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irish man flu

The 8 close-to-death stages of the Irish man flu

Gland checking, throat examining, etc.


NEW RESEARCH HAS shown that man flu is real.

The male body is more susceptible to cold symptoms, making them feel sicker when stuck down with the bug.

And so, we pay homage to the Irish man, and his flu…

Stage one: The Sneeze


All it takes is one sneeze. One big sneeze, a bit whooshier than a normal sneeze, and the wheels are set in motion.

I’m after getting something,

he says, dramatically pressing on his glands.

That was a big sneeze. I’m definitely after getting something. Jesus I hope it’s not the flu, I’m mad busy in work.

One big sneeze and he’s mentally clocking out for anything up to a week. Stage one of man flu is firmly in motion.

Stage two: Will You Look At My Tonsils For Me?

After the big sneeze comes the scratchy throat, usually an early warning sign that a Bad Cold is on the way.

Out comes the torch. Checking for white spots. Craning his neck for 15 minutes in front of the bathroom mirror. Gargling with Disprin. More gland pressing.

Disprin GanMed64 GanMed64

Stage three: Acceptance

Shortly after the first Big Huge Sneeze and the fifth frenzied bout of throat checking, the man knows in himself he is ‘not well’ and wonders if he should go to work at all. But he will soldier on.


He announces at 8.17am that he is “going to bed early tonight” and asks “have you any Uniflu or anything?”. He punctuates this with some sniffles, for his snot has come in, right on schedule.

Stage four: Boots prep

When a man has a headache... bashford bashford

After inquiring extensions around the office about the best remedies for ‘the flu’, he takes a trip to Boots, where he queues pathetically at the pharmacy section, carrying out regular gland checks.

He leaves staggering under the weight of nasal sprays, throat lozenges, ‘fast acting, super strength’ painkillers (which involve taking one 1000mg tablet of paracetamol rather than two 500mg tablets) and a new thermometer.

Stage five: Heading home

After dramatically unpacking all Boots purchases, and dialling the snot expulsion up several notches, he announces at around 3.15pm that he “might head” and he’ll “see how I feel in the morning”.

Stage six: The couch

Once home, the man arms himself with a duvet, a hooded top, possibly a scarf, and stretches out on the couch, checking the clock regularly to see if it’s time for his next dose of Difflam.

85/365: Lazy Christmas afternoon Mr.Thomas Mr.Thomas

He rejects dinner offers, asking instead for a ‘bit of toast’ or maybe soup, because of his throat you see.

Stage 7: Moving into the chest

Our hero fluctuates between the bed and the couch for 36-48 hours, making regular concerned announcements that it’s “moving into my chest” and wondering if an antibiotic is the only answer.


He googles chest infections and tries desperately to expel the bit of phlegm in his throat, so that the colour can be examined.

Stage 8: Recovery

Despite expecting to be needing ventilation and IV fluids in hospital at this stage, the man wakes on approximately day four of his ‘flu’ and is borderline disappointed to be no longer on death’s door.


The sniffling continues for 7-10 days though, along with the constant monitoring of the migration of any lingering nastiness to the chest. Two different types of vitamins are purchased, and quickly abandoned.

Our hero has survived, just.

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