Well. If this is 2011 I want no more of it. The Snot Fairy has visited the Fatboyfat household and sprinkled her magic dust hither and thither. We're both suffering, me and She Who Must Be Obeyed.
Allow me to pause for a second to cough in an uncontrollable hacking manner, will you? Also, to apologise for the unsolicited use of the phrase 'hither and thither' just now. Sorry. Clearly I've been reading Brothers Grimm in my sleep.
Having said that, sleep of any quality would have been nice. The coughing, you see. We'll come back to this later. I can see you're gripping the edge of your seats.
It started with a little tickle on Christmas Eve. Quite a few paragraphs could start with that sentence and end up in a promising position a mere few words later. Unfortunately that's not to be the case here. The tickle was at the back of my throat but I put it down to the several metric tonnes of dust we'd kicked up in preparation for Jesus' birthday the following day.
So I didn't mention it until several days later. We were in that weird space between Christmas and New Year, forever more to be known in this house as the Festival of Why The Hell Didn't We Just Book These Days Off Like Everyone Else, and we were both performing our daytime professional roles with all the incipient enthusiasm of algae.
I'd come home, breathing via autopilot, and mentioned to Katie that I still had this niggly, tickly thing going on. She uttered words that struck cold spikes of cold, spiky fear into the heart.
"That's how I got started."
Katie had also been suffering for a few days. But being Katie and, therefore, simultaneously a woman, she had single-handedly fed four people over Christmas, coped with the post-Christmas round of visitations and present-swapping events and then gone to work for three days. She probably erected a new shed, wrote a light operetta and discovered the Higgs Boson at the same time. But that's not important right now, because it's all about me, me, me.
As a direct result of our residence being the House of Germs, we locked our front door on Friday evening, at the end of 2010 and have not as yet unlocked it. In the meantime all our friends have been out doing wonderful things, some of which involved hard liquor, to see in the New Year. Helpfully they have posted pictures on Facebook so that, in the manner of Bullseye contestants, we can see what we would have won.
Yesterday I'd got to the coughing stage of proceedings. People in the next road up could hear me. Katie suggested some Raspberry and Echinacea tea with a couple of spoons of honey in it. I may have snorted at this.
"Raspberry and what? Sounds like the beverage of choice for someone with an unhealthy fixation with silver jewellery, if you ask me."
"Just try it."
"But it has no ingredients. Nothing with the phrase '-hydrochloride' at least. Nothing that ends in an 'x'.How's that going to help?"
"Your breathing is about to get a lot worse." she suggested, cracking her knuckles. "Try it."
And you know what, dear reader? It worked. Things were soothed. The coughing stopped. By yesterday evening I was mainlining the stuff.
"You might want to stop now," said Katie. "All that honey probably isn't too wise, you know. I can see the Good Ship Diabetes on the horizon."
Oh, how she changed her tune at 5 a.m. this morning. As I sat up and greeted the dawn with my chainsaw impression she shot me a look that was not filled with adoration.
We're thinking of going out tomorrow, given that we've already spent 0.54% of the year locked in and festering. We'll be easy to spot. Just look out for the surgical masks.