Some of us fantasize about our ideal head cold the way that other, more gallant types fantasize about their dream holiday. Even your average head cold brings countless delights to those with an appreciative attitude. The pleasure begins with the thrill of diagnosis. Ah yes, the great pleasure that is guessing and speculating in matters medical. I have spent the most fulfilling and charming afternoons gathered with friends engaged in this pursuit- joyfully hypothesizing and gladly offering our ill-informed opinions on the cause of a vague and underspecified symptom of a member of our gathering.
Following correct diagnosis (usually occurring with reference to something Dr Oz once said) is the sweet cocktail of delight that is: being pitied, feeling sedated, getting to stay in your pajamas and not having to make your bed- Oh, heaven! Above all this, head colds have a rare and precious power: they offer us a reprieve from the pervasive and exhausting duties of adulthood. The call for self-improvement is inaudible to those that have been forced to stuff bits of toilet paper up both nostrils. That your career, relationships, personal ambitions and diet are all falling apart is of little consequence to someone whose has taken just slightly more than the recommended dose of flu medication.
Of course, we must eventually find the energy to self-improve (most of us are in obvious need of development – some more urgently than others) and this is why the ideal head cold is both short lived and infrequent- giving us time to work ourselves into someone possessing something like respectability. But these limits are not the most important feature of what constitutes my ideal head cold, most important is that it leaves one’s appetite intact or even, by some miracle, stimulated.
Oh, how I fear the decimation of my appetite by some inferior and vulgar head cold.
The pleasure of the ideal head cold lies chiefly in the opportunity it presents for eating. As someone who takes the pleasure of feeling poorly very seriously, let me offer you some advice on just how to makes best use of this rare opportunity:
Now, runny-nosed-baker this is not the time to get fancy. Your ability to taste will be compromised, your body will be in want of consoling and your energy will be in want of conserving. It’s time for easily accessible foods that nourish your weary soul with their rich and comforting textures. This is the time for peanut butter and Nutella straight from the jar. This is the time to eat cookies by the bag and to find room amongst the used tissues for a tall and unhygienic tower of chocolate. At the most you might try to dip the cookies into a mixture of the peanut butter and Nutella, but go no further your risk too much.
Those of you with a healthy bent might think that a head cold requires that one pay attention to the nutritional qualities of what you eat. By all means feel free to ingest vitamins, but do not allow this trifling matter to stand in the way of you and the great pleasure of being ill. Vitamins are, in my opinion, exclusively a requirement of cold medication. They have little business hanging around at the meal time of the sufferer. After all the very point of feeling poorly is that it provides an opportunity for pleasure. If you are going to bother with things like healthy meals you probably should have just stayed well.