Here in my home town, there is a malady common to many. It can strike any time, and anyone. But, we’ve all had it, and though it may differ a little from person to person…it is known by one name to all…The Crud. You open your mouth to speak and someone says, “You got the crud?”
You cough, and sneeze, and someone else says,” Oh, no, you’ve got the crud?” Even, “Oh, you poor thing. Go home…you’ve got the crud.” We all know what it is. Oh, not the technical…the medical name. But, that matters not. We ALL know what the ‘Crud’ is.

First you feel just a minor problem with your throat. It could even pass unnoticed…but for the fact that it is a familiar feeling…you felt it many times before. Next comes an ever so slight problem with getting air through your nasal passages. And, you know, you feel it deep in your bones…the crud is on the way.

You will then start to feel that tightness in your chest as if there is something in there that shouldn’t be…and you’re right. Thus begins the coughing…very slight at first…mostly just a tickle. A mere annoyance. And, you know, you feel it deep in your chest…the crud is on the way.

Soon you experience a totally stopped up nose. Which causes the head atop your shoulders to begin to ache…and move on quickly to a hurt. And your poor nasal cavities do not know what to do. They are alternately flowing like a river and stopped up like a dam. Before you know it there is so much ‘yuck’ living in your sinuses, you wonder how it could grow so quickly. And, you wonder if there is room for any brain cells in there. You can blow and blow and blow until you are seeing stars and light headed…but, it keeps on coming. And, you know, you feel it all the way up your nose…the Crud is here!

Now the ‘yuck’ in your chest begins to break loose. Oh, misery! You have to cough…you must. It will not be quieted. However, if you are a woman ‘of a certain age’…you must beware! Unless you are very careful, you will wet your pants during the coughing spell. And, as far as walking and coughing…don’t even try it! You’ve been there. And, you know…as you’re changing clothes…the Crud has struck!

You may or may not have fever, you may or may not ache, but, for sure you are still coughing, and wiping, and holding your head. And, if you happen to be a teacher of young children, you may hear these prophetic words, “Mrs Owens, you sound like my Grandma…she’s dead!” And you know, deep in your heart…that children don’t lie. You sound terrible. Positive diagnosis…the CRUD.
And, because some idiots decided to make meth with the OTC drug that works best, you must go through an act of Congress, get fingerprinted, show your driver’s license, and offer up your firstborn, just to get the simple remedy to open up your nose. It is not quite as hard to get the cough meds…if you can just manage to decipher the bottles to decide which one you need.
And, you wait…and wait…and wait. And slowly, you begin to feel slightly normal again. And, before you know it…all is well. Life is good. The sun comes out, the clouds float by, the birds are singing. Breathe deeply. Enjoy it. And wait…cause ’round these parts…the Crud will surely come again. Bummer.