The Cornetto of Brave Tart


Here’s the story of the universe, illness, and unfolded sheets.

NOOOO! Darn you, Mr. Universe! Damn you to hell, I say. You’ve had it in for me since day bloody one, haven’t you? Constantly poking me with a stick thinking it’s all a lark trying to ruin poor little Ally’s life, you great big dirty bastard. It isn’t fair, dagnabbit! Some people go through their entire lives with all the luck in the world, don’t they? Perfect hair. Perfect teeth. So well endowed the pixilation department don’t have enough bloomin’ pixels. But oh no, don’t worry about me. You continue having your fantastic life. Try not to have too much sex, will you? There’s a dear. Bah humbug, I say. I saw it coming, as well. I told you, I told all of you! I would definitely fall sick as everyone around me was falling like dominoes to this vicious flu spreading rapidly across the UK. Day 1. I wake up with the flu. Oh, for God’s sake. I had sheets to fold! SHEETS! Actual sheets! Sniff…

I decided to keep a daily diary of my woe. So, day 2. I bravely soldiered on. An experience every man sympathises with and an experience every woman is rolling her eyes at. I was nauseas. Extremely dizzy. Sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. And the cough? Golly, I sounded like a clapped put old Mini.

I spent much of that day trying to get through work. One minute, too hot, the next, too cold. I was so ill I couldn’t even be bothered making myself a cup of tea. Mainly because all my joints felt like British jelly. That and I didn’t know where the tea bags were kept.

I say ‘British jelly,’ I… I have no idea what the rest of the world calls that. I mean the stuff that’s like that stuff in pork pies. Or that stuff you plonk on your… you know, before you… hmm…

I was getting progressively worse as the day drew on. My pee had turned a dark orange colour, for a start. The boss decided to send me home as I was struggling to keep my head in an upright position. I arrived home and I fell asleep. For a couple hours, at least.

Day 3 is very much the reflection stage of flu, I find. That initial shock of the entire week ahead going down the toilet, the state the house deteriorating rapidly (‘Oh, I’ll dust when I’m better,’ ‘I’ll just chuck all my clothes on the floor until I’m better,’ ‘Oh, I’ll just leave all those bowls of old crusty cereal there until I’m better,’ etcetera), plus all those unfolded sheets. I don’t even have the stamina to lift my bloody head, never mind the sheets! If Shakespeare wrote a play about this, it really would be his greatest tragedy.

On day 3, one becomes consumed by thoughts of, ‘Oh, what if I washed my hands a bit better’ and ‘what if I ran for the hills and isolated myself from all of society until the flu had blown over.’ What? Just me? Hmm. You then realise you’ve missed your blog deadline and that, to get it back on track, you can’t post anything for a damn week, leaving one’s readers dismayed and thinking you don’t love them anymore when, in fact, you’re either watching funny cat videos on the YouTube to cheer oneself up or checking the colour of one’s pee against a Dulux colour chart to work out what colour it is today. Hmm… I’ll go for… Persian Melon. Ooh, it’s an improvement…

Day 4. Most women are still keeping it together by this point, but most men by this point are starting to resemble hobos. I know I am. I haven’t had a shower in days. Nor a shave. My hair is all greasy and my carpet has been replaced by a blanket of dirty underwear. My head is thumping and my joints, my neck especially, is so sore. The coughing is worse than ever and I can’t get any more than an hour’s sleep before the coughing wakes me up. You know, the flu is a lot like being a parent. Don’t get any sleep and your life is ruined.

The modern medicines weren’t working so I’ve resorted to some hippy herbal crap. Ah, day 4. The hippy stage. Not only are you resembling a hippy, what with the beard and long hair, and starting to smell like one, what with no washing for a good few days, you now start to adopt their lifestyle. “WHY IS ALL THIS MEDICINE I’M ON NOT WORKING! Give me the hippy juice!”

