Among definitions of ‘commuting’ is the following: To make substitution or exchange. So I guess I shouldn’t feel angry that during last week’s train commute, thanks to my fellow passengers and their willingness to exchange communicable illnesses, namely the flu, I’ve now contracted a man cold. God bless their sneezing, wheezing hearts. After all, they were merely paying it forward. But I’m still bitter.
And on that fateful journey, had I been required to award a Gold Lurgy for the best performance in a spluttering role, I’d have awarded it to the bloke who collapsed into the seat behind me and proceeded to crop dust my neck with influenza. If I’d known I was to be thrust into such close contact with Mr Oscillating Sprinkler Head, I would have donned my daughter’s Paddington Bear rain suit.
Instead, I sat naked from the shoulders up. And eventually got fed up. As I swung around to give him a spray, he sneezed and gave me one instead. I’d intended to ask him why his mother had never instructed him to cover his mouth; but speaking of mothers, he was a big one. So I turned back around, wiped my face and sat brooding as he continued to wage an ultimately successful war on my immune system.
At least I assume it was he who was responsible. Although, I can’t be sure. After all, there was more hacking going on in the carriage that day than combined recent incidents involving Google China and Sony.
And there was also the usual suspects to consider: the train’s air con set to Coles freezer department levels despite the onset of winter, and interior doors vandalised beyond repair, rendered permanently ajar, ensuring a constant invigorating body-numbing buffeting of subantarctic air.
And perhaps the problem goes deeper still: right to the heart of the Aussie psyche. Let’s face it, if Aussies took their sick days on days when they’re actually sick – instead of saving them for rainy days, sunny days, Big Wednesdays, test match opening days and any other days for that matter when they’re well enough to enjoy them – there might be less sharing going on within our community and trains.
Anyway, the Doctor has instructed me to rest. Particularly if I’m to recover before my next scheduled sick day, State of Origin III, at which time I hope to replace my depleted fluids.