What in the blazing hell have all of those scientists been doing in their laboratories for all of these days, months, years and decades? Looking at germs wriggling under their microscopes? Chopping up bits of unmentionable substances? Growing moulds instead of pot plants? The Ph.D. holding, lab-coat wearing members of our society are forever in search of the elusive cure for the common cold (among other things, obviously). They look in books and to each other and under magnifying glasses. They hypothesise, analyse and synthesise. They train and work like champions, representing the very brightest and most committed of our society. But in spite of all their effort and glowing attributes, they have not yet managed to find the very obvious, very wonderful cure to the common cold. I, on the other hand, have. Hurrah!
I have been conducting my own scientific experiment over the past couple of days, which is of course as every bit legitimate as those fancy clinical studies…right? Right. I have been, as Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada would say, “an incubus of viral plague.” I have been coughing, spluttering, moaning, groaning and feeling pathetically sorry for myself as my body is possessed by the sadistic and merciless demons of the common cold. They are beating my insides with their little iron fists, effectively reducing what I thought was my robust health into a drizzly and disgusting pool of snot, cough syrup and self-pity. The height of my miserable infectiousness happened to be on Wednesday night after an awful and voiceless day at work. I got home, savagely ripped off my uniform, dragged myself into the shower, spent a good minute trying not to cough myself into a coma and then face-planted my couch with as much enthusiasm for life as would have a slug.
That was my low point and thank God no one other than my immediate family could see me. Anyone else would have fled like an Olympic sprinter. But, on the upside, it could only have gotten better and it did.
When you’re sick, contagious and unattractive, there really is nothing better to do than wrap yourself in blankets, drink soup and… indulge in the cure to the common cold. Now, most people believe that the final puzzle piece to the get-better-quick trio is watching movies. They are wrong. It may feel nice and lazy and effortless but it contributes nothing to the recovery effort. What really takes a cricket bat to the satanic beasts of illness is…BOOKS!
Before you raise a sceptical eyebrow, take a moment to mull over just how strict, well thought-out and conclusive my scientific experiment quite obviously has been. There can be no argument. I had lost every ounce of hope that I would ever be free of snot until I reached my weakened arm to the table for my book…and…poof…I was sucked into the healthy, vibrant, snot and cough free world of Matthew Reilly’s Seven Ancient Wonders. When I emerged an hour later, I realised, to my shock, that I had been breathing easy since first grazing the pages with my eyes! An entire hour had gone by without coughing, struggling to breath, contemplating death or fighting my gag reflex. And this miraculous improvement could only be attributable to my book! I think that spells CURE.
So, ladies and gentlemen, readers and writers, when next you’re in the throes of a cold or flu tantrum, put down the remote control and reach instead for a novel into which you can disappear and be cured!
Literature once again saves the day!