I don’t know about you, but I find this time of year challenging, what with all the colds and sniffles and whatnot it tends to bring on. Most people will attribute this to the effect that the season’s wildly fluctuating temperatures and atmospheric disturbances have on the pulmonary tissues.
In fact, it is actually the little-understood lymphatic system that is at fault: on the colder days, it churns out an overabundance of lymphocytes to chase down any infected red blood cells and take them out of circulation. That’s all good. On the warmer days, when these excess blood-cops are far less needed, they tend to get restless and turn on the sound corpuscles, thus producing fatigue and lassitude and opening the door to new infections, whereupon the whole cycle repeats itself.
I find that, during peak cold season, by far the best way to interrupt this cycle and restore balance to the system is by taking regular doses—say, a normal-sized glass every 60 to 90 minutes—of plain old Irish Coffee. The caffeine helps with the fatigue and lassitude, as is its way. The lymphocyte, like its big brother the leukocyte or white blood cell, is of course hypersensitive to alcohol, and becomes inhibited in its action—gently, though: it’s not like Irish Coffees are Sazeracs. Finally, the sugar gives energy to the red blood cells and the cream enriches and thickens the lymph the same way it does the phlegm, as we all know. That both strengthens the alcohol-sensitive leukocytes and further slows their action. It’s all simple, really, and perfectly scientific. But you don’t have to know why it works to enjoy its benefits—just make sure to use a good, rich Irish whiskey and stay away from the decaf, the aspartame and the canned whipped cream. That stuff will kill you.