Yes, ladies, it's that time of year, again. The season of dread and the imagined dead .
Put your priest, Yoshi or whatever spiritual adviser you have on speed dial, and prepare family and close friends for the impending loss of life.
Consult your preferred funeral director immediately regarding coffin choices, favoured lining options and on-trend handles.
Consider a bulk-buy of chicken stock, chest rub and tissues ... in extreme cases, adult diapers may be necessary.
You guessed it — tis the season of man-flu.
That super stressful time of year when our once stoic, testicle-grabbing, he-men become our most difficult and demanding patients.
Despite their multiple denials of "friend requests" from the Grim Reaper, our menfolk will swear that they've been singled out and seduced into a dance with death.
Prior to the internet, this voracious virus would aggressively stalk them via air-conditioning ducts, spiked drinks and deliberately contaminated remote controls.
Pathetic and paranoid in equal measure, our big strong, burly guys will take to their beds at a speed usually reserved for chugging a beer or foreplay. Blink and you miss it type of stuff.
That manly tower-of-strength that you've come to rely upon will suddenly become a watery-eyed, shadow of his former self, confronted by his own mortality.
My advice, as he lies there, sprawled out on the bed or couch, is to indulge him. He'll appear near delusional, adamant that the one-degree rise in body temperature is causing him to burn up and become delirious with fever.
Those with a true flair for the dramatic will surround themselves with a large tree's worth of barely used tissues while they cough and splutter theatrically in between their sympathy-seeking moans, groans and repeated exclamations of "Woe is me".
As tempting as it may be, try to avoid bursting out laughing. He's humiliated enough as it is.
Unlike them, we have the intelligence to know that this affliction will, in all likelihood, not kill them. Of course, some may be disappointed by this (PS: Email me on the down-low for alternatives).
Seize this rare opportunity to take advantage of his weakness and susceptibility.
In between mopping his fevered brow, hand spooning him chicken soup, fluffing pillows and popping out child number three with less fuss than one of his sneezes, grab that rarely abandoned TV remote and own that biatch!
Relish those crappy reality shows, live life on the edge and run up a huge phone bill voting on DWTS.
Go crazy with his credit card.
Now is also the optimum time to gather hair and nail clippings in readiness for any voodoo doll projects that you may have in mind.
For the kids of #dyingdads now is the time to ask for the seemingly impossible. His altered mental state will almost guarantee compliance and/or approval.
Okay, so I'm not entirely proud of it, but I took advantage of my father's heart attack once to ask his permission to go to the weekend music festival Sweetwaters. I was barely 16 and he was heavily dosed with morphine. He said "Yes."
Manipulative or resourceful? You be the judge.
Just what is it about the man-flu that renders our blokes so weak, wanting and vulnerable?
They soldier on with ulcers, heart conditions, prostate cancer and more, but at the first sign of a sniffle they seem determined to believe that death is on the doorstep.
And just where is the ad campaign for such a prolific affliction? #snotok #man-flu?metoo ...
I recommend the following: Play along, treat it as an annual endurance event — a Manathon of sorts — but consider the purchase of an electronic cattle prod or stun gun should his demands get too out of hand.
And for you? Enjoy 2-6 glasses of wine, cauliflower three ways, and ridiculously large servings of ice-cream. Normal service should resume in 3-5 days.
Vaccinated feedback is always welcome: email@example.com