I have been away from News Cut for the last five days and the way this “cold” has treated me so far, it may be a few days yet before I return. From what I understand, everyone in Minnesota is suffering from the same seasonal disorder, though the strongest in the majority are going to work, leaving the weakest in the herd behind to stretch out on the sofa, watching the stock market ticker on a minute-by-minute basis (we’re too weak to turn the channel) and wondering which will kill us first: the economy or this misnamed affliction.
A “cold” sounds so puny, and it usually is until you hit your 50s and then you find it takes longer to recover from such things. We don’t expect others to understand, and so we embellish our woes a bit. “I have the flu,” one might say, and that worked great until Google ruined things by developing an application a few months ago that tracks the flu.
Google has determined that keywords that people enter in its search engine are indicative of a flu outbreak. For peace of mind alone, I’ve been entering “I have the freakin’ flu” in the search box for the last two hours, but Google has determined that I don’t.
By the way, if you actually type in “I have the freakin’ flu” in Google, the number one item that is returned in the search is “get your freakin’ flu shot.”