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“Common” Cold

April 6, 2012

Scientists are smart chaps, mostly. They tend to give things names which suit the thing. Like, say, fly. Why call it a fly, you ask? Well, because it flies. That makes sense. Good, solid naming strategy there.

Then they name things, just for the lulz. For example, the Common Cold. The guy who coined this name is probably laughing himself to death every time someone catches the “common” cold. For, you see, I think there is nothing common about it whatsoever. It’s a crafty, wily, cunning, sly bugger. It lulls you into a false sense of security, citing it’s peasant-like origins.

“I’m harmless” it protests “After all, how dangerous could I be, if I was so common? You think your species would have let me be, if I was so deadly?”

Why, yes. Now that you mention it, Common Cold, I do believe that’s what they did. For you are not deadly. Oh, no. You are far worse than that. You’re a subtle one. Like a lion waiting for an unsuspecting gazelle to walk by. You sit by, and let your cousins the Swine and the Bird take the limelight. Yes, you claim, they are the deadly ones! They’re the ones to look out for. Me? I’m just a commoner. What do I know?

I have to agree with you there, Cold. You’re far worse than deadly. Unlike your cousins (who shoot to kill), you get into a person and just sit there. Tickle his throat slightly so he’s suspicious, but not fully aware of your presence. Then make him sneeze now and again. Mess with his mind ever so subtly, and then right in the middle of his workday… attack! Take no prisoners. Grab his sinuses, fill his brain with what feels like several anvils, and treat his nose like a machine gun until the poor sap figures it was probably a train that ran into him.

Once the poor guy has sobered up a bit from your brutal, all-out assault on his senses, he will (probably) medicate. At which point you pull one of your stunts again. Like a chap who has his fingers in too many pies, you’re still a cold… but now you’re a fever too! You sway left when he swings right, and you duck when he goes for your face. You occupy his brain, sit in his nose and throat and generally be an all out joy-kill. You laugh in the face of all his “modern” medicines, all the way to the grave where you die peacefully in your sleep. Apparently there’s nothing modern (or ancient) medicine can do to be rid of you.

Common Cold, I salute your courage and resilience.

And I wish you’d never have existed.

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