeting with some academics who simply couldn't understand why they now had 'prove' how their research has made a difference outside of their institutional walls.
The pesky government bureaucrats (called 'clerks' by a guy who clearly started uni when Noah was in woodworking class 101) are now insisting that the brainiacs clearly show how their egg-head exertions have had a positive impact on society, community, government policy or merely improved life for even just one individual. Yes, these old bookish brainiacs have all been cited in other respected journals many times, but a lot were struggling with the concept that Joe Average needed to be convinced that their unique field of expertise and continued study was of some merit.
Shouldn't these Super Synapses be focussing their energies on curing colds, or eliminating them right from the outset? Apart from rage-excused-by-religion and Celine Dion's entire musical output, what has annoyed the human race more?
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 under the doona, 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....!
I was convinced that I was about to hawk up a lung on my desk today. I felt like the Marlboro Man's Mistress in her retirement years with a puffy red and sweaty face from the effort of it all. And there's been no rest for me, or my loving family at night either. Once the sweats and shakes had subsided, my throat was revving up for its turn in the spotlight. Or should I say soundscape. With my snot-filled noggin, stuffed-up chest and wheezy breaths, I spent the night sitting propped up on even our fancy little 'just for show' pillows that normally adorn our bed, looking for all the world like a nocturnal nanna about to 'receive' visitors.
Apparently, when I did fall asleep, my snot-logged snores sounded like an outboard motor that had been stuck in a swamp. It was so loud I woke myself up, only to find Love Chunks staring down at me and wondering aloud, "Geez no wonder you were about to divorce me until I got my punching bag thingy in my throat surgically removed."
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 is 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 to all you university Egg Heads - sweetie darling honey suckle piggy wiggy poo poos - would you please please PLEASE consider putting aside your ground-breaking examination of Pam Ayre's early poems for subliminal, pro-terrorism propaganda and instead find a way to eliminate this dreadful affliction for good. I'll even attend your lectures and buy the textbook....