Cough­ing a tick­lish sub­ject since Lo­gan dram dis­as­ter

Evening Express (City Final) - - UK & Abroad -

POOR Theresa May. She keeps bat­tling on, but she’ll prob­a­bly go down in his­tory as one of the un­luck­i­est Prime Min­is­ters.

I blame Ban­chory. Ever since she staged that ill-fated can­vass­ing ses­sion up-by at the be­gin­ning of the Gen­eral Elec­tion cam­paign, noth­ing’s gone right for her. Terza’s ad­vis­ers must have thocht they were on to a sure thing when they wheeched her into the af­flu­ent Dee­side toon, sur­rounded by TV cam­eras and snap­pers. Sadly, what looked like a prime pho­toop­por­tu­nity to kick off her cru­sade – shak­ing hands with True-Blue sup­port­ers – ended in near farce when the PM kept on knockin’ at empty hoosies – apart from the gadgie in his gair­den who ac­tu­ally waved her off­ski. Af­ter that, The Curse of Ban­chory seemed to haunt her. Flaky in­ter­views. Duck­ing TV de­bates. And fi­nally the de­ba­cle at the Tory con­fer­ence last week, when what should have been a barn-storm­ing speech be­came ut­ter hu­mil­i­a­tion thanks to a prankster, an ‘f’ off­ing and that cough.

But oh, how my hair­tie went oot to the peer quine with that hoast. There but for for­tune went Mo. Been there. Done that. Black-af­fronted masel­lie so many times ower the years. I’m a mar­tyr to the tickly cough. Fel­low suf­fer­ers will agree there are few naisty sud­den af­flic­tions more em­bar­rass­ing or im­pos­si­ble to con­trol. Like Terza, mine al­ways strikes a puck­lie days af­ter a rag­ing cold. Just when yer schnoz­zle has de-stuffed and passed the stage of streamin’ green­ers, comes The Fa­tal Tickle. Not a chesty barff. Merely an ickly ir­ri­ta­tion in the thrap­ple. But its con­se­quences are lit­tle short of dis­as­trous. With mine, once they start, they’re on a tsunami of a roll, oc­ca­sional coughs gaither­ing mo­men­tum un­til they merge into one, eye-wa­ter­ing, gasp­ing, cowk­ing spasm. Aaaaach joy to be­hold!

Of course, as Terza dis­cov­ered, the Ter­ror of the Tickle strikes at the very worst times. Have you ever been an­noyed by an in­ces­sant cougher at the theatre or cin­ema? That would have been me. Even­tu­ally suf­fer­ing the hu­mil­i­a­tion of hav­ing to barge across the row of seats to the exit – there to in­dulge in the ec­stasy of full throt­tle. Any­where there’s sup­posed to be si­lence, it strikes. At the Crem, I aye try to sit near the door. Funerals are night­mares for the tickly-throated. To most pub­lic oc­ca­sions I go armed with wa­ter bot­tles and Strep­sils. I once crunched so many Ex­tra Strong ones at a play in the Arts Cen­tre, my quine was afeart I’d go into a coma. Well at least I’d be quiet!

Work was al­ways worst. I’ve had to flee from cov­er­ing court cases be­cause ju­rors were more in­tent on my dy­nam­ics than the ev­i­dence. I’ve had to slam down the phone mid im­por­tant in­ter­views, much to my boss’ de­light. I’ve had to ex­cuse my­self from news con­fer­ences. And once, ac­tu­ally chair­ing a vi­tal meet­ing, I had the good for­tune to en­joy a cough­ing fit si­mul­ta­ne­ous with a hot flush. Speak about charis­matic lead­er­ship. Beat that, Theresa. And the day in the Dress Cir­cle Bar at HMT many moons ago, in­ter­view­ing the late (but not at that time) great Jimmy Lo­gan. He said some­thing that fair tick­led me, but es­pe­cially my post-cold throat. I lost it. Parox­ysms of cough­ing, tears on my short­hand. Quick as a flash, he or­dered a whisky and as­sured me it would do the trick. A whisky-hater, I was nev­er­the­less open to a cure. Downed it but, min­utes later, had to zoom oot to honk oot the whole lot in the lavvie. Mean­while, Theresa, be­ware The Curse of Ban­chory!

Merge into one gasp­ing, cowk­ing spasm

dram sim­ple so­lu­tion: Jimmy Lo­gan of­fered me a whisky to calm my parox­ysms of cough­ing. `

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