2013-01-10 / Lifestyles

Letting it out

Lois A. Corcoran

When he gets started, my husband emits eight or 10 in a row. I refer here to sneezes, each of which proves more violent than the one before. And when the dust clears, he looks like a victim of violence.

Good thing he’s not driving when they occur. Earlier this year a California motorist triggered a five-car crash when he sneezed – probably because no one was there to bless him.

Luckily, they were fender benders and no casualties resulted. Sneezes have been known to cause plenty of injuries, though, not the least of which include slipped discs and cracked ribs.

They affect dental health, too. Some folks have lost a tooth when their jaws clamped shut from the impact.

People have even been known to kick the bucket. While on an innocent camping trip, 18-year-old Dean Rice launched a sneezing fit that led to a brain hemorrhage from which the poor guy died.

Fortunately, not many folks encounter death by sneezing. In fact, it’s more likely they will inflict harm than incur it. According to Reference.com, “About 40,000 droplets can be produced by a single sneeze.” That’s a lot of cooties.

I read that cops can arrest a person who intentionally sneezes on them. It comes under the heading of assault, even if they use pepper to do it. (Get it? A salt and pepper...?)

He’d be further ahead sneezing virtually. An online game called “Sneeze” allows players to achieve their lifelong dream of becoming a virus. They infect their opponents with a sneeze by pressing the space bar.

In real life, we should focus more on spreading the least amount of germs. Most of us were taught to cover our mouths with our hands, but experts say it’s better to use the “Dracula” method. That is, to sneeze into the crook of your arm.

This should not be confused with the other kind of crook. Police caught a burglar at a Washington school after hearing the suspect sneeze over the security system. Nothing like blowing your cover.

He must not be one of those delicate sneezers – the kind who whisper “Ach–“ and ignore the last syllable. At the other end of the spectrum lies the drawn-out production. “Ah, Aahh, Aaahhhh, Aaaahhhhh Chooooooooooo!”

When he’s got that much warning, my “Better Half” inserts words into his sneezes as a joke. But that’s another column.

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