I HAD a flu jab and immediately broke out in a sweat. It was possibly coincidence but a few days later I was in the first throes of man flu which, as all blokes know, is worse than the bubonic plague with bells on.
What perfect timing. Man flu, with me, can last a month and turns my nose red. By the beginning of December I would be ready to play Rudolf at Santa’s grotto.
This time I decided to fight back and dispatched my wife Maria to the chemist.
Well, you couldn’t expect me to go; not with man-flu.
She returned with medical supplies and a box of tissues big enough to lie in, and I started snorting First Defence and daubing my nose with enough Vaseline to swim the Channel. And do you know, it worked. Sort of.
The man flu has been beaten back, although I can feel it lurking, ready to stage a second attack if I drop my guard. Someone else will have to play Rudolf this year, although I am still using the Vaseline, just in case.
But what it has left me with is a severe cough, a sore throat and a voice that scares children. When out and about I have to make sure I don’t speak to anyone under 10 for fear of getting arrested.
My voice has more menace than Vito Corleone’s.
I went in the pub the other night and asked for a pint and the young woman behind the bar simply handed me the takings.
My daughter phoned yesterday and when I answered she said: “Who’s that?” worried in case I was the victim of a home intrusion by a burglar attempting to disguise his voice with a bad Barry White impression.
It is, in fact, difficult to speak with any cohesion and, for goodness sake, don’t make me laugh. A guffaw rips out the back of my throat so I have banned myself from seeing funny people on medical grounds. So Wimps and Alan are out. And Krusty, you’re on a warning.
Lozenges only exacerbate the situation and attempting to suppress the cough is as irritating as actually letting rip. If my wife finally loses it in the middle of the night and sticks a pillow over my face, I hope the coroner takes this into consideration.
To combat the throat infection I have been using a spray that has an extension nozzle through which is aimed a jet of appalling antiseptic at the back of my throat that is supposed to numb sensory nodes. This is not for the faint-hearted. In the American army, using one of these would qualify you for a Purple Heart.
I am sure I have turned the corner and am on my way to recovery. But if we bump into each other, try not to cheer me up by laughing. Even if I do sound like the Big Unfriendly Giant with a nose greased for long distance swimming.