I recently overcame a crippling bout of flu. No, it was far worse than flu. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was a mutated strain, more akin to SARS, deadly Swine Flu or the T-Virus from Resident Evil. I was in bad shape and unable to do any household duties – even if I wanted too – which I didn’t.
Confined to my couch and linked to my Xbox and refrigerator, I was suffering, in turmoil, close to death!
Not that my wife was interested in any of this. Passing my sick bed with a sneer, she failed to acknowledge the torture my infected body was going through. It’s no fun when your wife has expert medical knowledge, decades of professional healthcare experience, and a piss-poor attitude towards the dying.
Now I may have been knocked down, but I wasn’t pushing daisies just yet.
Sure enough, my superhuman conditioning came though the challenge. The Millard anti-bodies, aided by my crime-fighting immune system, sought and destroyed the interloping virus. Five days later, a fridge of food devoured, and a few thousand Xbox points achieved, I unstitched myself from the sofa and marveled at my ability to cheat Death!
My heartless wife offered her shitty congratulations on my return to good health, pointed to the sink and threw a tea towel at me.
However, it soon became clear that the last laugh was safely in my pocket. The following day, and with a barrage of coughing and sneezing, she too was struck with the plague. Karma can be a real bitch, eh?
As a caring husband, I was itching to give her my complete support and loving attention – you know, just as I had received! I was ready to brush past her internment on the couch with the same poxy attitude she had offered me. And with the fridge empty, and her lackadaisical attitude towards gaming through sickness, she would be truly shipwrecked and unable to battle past the snot-filled days ahead.
At first, she tried to put on a brave face. She fussed around in the kitchen, dragged the hover over the entire house, and re-grouted the shower – all before lunchtime. I could see right through it. She didn’t impress me with her stupid attempt to ignore the disease raking over her system.
After a restless night of listening to her wheeze and drip I was up early the following morning, waiting for my beloved to stumble into the kitchen, all pox-ridden and fevered. As anticipated, she looked truly disgusting – to the point where I stopped her from making my breakfast.
It was clear to see. Stage two of the infection was underway! I remembered my own weakened state. She could forget about re-plastering the ceilings or whatever acts of silly indifference she planned to show me.
She would buckle today, just as I had.
Later on, after she had popped out to get the car serviced, she returned home with the weekly shopping, four bags of cement she had planned to use for resurfacing the patio area, and a few tubs of the ice-cream I had asked for (I had a slight tickly throat that needed soothing).
Only stopping to take on a Lemsip or a handful of paracetamol, she hadn’t missed a beat. I got bored waiting for the fall, and returned to the sofa and a box-set of Homeland.
She went on like this throughout the day. The house looked lovely, the garden was immaculate and my son was washed and sand-blasted. 48 hours had passed since her first contact with the superbug, and she was acting like Mary Poppins on ADD medication!
Ok, so she still looked a little undead and slimy, but she wasn’t eating VapoRub or crying blood anymore.
I guess looking back, it’s clear my wife suffered a different, less potent, strain of the killer flu. What else could it be? Her tolerance towards the illness was certainly not some stereotypical, sexist, display of how women can just get on with things. Or how men linger and ponce around crying over a stingy nose.
Oh no! She was bloody lucky! And only a fool would suggest otherwise.
Paul Millard 2014
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