I have a cold.
It is not just an ordinary cold, because man does not have ordinary colds, but a monstrous condition that causes a voluminous hacking cough, tremulous body-shaking sneezes, skull-blasting headaches and barely tolerable pain coursing through every inch of a man's hairy body right down to his stubby finger tips. It is much like the pain that accompanies an auto da fey.
Women, due to their construction, do not have those kinds of symptoms. Even with the minor inconveniences they suffer with similar but lesser colds they go on about their duties and sometimes hum the little tunes they love most like "Bess, You is My Woman Now" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." What courses through their fragile bodies is not pain but a deep physical desire to please their man.
They spend half a day at the stream where they gossip, wash clothes and catch fish, hanging the clothes out to dry on a line stretched between two trees, then cooking the fish they caught just the way their guy likes it, served for lunch with a nice cold fever-fighting can of Budweiser beer which soothes the throat and calms the stomach; later maybe some ice cream is served by their woman, one baby spoonful at a time.
In the afternoon the man needs to relax by watching the Cartoon Network while the woman fights her lesser cold, sweating out her insignificant germs by dusting, mopping, sweeping and scrubbing in between preparing a pot roast and a home-made apple pie for dinner. Her husband does not offer to help or otherwise interrupt her routine because he knows the work is good for her. Women are happiest when they are enslaved.
However, I am afraid that is not the way it actually works in our house. My wife does not believe for some reason that having a cold Is likely to kill me. "It's a cold, for God's sake," she says, "not cirrhosis of the liver, although Lord knows with all the martinis you drink..." She lets it hang there. The truth is, if I could work in a martini a week I would be a healthier man today.
And even though I have "the damndest cold man ever caught," as Ogden Nash once wrote, my pain is generally ignored and I am expected, for instance, to put on my own shoes and slip into my own Levis. So I turn off Spongebob Squarepants and sit on the edge of the bed for several minutes wearing an expression of sorrow and discomfort that would make a coroner cry and finally get up, trudge slowly and painfully to my computer and I write...
I have a cold...