Rich Galen

  • Self Absorption Alert! Today's MULLINGS is a 700-word whine about having a summer cold. Unless you also have a summer cold, I urge you to hit the "delete" key now.

    So, Mr. Mullings. There was no column last night because you have a widdle stuffy nose? While brave Israeli soldiers are fighting for their country's survival? While brave American service men and women are spending a year or more in the desert to protect us, you collapse because you have a COLD?

    This isn't just any cold. This may be one of the worst colds since the rhinovirus was discovered.

    All right. Get on with it. Where IS the "delete" key, anyway?

  • Not counting that pesky heart disease, I am generally pretty healthy. So much so, that my primary care physician has been my cardiologist. Only recently have I arranged to visit an internist so that when other parts begin to wear down or wear out, I'll have someone to go to.

  • Men are different from women when it comes to personal health issues. The Mullings Director of Standards & Practices is, I suspect, like most women and will head to the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle.

  • Men are bred to suck it up, strap it on, go out and bring back a mastodon for dinner. Illness? Not unless you pass out. Injury? Not unless the words "gaping hole" are involved.

  • Also, as I noted to the Greek Chorus above, men don't want to have to admit to things like a COMMON cold. They want to be able to claim they have the most UNIQUE cold in the history of colds.

  • According to the science journal "Discover Magazine" (which I love because it is science in single syllables):
    "The common cold is caused by not one common virus but five different viral families, encompassing a couple of hundred unique viral strains among them. These strains are sufficiently different from one another that even after catching one, we can later be infected and rendered miserable by all the others.

    "This explains why toddlers seem to be in a continuous state of sniffles while adults become ever more immune with each ensuing cold and often go years before encountering a strain they've never had."

  • At my age, there are probably only one or two strains left and they are tough little ogres who have been trying to burrow their way into my rhin for lo these many decades.

  • Rich Galen

    Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at