Saturday, July 09, 2011

Gesundheit

Saturday, July 09, 2011
A lot like throwing up when you're exposed to the music of Justin Bieber, sneezing is inextricably acknowledged with a knee-jerk 'bless you'. The sneezer - for reasons which escape me - is expected to be so grateful they feel obliged to say thank you. If someone sneezes and you let it go without reacting like a puppet, oh I don't know, maybe because it's an absurd and irksome archaic leftover from the dark ages, people take um-bridge at your rudeness. Likewise if you don't thank the vacuous blesser for their gesture they shoot you a black look that should really be reserved for someone who has just run over your pet cat.

What if I don't want to be blessed? Why don't I get to opt out? Why should I be made to feel awkward for gritting my teeth and pretending I haven't heard? They haven't redeemed my soul, exorcised the devil or warded off the bubonic plague. What they have achieved is to draw attention to the fact that an autonomic reflex has occurred in my nasal passage in response to the presence of an environmental foreign body in an attempt to expel it from said area. Well done, have a gold star.

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