More Tommy Cooper than Lionel Richie?


“Man Flu is a serious and potentially life threatening illness, and will no doubt soon be on the Health and Safety Executive’s list of Reportable Diseases. Man Flu is a distinct disease in its own right, and should not be misdiagnosed as a mere common cold”.       []

What can I say? I, Bob Carey, have been in the grips of Man Flu for five whole days but I have emerged the other side to tell the tale. I am a warrior. Admire me. Respect me. Please though, also learn from me, and look to your own men; your warriors and heroes. This is a serious disease and at the first signs of MF, act quick or like me, it may be the worst of days. Truth.

In many ways I am both like and unlike Lionel Richie, a conclusion I reached after teeth chattering sweaty shakes the other night.

Lionel was dancing on the ceiling whilst I was staring at it (all night long). Whilst Lionel could not slow down, I found I had no choice but to do so.  Whilst Lionel did creepy late night anonymous phone calls to a young blind sculptor to say ‘hello, is it me you’re looking for’ – particularly nasty as she was blind – I simply called downstairs to be met by silence. Harsh, heartless silence.

To be honest this made so much sense at 4 in the morning whilst on a feverish comedown, but having now typed this up I now realise I am in fact neither like or unlike Lionel Richie.


I am in fact like Tommy Cooper. MF garb varies over the course of the disease. I reached perfection last night in two pairs of socks, long jimjams, a jumper, a dressing gown but then – like a true magician – white gloves. Now, like most people, I have three pairs of white gloves in case of magician emergencies or whatnot, and as I found last night they are health bringers. Frozen hands and can’t sleep? White gloves and ‘hey presto!’. Not only were they warming but within half an hour I had produced two rabbits out of a top hat, had sawn Mary in half and had made all my ribs and my jawbone disappear. All I can say is that I was still v poorly yesterday but after one night in Tommy Cooper-style white gloves I am now on the mend. Explain that Magic Circle.

…. hmmmm, interestingly I now find Tommy Cooper did not wear white gloves. In my view though he should have done, so my argument – if indeed I have one – therefore remains valid.

So I did not plan to spend my last day employed by UCL (whilst on leave) being ill, or my first few days of ‘job-free’ / layabout life feeling like double craperoo. What a crap week.

The upside? Lots of chat and laughter (just me, non one else) during the fevery bits, complete with fetid bed sweats and some brilliant ideas I can no longer remember (other than Lionel Richie)

The downside? Missing Stockport County’s first game down south in years, complete with Bovril and generic ‘meat’ pie.

As you can see this blog entry is very much a stop gap. Nothing has happened in my life for five days to report on.

STOP PRESS: Thinking about it, ‘Three times a lady’ which Lionel also sang, when in The Commodores, could be to do with hallucinating when having a MF fever, and seeing his ‘lady’ not once, nor twice, but three times (a lady). Also the post-Lionel Commodores track Nightshift is an obvious reference to the dark hours twixt dusk and dawn for the MF sufferer, wherein madness lies.

Wait! Running in or with the night? My nose was running most definitely? Stuck on you? Well my clothes were in the morning. Oh I take it all back this is uncanny. All hail Lionel, Patron Saint of Man Flu sufferers everywhere. Brothers stand strong. In Lionel we trust. Easy as a Sunday morning.


4 thoughts on “More Tommy Cooper than Lionel Richie?

  1. Definitely better. .back in form!! Hope you haven’t spread your germs to poor Mary! !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. STUART ROSS MACKINLAY February 4, 2018 — 10:11 pm

    Is it bob your looking for?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bob, told Josie your not staying, you are in serious trouble? First she bought Egyptian linen for the bed, then she is painting the bedroom ,because the important man from London was staying. She contacted the mayor of Stockport to present the blue plate that you had stayed at The Angel Islington.
    Bought various food for your breakfast. Stayed at Steve Cash,yes but Great Moor not good enough?
    Some weak excuse that you parents are old, when mine is 96. Worst you cant go to Chorley southern Softie? That you were going to Turin, so I am too?


    1. Now the problem is I believe you. I will make it up to Josie in my next blog. If she will be willing to see me ever again I will buy her the finest of Dubonnets.


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