How was your weekend? Are you feeling any better? It seems like you’ve had that cough for quite a while! About four months now, am I right?
Have you been to a doctor?
Maybe you can try a holistic healer of some kind if you “don’t like” regular doctors?
Are you willing to try acupuncture? Home remedies? Pet therapy? Witchcraft?
What do you think the best over-the-counter cold and cough medicine is? Have you tried any good ones lately? Has anyone ever tried to force-feed you cold medicine? You don’t have any life-threatening allergies, do you?
How was your commute today? Did you pass by any urgent care clinics on your way in? Have you ever been to one of those? I think they’re pretty great. Have you considered trying one sometime, just for fun? Has anyone ever kidnapped you and taken you to a walk-in clinic?
Have you ever googled “chronic cough”? Or “chronic cough how to stop”? Or “Can a person die from a chronic cough”? Did you know people are still getting ebola these days? Are you concerned about your cough yet?
Are you planning to take a vacation soon? It’s a great time of year for one, isn’t it? Have you ever visited San Francisco and gone to Fisherman’s Wharf? I wonder what made me just think of the sound of thousands of seals barking. The brain sure is funny, isn’t it? What if I gave you my frequent flier miles? Would you consider flying somewhere warm? Maybe you’ll start a new life there?
Would you like to try one of these cough drops I bought yesterday? What do you have against cough drops, anyway? Are you a grown man who does not understand how cough drops work?! Should I buy you some of your own cough drops, even though I’m not your mother?
What kind of music do you like to listen to when you’re trying to drown out noise, like the sound of someone coughing? Remember that band Soul Coughing? Whatever happened to them? Do you think the lead singer coughed himself to death? Did you know that was possible?
Have I ever told you about this ENT practice I’ve been to before that can often see people the same day? What are you doing later this afternoon? Feel like taking a quick walk with me?
Remember when you said you were thinking about moving to Canada? How’s that going? Can I help you research that some more, or maybe talk to your wife about how great Canada is?
Didn’t you have a similar cough last year? Did you take any medicine for it? Do you have any friends who are doctors who can just, you know, phone in a refill for your prescription really quickly? How do you feel about forgery? Are you ok with taking medicine purchased on the dark web?
Do you think there’s any truth to the idea that getting enough Vitamin C can help shorten the duration of a cold? Do you like oranges? Would you like to eat a dozen, maybe? What if I insist?
Would it be weird if I said I was actually looking forward to getting sick myself, so I can torment you with the sound of me blowing my nose nonstop?
Is it odd that I’m looking forward to a two-hour-long meeting just so I can get away from the sound of your coughing?
By any chance, do you know our company’s HR policy about sick days? I mean, it’s pretty generous, if I recall correctly, right? How many sick days have you taken this year? Don’t you think you should take some more before you “lose” them? Is that a threat? I don’t know, is it?
Is it possible to simultaneously feel bad for someone and also want to throttle them? Do you think there’s anything I can take to quell the feeling of murderous rage I have now due to listening to your coughing for eight hours a day?
Did you know there’s been at least one documented case of homicide due to a person having to listen to another person cough literally non-stop for months on end?! Hahaha, I’m only kidding. I sure do hope you feel better soon.