Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 02.01.05


Going to a party with a cold? Count me out

The holiday season is over. A new season is upon us: the other 'Nez Rouge.' And the motto should be: "Friends don't give other friends colds."

The holidays presented a wonderful opportunity for social intercourse. But then there is the huge hangover.

The cold that hit me made me feel one hundred years old. And usually I only feel eighty. It took a week out of my life. And I needed those days. I want those days back.

The person who gave it to me at the New Year's party can protest: "Hey, I didn't start this cold. Someone gave it to me, too."

Fine. But good etiquette should decree that if you've got a cold, you don't go to the party. It's simply not good form to be the local Patient Aero.

"She had an infectious personality," should not refer to a high fever and runny nose.

Victims will remember. As they toss and turn days later, gasping for air through lungs clogged with phlegm, cringing each time they swallow because of the searing pain, and hacking and sneezing endlessly through box after box of Kleenex, your face will rise up before them as the author of their pain and they will vow revenge.

Think about how many new enemies you could make? The normal two or three you might make each New Year's Eve because of drunken remarks will pale in comparison.

Going to a party with a cold is a no-win situation. You don't really have fun. You'd rather have stayed home. You are only attending the party because of a sense of duty. And then you go and infect all your (ex)-friends.

And this etiquette should also extend to all the party-givers.

If an invitee calls to excuse him or herself from your party because he or she is sick, please accept the excuse. Do not make them feel guilty. A friend doesn't make a friend come to their party when they are sick - if only for the sake of all the other guests.

Think of all the person-days of time lost at work. Everyone I know who had this cold lost three days. If 100 people had it that's 300 days of work. More than a lifetime for a blue-collar city worker.

This cold gave my immune system a complete workout. And now it's working its way through my family. Just as the seemingly endless school vacation finally ends.

This suggests more etiquette. Many parents will crack and send their kids to school anyway. But that's not right.

They are just as bad as that person who takes the cold to the party. But they are doing it through their child. Everyone who has kids knows that the school system is the biggest clearinghouse for colds ever invented. Kids pick up colds at school and bring them home, where they incubate and pick up momentum.

Then the cold goes back into the school in a stronger form. It infects another kid and goes to another house and infects a whole new family.

See how this thing works? The cold is an entity, an alien life form - using us. We keep it alive, and help circulate it through our community. Only etiquette can break this cycle.

Admit you are 'cold positive.' If necessary, wear a condom on your head.