Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I have been on a search for a long time. Not for meaning in my life, I have that. Not for what came before the big bang, I'm not smart enough for that. search has been for what to say in the awkward moments after someone sneezes. For awhile now, I have been looking for an appropriate comment to make to someone who sneezes. They usually stare at me, waiting for the words "bless you" to come out of my mouth. I can't say that. When you disagree with such a large portion of the people around you, weird situations like this come up a lot. It is hypocrisy for me to say "bless you" (it does happen occasionally and because of that, I am occasionally guilty of this caught me)

Long ago, people believed that when you sneezed, your soul exited your body. They began blessing one another, hoping that God would protect them from the evil spirits that may enter their bodies and takeover. We now know that sneezing is an involuntary act that rids your nasal passage of germs and particulate. So I usually go through this whole spiel every time someone sneezes in front of me for the first time. "Your body is functioning properly", "you don't need any blessing", etc, etc.... SO finally, the other day, while explaining why I don't give the customary response to this act, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I now know exactly what to say. And here it is: Congratulations on expelling your particulate (catchy huh?).

I informed my wife that I had finally figured out what to say, and she seemed excited to hear what I had come up with (pity her please, our conversations are very strange...not at all her fault). When I said to her "congratulations on expelling your particulate", she stared at me, and for just a moment I was convinced that she was asking herself, "why?". "Why did I marry this idiot?" I don't blame her. But she couldn't help herself from laughing the next morning when she sneezed and I tried out my new response for the first time (in context). I was happy to make her smile, but even more happy that my search is finally over.


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