In a terrible milestone for a global scourge, Apocalyptical Male Influenza (commonly known as ‘man flu’) has officially claimed its 1 billionth brave victim. Of this year. This, despite the frantic efforts of the world’s best scientists to develop a cure for the debilitating ailment.

The man who had the dubious distinction of becoming the billionth casualty of the heinous infirmity was diagnosed in Montreal late last night. After being placed in a quarantined safe room in his home, Patient 1,000,000,000 courageously faced the inevitable.

“This must be what it feels like to have a baby. Out of your forehead.”

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After pausing briefly to select a movie, the afflicted updated his final wishes, for the ninth time. “Bury me under the oak tree, as we discussed. And tell the children their father fought until there were no tissues left.”

“Whole body transplants, manual heart massages, hyperbaric chambers, we’ve tried it all,” says Dr. Ira Ols, lead researcher at the University of Toronto-funded program to end terminal colds, discussing just a few of the methods she and her team have attempted in their quest to solve the riddle of seasonal male suffering.

“At this stage there remains no cure,” the doctor says, sighing heavily as she admits she lost her own husband to the ravaging illness for three days last week. “Right now we have to focus on improving palliative care by making better hot toddies, superior fleece blankets, and extra-mothering chicken broths. We also offer extensive training for the loved ones of the stricken, to help them learn how to make the correct sympathetic noises, and look suitably saddened by the severity of their man’s battle with what may only look like a passing sniffle, but is in fact a brutal struggle with the very forces of mortality itself.”

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Ols adds that in extreme cases (when the disease has carried on for more than one sleep) many doctors are now offering to cryogenically freeze their patients, with the understanding that they will be revived at some stage in the distant future, when man flu has been rendered just a particularly horrible entry in the annals of human hardship.

Experts estimate countless trillions of dollars in global productivity are lost annually to men taking time off work to uncomplainingly die for an average of 2-3 days, before rising, messianically, from their beds, and bravely returning to their lives as examples of the power of the human spirit.

“Without a doubt, the pernicious, paralyzing, protracted flu of men is the single greatest threat to modern civilization as we know it,” said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking to an emergency session of the UN, called to address the patriarchal plague.

“This is not a pandemic. It is a ‘pain’demic. My fellow leaders, the historians of the future are watching. We must not let any more men suffer in non-silence. Not for one more sneeze. And not for one more overplayed cough, leading to a groan, and then feeble request for more orange juice.”

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Paul Duncan is a Toronto father of two who uses his abundant spare time to run a boutique satirical blog out of a backyard shed. He’d love it if you’d check out The Out And Abouter, or play hide and seek with his children while he finishes a post.



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