Cold Crusading for Democracy…

No writing done today. Why? I can’t see out of my eyes and my throat feels like bears came in my sleep and dug for beetles there. 

Been in bed all day, reading and watching British TV, while my cat wanders in and out, mewing in a bored sort of way. He’s even gone mad once or twice, just to see if I react. I do. I cough. He remains unimpressed.

I’m winning, though. I can feel those rhino viruses making a dash for the nearest exit. I hope. Time’s a wasting.


(image from Articulate Matter, a charming site with pictures of plasticine squids that seems, alas, to have gone quiet.)

Ogden Nash‘s “Common Cold”, my favourite poem for such moments:

Read by “Tom O’Bedlam, a wonderful name if ever I heard one…and a deep, resonant voice, similar to mine today…


Common Cold
Go hang yourself, you old M.D.!
You shall not sneer at me.
Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
I contemplate a joy exquisite
I’m not paying you for your visit.
I did not call you 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 Führer 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 Olympic 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 fairly coolish,
And your diagnosis is fairly foolish.
Oh what a derision history holds
For the man who belittled the Cold of Colds!



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