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96th Sort

On saying 'God Bless You' after a sneeze.

by Dear Jon
November 16, 2001

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96th Sort_Dear Jon-On saying 'God Bless You' after a sneeze. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

Isn't saying "God bless you," after someone sneezes just perpetuating a silly superstition?

Sneezy


Dear Sneezy,

I don't know what you mean. If there is a superstition behind asking God to bless someone who is exhibiting syptoms of sickness, I have not heard what that superstition is.

As a frequent sneezer, I am prone to two sneezing fits of 3-5 sneezes each twice a day. What irritates me is when people decide that every sneeze in my fit needs its own blessing. Of course, I am so rude as to irritate everyone around me with my sneezing, so unless I finally get to an allergist and receive treatment I have no grounds by which to address my annoyance with them.

I used to tell this joke, one I came up with myself as a 12 year-old: "I'm allergic to KleenexTM, so I carry it around all the time because I keep having to sneeze." That's not a bad joke to be original with a 12 year-old. The problem is, I wonder now if it is actually true.

Some facial tissues have lotion, and some have fluffies that get loose and float through the air like dust. The first motion in sneezing is to inhale. If you have brought the tissue to your face and inhale, all that tissue fluff lifts off and into your lungs. So after my sneezing fit, I'm hacking on the tissue smoke, not to mention breathing the fluff mites into my sinuses. I am probably coming down with a whole new form of emphysema.

I can see it now: "Give it to me straight, doc."

He removes his glasses. "All right. You've got Coordinated Products Matching Lung Disease. All those years you never went to an allergist, but instead you relied on tissues, box after box. And they weren't the beige no-name brand,oh no. They were the tissues that came in colored boxes that matched the drapes in your bedroom, or the shower tile in your bathroom. That expensive tissue that provided a decorative accent to keep your wife happy, with the lotions and the layers to keep you from scratching your skin, is killing you. You have 4 months to live."

Then I spend the rest of the movie figuring out how to go down with guns blazing, rather than spending my last breaths hacking pathetically while fluff-balls dart out my nose.


Dear Reader:

Speaking of guns blazing, I have never threatened the Webmaster with a knife or even several knives. Aside from that, the events at the P.O.'s First Anniversary Gala occurred exactly as he described, just like everything else in the Virtual Reality called Cyberspace. When do the winning authors get their statues? You know: Best Online Novel, Best Advice Column, Best Weekly Commentary, Best Freelance Reporting.

We are just a few sorts away from the 100th. Is anyone going to vote on their favorite letters and responses?

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