November 21, 2007

OK, so, I’m watching this Discovery Channel thing on Hippos. There are two male hippos, one the dominant male of the herd, the other a challenger. They are standing there, jaws agape, grunting wetly, magnificently.

I realize that I sound just like them.

There I am, a stocking cap jammed down over my ears. I have a sweatshirt on over my T-shirt and sweatpants so loose and comfy that they require clip-on suspenders to keep them up. And long woolen slipper socks that I haven’t worn since the last time I had a cold.

Yep. A cold.

I don’t know why it is that men suffer so grandly with colds, but we surely do make a production out of it. Think of it as performance art.

Women, on the other hand, may make mention of the fact that they have a cold or flu, usually when passing by on their way to the store or a business appointment, with the same sort of look in their eyes as kamikaze pilots.

No sense of drama.

I think this probably goes back to the days of our ancestors, in the days of caves and stone tools. Women had to watch the kids, gather nuts and berries or whatever, and keep the home fires burning. Literally.

Guys, on the other hand, probably did all the hunting, which meant leaving home and staying out in the field, whooping it up with one another and sticking sharp sticks into wild animals so they could bring home the bacon. Also literally.

 So, see, when we guys got sick, we had better really BE sick. I mean, if we’re lying around in the cave catching some extra ZZZZ’s, we’d better have a good excuse for why we aren’t out there annoying the protein.

So, we suffered. We honked and groaned and shuffled around like so many dyspeptic wooly mammoths, eyes and noses red. Heartbreaking.

I suspect that males who got colds but didn’t really SEEM all that sick got chased out of the cave by the womenfolk and made to go hunt anyway, where they probably met some terrible fate because they sneezed or waved their hankie at the wrong moment. Or they got whacked on the head at home and became the bacon. Times were hard.

So, yeah, I have a cold. I’m making a lot of noise, moan and whimper, make pathetic snurfling noises, my eyes tragic with misery. It’s a long tradition. So have some sympathy. And please, don’t throw me out there with the saber-toothed tigers.


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