Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Day . . . Whatever

No, I know; it’s Day Five. Five days I’ve had this cold-flu-whatever. There’s not a lot to say about this experience, except that I suddenly realized that I no longer shudder when I swig down my shot glass of Nyquil, the way I used to when I was a college student. I’m long past that. In fact, the other night I was thinking (in that fuzzy manner of people with head colds), Why, if it weren’t for that nasty, cloying, sticky-sweet finish, you could maybe use this in a cocktail . . .

. . . Nahhhh.

For your enjoyment, here is something from Ogden Nash’s collection Bed Riddance: A Posy for the Indisposed. We have all been here.

The Common Cold

Go hang yourself, you old M.D.!
You shall no longer sneer at me.
Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
I contemplate a joy exquisite
In never paying you for my visit.
I did not come here to be told
My malady is a common cold.

By pounding brow and swollen lip;
By fever’s hot and scaly grip;
By those two red redundant eyes
That weep like woeful April skies;
By racking snuffle, snort, and sniff;
By handkerchief after handkerchief;
This cold you wave away as naught
Is the damnedest cold man ever caught!

Give ear, you scientific fossil!
Here is the genuine Cold Colossal;
The Cold of which researchers dream,
The Perfect Cold, the Cold Supreme.
This honored system humbly holds
The Super-cold to end all colds;
The Cold Crusading for Democracy;
The F├╝hrer of the Streptococcracy.

Bacilli swarm within my portals
Such as were ne’er conceived by mortals,
But bred by scientists wise and hoary
In some Olympian laboratory;
Bacteria as large as mice,
With feet of fire and heads of ice
Who never interrupt for slumber
Their stamping elephantine rumba.

A common cold, gadzooks, forsooth!
Ah, yes. And Lincoln was jostled by Booth;
Don Juan was a budding gallant,
And Shakespeare’s plays show signs of talent;
The Arctic winter is rather coolish,
And your diagnosis is fairly foolish.
Oh what a derision history holds
For the man who belittled the Cold of Colds!