Time will tell if it works. I got a day off work to recover but I’m not doing much recovering. The universe hates me, remember. It won’t let me get better. I’m just stuck at home watching endless repeats of Homes Under the Hammer. Like me, it’s utter shite yet strangely alluring.

I’m probably the only man who reads medicine instructions and, most importantly, the side effects. Well, there’s the usual. Rash. Anaphylactic shock. Violent diarrhoea. Difficulty breathing. Swollen lips. Loss of eyebrows. So, you know, nothing too serious. I mean, sure, it sounds – hang on, loss of eyebrows? Loss of eyebrows! Oh, I’m gonna look a picture going into work next week with no eyebrows and lips ten times their usual size…

Day 5. The false sense of security stage. That moment when the universe gives you a glimmer of hope and then rips it away from you. Like that date you went on that you thought went really well yet you never heard back from the girl ever again. Bloody expectations. You know what it’s like. You wake up. Nose… not blocked? Yippee! Cough… gone? Yippee! Joints… not aching? Yippee! I’ll just get out of bed full of the joys of spring! You might start whistling, with funny thoughts flowing through your mind. ‘It’s a medical marvel! The first human to overcome flu in only five days! I couldn’t be happier and – *loud cough* *wheeze* *triple sneeze* *fall to floor in agony and curl up into a ball *.’ I’ll just go back to bed, then. Sniff. Those poor unfolded sheets…

Things get progressively worse on this day, too. It’s like fate punches you in the face with false hopes of wellness then it decides to come back for a groin shot. I’ll sit down, relax, watch some TV on the Internet, and… what’s that? The shockwave has crashed and needs to be reinstalled? What the hell is a shockwave! So you follow the instructions to download the new… whatever the hell it is. ‘Ah, here comes Supergirl!’ Three hours later… still downloading! Even a lovely strawberry Cornetto couldn’t cheer me up, readers. I cut my gum on the cone. On the bloody cone! Literally bloody, too. Who cuts themselves on a Cornetto! I feel like Job. With Cornettos.

Day 6. Sniff, I fear I’m not winning the fight. My final days are closing in. My body isn’t doing much raging against the dying of the light. It’s offering it a quickie behind the back of a skip. I might have ruined that poem. I’m too young to die. And too handsome. But mainly young. And handsome. I had so much I wanted to do, too. Travel the world. Buy a melon-baller. Fold those sheets. Work out what a melon-baller is. I don’t even like melons. Day 6. The melancholia stage. The, ‘I need cheering up’ point. I wonder if I could get through all four versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers in a day. Hmm…

Day 7. Nope. Day 8! Ooh… erm, nope.

Day 9. I spent much of my morning cleaning the toothpaste off my bathroom mirror. You see, it’s incredibly difficult to brush one’s teeth and cough at the same time and, well, I suppose you can imagine the state the bathroom is in. At least the toothpaste colour matches the walls, so that’s a bonus.

Yes, day 9 is today and I’m worse than ever. The herbal medicines haven’t worked. The medicine medicines haven’t work. Bed rest didn’t work. Strangely, even the 70% whisky diet didn’t work. But I’ve learnt a lot in nine days, readers. I learnt that trying to avoid getting ill is as futile as trying to lose one’s virginity. I learnt that the universe will always aim for your groin. I mean, I was meant to go to a Comic-Con today. I booked my tickets months ago. I had to give my ticket to my brother. He got to meet Captain America, for heaven’s sake! I also learnt that unfolded sheets aren’t the end of the world. But pretty near. Ooh, and I also learnt that you simply can’t beat the ’56 version of Invasion. You just can’t. You should join me, readers, with this opinion. You’ll be on the right side of history, that’s for sure. Living in an untroubled world, without love, desire, ambition, faith – without them, life’s so simple, believe me…

Mwa, ha, ha, ha…

English actor and voice actor, Sir John Hurt (1940-2017), once said: “I don’t like no confusion.”

Peace Out :|:

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To Contrive & Jive
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