Man Flu

Despite recent high temperatures, the invasion of Sniffles was not aborted and casualties are mounting – the front line strewn with the limp and the forlorn, prostrate in their misfortune. Mighty and savage as dragons, sightings of Sniffles roaming unmolested, indiscriminately felling masses while humming to itself in blasé tones have been confirmed by multiple sources. Meanwhile, Chesty Coughs have been overheard plotting domination in cafés and on trains for the last number of weeks. While their annual rallies have brought little concern since The Great Cough of 1347, authorities keep Chest Coughs (along with assailants: Cold Sweats, Wheezes and Runny Noses) under vigilant observation on a year-round basis. And with the annual migrations of Headaches and Migraines being tracked by GPS we would appear to be in fair shape.

However, this year that tiresome, vulgar, unsightly, loud and most heinous of all contractible burdens is, sadly, again, on the rise. Thankfully women are immune, and deservedly so, yet it is a horror the like of which has haunted all folk since time immemorial. And yet, alas, despite its brutal glory, rampant in all cities, in all countries around the globe, Man Flu is still without a cure. Open terror continues to be wrought upon any in proximity to the grunts, moans, coughs, tears, more moans and complaints. Along with ardent prognostications of inevitable death and betiding of such magnitude as to have anyone in earshot believe that he who suffers is being quartered by stallions, the volume of such maleficent and dour audibility makes ears and hearts long for ice picks. Or at least shovels and alibis.

Of course, the true victims of Man Flu are not men at all, but women. Even brave men, who make light of their plight through song or humour, actually make such nuisances of themselves as to invoke probable and certainly slow death by the hand of any wife, girlfriend, sister, mother, neighbour, cop or passing acquaintance who hasn’t already deported themselves to a quieter distance. Those angels know most intimately the grotesquery of Man Flu, how it all but drains the flesh of its souls and casts decent women into so deep and constricted a chasm by forcing them to endure not only the sorry party but also the need to not murder said patient with whatever is to hand.

Thus new legislation has been drafted, peculiarly. Under Mandate-31, 2018, anyone looking to rid themselves of men struck down by Man Flu are hereby instructed to bring specimens to prearranged coastal areas where naval and aerial forces will bombard the grumbling hordes with incendiary high-explosives. This unprecedented initiative is funded through the Mental Health Service Executive. For confirmation of the location of designated drop off points, and to prevent the possibility of contaminating the general population through the escape of any such specimens who would be aided by necessary accomplices, particulars are to be spread via word of mouth only. So get out there! Spread the word – men and women alike! For with a little luck the sole fact of their impending doom might cure the afflicted once and for all and do the rest of us all a favour. If not, we’ll see you at the beach.

Stephen Fahey

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