Friday, May 12, 2006

A Man-Sized Cold

My esteemed coworker, 80 Hour Man, a person who is neither genteel nor soft-spoken, has a cold. You can tell he has a cold because it sounds like the beat-up old Studebaker Lark 8 I used to own when it struggled to stay running with wet wires. His cold assaults the eardrums like the clatter and rattle an old lawnmower makes when it just won’t turn over after a hundred pulls. He is what I call a Loud Cold Sufferer. Lots of throat clearings, coughing, snorts, honking nose-blows, groans, the whole works.

I am a Complaining Cold Sufferer. When I have a cold, everyone hears about it. I once explained to a female coworker that her little cases of the sniffles were nothing compared to my man-sized colds. If she ever caught one of my colds, the intensive care unit of Mass General Hospital would have another patient on its hands, that’s how intense my colds are. It takes a mighty constitution to handle them.

There are other kinds of cold sufferers. My wife is a Grim Cold Sufferer. She doesn’t complain much, but don’t talk to her if you know what’s good for you. I’ve known some Cheerful Cold Sufferers, the kind who laugh at this pesky little malady that has temporarily taken over their lives. To them, it’s nothing they can’t handle. Personally, I don’t think Cheerful Cold Sufferers are of this planet.

Question du jour: what kind of cold sufferer are you?


Blogger Kathleen said...

I'm a "Where's My Alka-Seltzer Cold Medicine Cold Sufferer." Whining doesn't help as the cats just don't care, although I might moan a little at work in hopes that someone says, "Kathleen, you sound terrible. Why don't you go home?"

7:49 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

You know, for all my complaining at work when I have a cold, I get precious little sympathy. They actually act as if they're tired of me. If I'm ever asked, "Why don't you go home?" I think it's because they don't want me around anymore. Bastards.

7:59 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

I'm probably a little bit of the Complaining Cold Sufferer and the Cheerful Cold Sufferer. I put on a good front at work of being cheery, but the moment I get around family, I whine incessantly. I'll say, "Do you know what I would really like right now?", and my nephew will roll his eyes and say, "To be able to breathe? Yeah, we know."

8:12 AM  
Anonymous dreadmouse said...

I turn inwards when sick. The worse I feel, the quieter I get. When I'm bedridden all I want is a good book, good drugs, and peace. I don't complain; I don't usually talk at all.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I'm an angry cold sufferer, angry that the gods have forsaken me so. My wife calls me the big p-word whenever I'm sick.

9:26 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Three new categories:

Trina: Multiple-Personality Cold Sufferer

Dreadmouse: Stoic Cold Sufferer

Scott: Angry Cold Sufferer

My article for the New England Journal of Medicine is shaping up nicely thanks to you guys.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

I just suck it up and move on. My husband and children, however, get to loll and suffer. I am not permitted this luxury. Oh I AM, but there would be constant interruptions of whatever restful recuperation might be offered. "Mooooom" and "Honey?" and "Have you seen?" and "I can't find" and "Take the cat out of the microwave" and ... it goes on.

1:46 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

I hear you, Erica. My wife will say the same thing. And how do those cats wind up in the microwave all the time?

1:57 PM  
Blogger Farrago said...

To determine what kind of cold sufferer I am means you would first have to determine all the different kinds of colds out there.

Sometimes my cold is mild, and all I do is sniffle for a couple of days. Other times, I'm near pneumonia, and every time I exhale a half-pound of phlegm rattles forth and deposits itself in my mouth.

I guess I'm the Frustrated Cold Sufferer: no matter the intensity of the cold, I am usually heard muttering, "Why can't I SHAKE this thing?!" followed by coughing and another pound of phlegm finding its way to daylight.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

At work I'm the Doggged Cold Sufferer - I'm there as long as I'm not running a fever, but I make sure my boses are aware how crappy I feel, blowing my nose of coughing at strategic moments. That way, there are fewer questions on the days when I *do* call out sick and don't have the energy to answer them.

At home, I'm the Lazy Cold Sufferer. I cherish the fact that I live alone, and allow myself to collapse on the couch until it's over.

8:20 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"I guess I'm the Frustrated Cold Sufferer: no matter the intensity of the cold, I am usually heard muttering, "Why can't I SHAKE this thing?!"

I'm probably a bit of a Frustrated Cold Sufferer myself. An you're right, there are different kinds and degrees of cold. I like the kind you just miss — where you might feel a little washed out for a few days but the virus didn't strike you with full force.

"At work I'm the Doggged Cold Sufferer - I'm there as long as I'm not running a fever…"

Yes! My rule is, I'll work through an illness so long as I'm not feeling nauseous. But everyone knows what a sacrifice I'm making!

7:04 AM  
Blogger magnetbabe said...

I'm the Melodramatic Cold Sufferer. I cough and then say things like, "I think I'm gonna die!" and "Take me to the hospital!"

8:12 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Oh, just because I moan a little at work hoping someone suggests I go home, I rarely do unless I'm dying - which would mean something other than bronchitis. Like Claire I don't want to be questioned when I really do call in sick.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Flood said...

I'm a little late in the game on this, but I am also a melodramatic cold-sufferer.

In the past two years I have convinced myself that my colds were a)Ebola b)Bird Flu c)West Nile d)pregnancy e)Lyme disease and f)government experiments on water.

I have to stop watching the news.

9:40 AM  

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