Man Flu

cold medsWhen a man is sick, he wants everyone to know it. “Cough, cough,” said Honey. I didn’t respond.


“Are you sick?” I asked. “Yes,” he responded weakly. But being a male, he decided he would go to work anyhow and share his germs with others.

About noon my cell phone rang. “I’m sick. Cough, cough. I think I will go home. Cough, cough.”

We ride to work together. “How will I get home?”

“I guess I will have to come back and get you. Cough, cough.”

“Why don’t you get some cough syrup?” I asked. Men never think of taking medicine when they are sick.

“Okay, I will ask the pharmacist what is good for a cough.”

“COUGH, COUGH, COUGH!” He woke me up that night coughing and complaining.

“Did you take your cough medicine?” Men apparently do not know that cough medicine does not work unless you use it.

I got up to get him a pill for congestion, a pill for coughing, and cup of hot tea, so he could sleep and I could sleep. Men are totally helpless when they are sick. Obviously, this is a life-threatening case of man flu.

“You need to get up for a while so your sinus congestion will clear.” I meant for him to stay up about an hour. He stayed up all night coughing and watching television.

The next day he decided he could not make it to work, so he stayed home to sleep and cough. I hadn’t slept much either, thanks to him, but I went to work anyhow.

“Why don’t you go to the doctor before you miss any more work?” I suggested. Men never think of going to a doctor for a cold. He reluctantly agreed that it was probably a good idea, but he didn’t know where to go.

“Why don’t you go to the walk-in clinic? There is one across the street from the hospital. It has a sign, Walk In Clinic.” Men do not know how to go to a doctor without directions.

So, he went to the doctor and got a prescription. But he continued to cough and miss work for four more days. I was feeling sorry for him at this point. He was really sick.

“I don’t know where I got this crud from, cough, cough.”

Really? “I’ve also been to the doctor twice. Didn’t you notice?” Men never notice when someone else is sick, only when they are sick. I could be up half the night congested and taking medicine, and he would be in bed snoring.

“I think you need to go back to the doctor. You are out of medicine and not any better. You might need something different.” Men never think of going back to the doctor if they do not get better.

So, he grudgingly went back to the doctor and got a shot and more medicine. After several more days of coughing, not sleeping and keeping me awake all night, he decided he was well enough to go to work and spread some more germs. Men are generous with their germs when they are sick.

By now, I was starting to cough too, in spite of trying not to breathe in his direction.

“Cough, cough,” he whined.

“Cough, Cough,” I responded.

“Cough, Cough, Cough!” He croaked.

“Cough, Cough, Cough, Cough!” I responded.


I give up. You can’t out sick a man with man flu. I have immunity from sickness because I’m a female with two X chromosomes. It’s a good thing as he was still far too sick to take care of anyone else.

I feel sorry for the people where he works. They will have to listen to him cough all day. “COUGH, COUGH, COUGH!”

When a man is sick, he wants to be sure that everyone knows it.

©2013 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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