Come on chaps, get a grip.
There was I, quietly minding my own business at the church Christmas bazaar, ensuring that all raffle prize numbers corresponded to the numbers on my list. A small task I know, but nonetheless, woe betide the poor unfortunate individual assigned the task that mucks the job up. I had been warned aforehand and had no wish to face the parish firing squad the next Sunday if things had gone adrift.
Into my mental peregrinations on this subject burst the raucous voice of the bespectacled gentleman to my right. ‘Man flu! Of course there’s man flu! It’s been scientifically proven that men suffer far more severely than women when they get flu! Man flu is the real deal.’
My busy fingers stilled themselves as they hovered over the never-ending prize list. Man flu! Perl-ease - spare me. Is this man serious? Oh my, yes he is. And not only him, but all the men around him rushed, nay, threw themselves, lemming-like, into the fray. Nodding like Noddy-dogs; thumbs turned upwards; back-slapping eachother as if they were sending the groom to the marriage-bed … male bonding extraordinaire. (In fairness to my spouse he is not of this tribe and in my experience requires a posse of strong men to throw him into his bed when he is all but dying of severe blood infections/post-operative shock/post-operative anything.)
Who are these men trying to convince? Put it this way - when a woman gets flu-blown flu what does she do? Exactly. Nothing out of the ordinary. She is made of stern stuff; has backbone; is her mother’s daughter. She carries on. Men? No I cannot bring myself to say ‘bless their hearts’, they are just a bunch of wimps.
At the first sign of a sniffle out come all the proprietary medicinal (alleged) curatives and they dose themselves, most of the time with complete disregard to the directions on the bottle/packet, on the basis that the more they take the better. The sofa calls them and they recline in dying swan mode until the ‘fever’ really takes hold, when they must finally give in to the ‘man flu’ and totter off to their bed, to be waited upon at regular intervals with words of quiet sympathy, warm drinks and their fevered brow mopped with a cool cloth that has only moments before been extracted from the fridge.
As previously asserted - come on chaps, get a grip. How on this early earth did our Neanderthal knuckle-dragger forebears manage or, following on from them, our hunter-gatherer ancestors? Did Ms Ogg say to Mr Ugg, ‘go and have a nice lie down on that handy rock dear’? Or, ‘hang about in this handy cave a bit ‘till you feel better and I’ll see if I can wrestle a passing lion to the ground for supper’?
Somehow, I don’t think so. I imagine they got on with it - business as usual - as we, the children of our ancestors do today. The wimps on the sofa? An aberration I hope. Heaven forfend they are a genetic mutation. If so, some serious genetic engineering may be coming their way soon.