Fans of Marvel Comics may remember the Night Nurse character from the 1970s, Linda Carter, (not to be confused with Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman), whose calling was to tend to superheroes in distress.
She has since been replaced by colourful tasty stuff in a bottle containing paracetamol, promethazine and dextromethorphan in a formula any male cold and flu sufferer should be accustomed to -- there is little chance of our partners dressing up in a nurse's uniform and aiding their little superheroes through a night or three.
Flu comes in different strains. Swine flu, Spanish flu, chimney flues, man flu and floozies. The first two have proven fatal; the third is well-known as a hiding place to escape the fifth; but of them all, man flu is by far the worst, since it has never been taken seriously by females.
What the ladies tend to forget is that all superheroes have their kryptonite. It just so happens that there appears to be a cosmic plot out there at the moment to bring all men down with the one superhero-busting element.
You could almost go so far as to say this is substantial proof that God is, in fact, a woman -- but you'd want to be in the throes of a serious dose to go there.
The common misconception among females is that man flu is 'put on', like a costume. That it is a means of escape and withdrawal and, while initially greeted with anger, this soon turns to pleasure as the man's powers wane. Harmless sniffles, wheezes and coughs become more grave before a single clutch at the chest results in a bout in bed in total silence for a week. Why wouldn't the women be gloating, ultimately?
But a survey by the man's bible Nuts in 2006 -- when strains of man flu first began to appear -- showed that men, in fact, are more prone to illness than females. This was explained by the boffins in Cambridge, who said that men generally have a predilection to risky behaviour and are therefore more vulnerable.
So it's all beginning to make sense, given 2006 was at the height of the boom and us men were taking preposterous risks in just about every quarter: drink, drugs, fast cars, faster women, gambling, property speculation and food -- in particular dodgy chicken.
The real payback comes now, however. This man flu was put in the post five years ago and nobody tried to stop it happening -- not even the ladies who were quite happy to reap the benefits from our industry and recklessness.
What we need is to bring back the female heroes, Wonder Women and Night Nurses who can go out and take all the risks, while we reap the rewards, or lounge about with a spot of flu.