For me, the span between Thanksgiving and Christmas is hands-down the most unpleasant time of the year. What burns me most isn’t the cloying Christmas music, the inedible fruitcake or even the fact that I have to kick and scratch my way to the checkout line at Walmart just so I can send someone I don’t care about an Olive Garden gift card they’ll never use.
No, what really gets my goat (or reindeer, if you will) is the ever-present specter of catching the Holiday Bug—that seasonal affliction that reduces even the hardiest of warriors into a sniffling, sneezing, congested, dizzy-headed wretch. As of this writing, two of my co-workers (the ones who sit closest to me, natch) are battling this inevitable ailment. Every morning I have to wake up to a temperature below 40 degrees, I feel that worrisome trickle in my nasal cavities and my heart starts racing, certain I’ve once again been felled by the seasonal mucus monster.
And then I get angry, because the most galling thing about this annual attack of the yucks is that it exists at all. The fact that in the 21st century man is still susceptible to this malicious malady (laughably misnamed the common cold) should be an affront to our collective sensibilities. But, like bad service at the drive-thru, rush-hour traffic, new Adam Sandler movies and the depressingly predictable holiday shootouts over the last copy of Call of Duty: Paul Blart, Mall Cop, we just accept this venomous virus as a fact of life.
I mean, shouldn’t the human body have overcome this odious illness by now? What’s worse, the cold is just one of many annoying reminders that these sacks of skin we walk around in are the most poorly designed mechanisms ever foisted on humankind. It’s enough to shake your faith in either creationism or evolution. After all these millennia, are we still just in the beta-testing phase? Surely these fumbling, energy-inefficient and environmentally forms aren’t meant to pass for the finished product?
I’m this close to filing a class-action lawsuit against the makers of the human body. In the next post, I’ll present my case.