“I’m nostalgic for the old colds of yesteryear, when we only had powdered aspirin and Vicks rub.”
Idon’t like to boast, but I think I may have the worst cold in the history of mankind. I just sneezed myself right across the room and crashed into the dresser. I got it in London. And my dear, out here in the country you simply can’t get the marvellous colds available in London! Of course they were even better back in the 1950s, when one’s handkerchiefs were black with soot and had to be washed by hand with a powdered detergent called Rinso. Or was it Omo? Good names for a couple of gay Italian hairdressers.
Having a cold in November makes one feel terribly nostalgic for the dear old colds of yesteryear. Of course back then we only had powdered aspirin, which came folded up in a small piece of semi-transparent paper, a bit like tracing paper. Nobody traces anything these days, except ancestors. The powdered aspirin never did mix properly with water, but you drank it anyway, and then you rubbed some Vicks on your chest out of a blue glass jar and then you went to bed with a rubber hot water bottle that leaked slightly, and read a Miss Marple. The little old lady with ‘a mind like a bacon slicer.’
So what’s the 21st-century version? We’re lucky nowadays to have Manuka Honey, Echinacea, which even sounds like a sneeze: E …E…-ECHINACEA !!!! ; Bromelain (made from pineapples and good for coughs), Vitamin C, Paracetamol… Wait! My brain’s so bunged up, I’ve forgotten to take my regular pills! Thyroid pills, two kinds of blood pressure pills, one called something-satan and one approximately The-lonesomepine, an anti-inflammatory called Ariadneaufnaxos and a stomach protector called er, what was it? O-solemio? Well, it’s basically a fistful.
I fling myself down on the sofa, select my Miss Marple compilation and with a flick of the remote, am reunited with Joan Hickson. (You didn’t think I was going to read an actual book, did you? My cold is way too bad for that.)
As I lie here the Manuka honey combines delightfully with the Osolemio to create a dreamy miasma of the English countryside. I keep drifting off. A man with a horrid moustache has married the wrong sort of wife. Nobody likes him, especially her.
Miss Marple is knitting a matinee jacket for some great niece presumably to wear at a matinee. Babies started going to the theatre so much earlier in those days…
Miss Marple is peering down at the body of a young blonde woman dead on a carpet. Or is she peering down at me? “Very cheap trousers, I’m afraid, Dolly,” she sighs. “And the poor gel bit her nails, look.” It’s definitely me she’s peering down at.
Miss Marple is walking down a lane pursued at a distance by a pair of tweedy lesbians. The unsuitable wife is confessing to the murder. Who was it who was murdered, again? The Bromelain, possibly combining with the Osolemio, seems to have turned my brain to pineapple chunks.
Another man, with a slightly more Hitlery sort of moustache, seems to be lying dead on somebody’s desk, which surely is very bad manners. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘I must clear my desk.’ I wonder if he really is Hitler? Then the murderer would be a national hero.
But wait, no, Hitler was already dead in the 1950s, wasn’t he? Or was he? … Drift into strange dream in which Miss Marple goes to Argentina and identifies Hitler masquerading as a gaucho. She immobilises him with an insecticide only available in the 1950s.
Echinacea! I sneeze myself right off the sofa and awake to find Huw Edwards reading the news. I must have sneezed the News on. Huw Edwards informs us that everything is even worse than we thought. Still, at least he lost a lot of weight this year and became a heartthrob.
I won’t be following him down that route, however. I’m going to invest in a pair of knitting needles and some wool. Only instead of having a mind like a bacon slicer I’m going to have a brain like a plate of scrambled eggs. I’ve got to come off this medication. N