In bed feeling poorly, I am reminded of the infamous ‘flu test’. If there were a £50 note in the garden would you get out of bed to fetch it? If you would then you’ve got a cold, if you wouldn’t then you’ve got flu.
It’s a nice idea, but there are errors here*. For starters** presumably this only works on people who don’t already have a surfeit of £50 notes. Probably the value of imaginary quids on the lawn would have to vary according to the economic circumstance of the patient. For me, a fiver would present a suitable dilemma.
Also the scenario is too improbable. How would you know about the cash in the garden if you’re sick in bed? You’d need a situation whereby someone informed you that there was £50 on your lawn, which for some reason they had decided not to collect either for themselves or on your behalf. This seems unfeasible. Then there would be environmental factors which would affect your decision. Is it raining? Is the note likely to blow away before you get to it? There are too many variables for a credible scenario. It’s just not right.***
Instead I suggest the real test should be how long you spend deliberating your options when you’re in bed and you need to wee.
If you grit your teeth and get out of bed within three minutes, then you have a bad cold. If instead you contemplate creating a ‘pillow nappy’, writing off a corner of the bed for the purpose or making use of the empty water glass on your bedside table, then you sir, do indeed have flu.
I’m not going to insist that the NHS take this on as an official diagnostic test, I’m simply saying it’s far more accurate than the £50 thing, which I think, by now you’ll agree, is just silly.
*I’m trying to use more Michel Roux Jnr quotes in my life.
** There’s another one.
*** Masterchef: The Professionals – Ep. 6 – When presented with a disappointing bouillabaisse.