Dom Joly: It must be the cuts – sympathy has been rationed

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The Independent Online

I think I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Or possibly ME. It might, however, just be Man-Flu, but I'm sure it isn't. I'm really not well at all. I am lethargic and unmotivated and I lounge around the house all day complaining to my long-suffering wife, Stacey, that "I am not well".

She doesn't like me being ill. If the dog has a bump or a scratch, then she will keep herself awake all night worrying about what it could be. If the kids are poorly then they are rushed from doctor to doctor and pumped full of drugs and hugs. Even the rabbit is higher up the accident and emergency food chain than I am. The current weather is considered to be too cold for him and so he is brought into the house and snuggled and huggled by all and sundry.

This leaves me and the cat, Dr Pepper. The cat is never ill but even if he were, he would want no attention as his only interest in life is killing robins. He doesn't do hugs and only puts up with stroking near mealtimes. So we both lie around in the sitting room staring at each other listlessly.

He never says so, but I know he despises me for my weakness and desperate pleas for attention. He would never lower himself to this state, not even if he had full-blown cat Aids.

Occasionally Stacey will say something half-hearted, such as, "Would you like a cup of tea?" She says it in a way that strongly emphasises the fact that she is too busy to make me a cup of tea. She also knows that I hate tea. For good measure, she gives me a look that makes me feel embarrassed to have got to the stage where she is offering me a cup of tea at all.

I then remind her of the time she ignored my illness and it turned out to be pneumonia and I went to hospital. She counters by asking whether I'd like to go and see a doctor.

I hate doctors. They only deal in bad news, they always make me take all my clothes off for no reason, and the other people in the reception area often frighten me. So I tell her that, no, I don't want to go and see a doctor. But she knew the answer to this even before she asked me.

Stacey tells me that I can't be ill if I don't want to go to see a doctor. I suggest that maybe I'm too ill to go and see a doctor and that standing naked in a stranger's office is not going to help anybody.

She is about to say something cutting but instead she disappears to look after a child, or cook supper, or clean up something that I haven't spilt yet.

I decide to watch a film, but the remote control is not within my reach. I can see it on the other sofa. I try to get Huxley, my beloved labrador to bring it over to me, but he misunderstands and brings me a tennis ball. I tell him that I am too ill for tennis.

Finally, a child wanders by and is persuaded to bring me the remote. But just as I settle down to watch Eggheads, the door bursts open and my wife is back. She is very angry. She has just cleaned the kitchen, she tells me, and she knows that I'm going to go in there later and make something to eat and leave a mess. I ask her why she bothered to clean the kitchen if she knew this was going to happen.

This turns out to be a serious mistake. But I am ill and not thinking straight. I get a stream of invective and the cat leaves the room in search of another radiator. He has a busy night of robin-killing ahead of him and he needs some rest.