Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend...

“Ingratitude is treason to mankind.” James Thomson

Saturday 18 December 2010


Things I have doused in red cough linctus in the past 24 hours:
- the right lapel of my white dressing gown
- the quilt
- the duvet cover
- many tissues and paper towels
- the tray by my bedside
- hands
- face

Despite the similar colour, this is not the mildly acrid cherry Robitussin of my childhood, but a sinister conflation of sugar syrup and diesel fuel, which produces horrible petrochemical burps.

What they do share is the characteristic of being uncontainable in a teaspoon. No matter how careful I am, how slowly I pour, how steady my hand, I'm incapable of getting a dose from bottle to mouth without a detour all over everything. Its uniquely glutenous consistency means that it doesn't immediately soak in, but rolls wherever gravity takes it, covering a lot of ground. It's too viscous to mop up, but spreads beautifully all over the bedding in the half-dark half-asleep half-morning.

I am quite pleased I managed to sidestep the vomiting bug that's been doing the rounds, but I've had enough of this one now thanks very much.