A genealogy of sneezes

Saturday October 02, 2010 @ 08:43 PM (UTC)

I’ve been thinking about sneezing lately. Mostly because I’ve been sneezing so much today I can barely finish a sentence. Either our landlords’ bamboo only flowers every seven years and gives me seven years’ worth of pollen allergies, or crawling out of my comfortable hobbit hole to attend social functions has given me a cold.

Anyhow, this sneezing has made me reflect. I myself have what I jokingly term the Atomic Sneeze (best restrained with ruby quartz face masks, à la Cyclops). It is extremely loud, and my poor sensitive-eared companion Ryan complains bitterly about it. (He kept covering his ears when we watched TV tonight, and eventually I saw him building acoustic barriers out of sweatshirt.) I keep telling him it could be even worse, and my sister’s sneeze is proof. Of course, since she isn’t allergic to everything on Earth except water and mold, few witnesses can back me up on this. My paternal grandfather’s sneeze was even more prodigious than my sister’s and mine, and my usual joke is that if he sneezed like that while he was in the Army, his comrades probably hit the deck.

Of course, it could be even worse: on my maternal side, my relatives seem to sneeze in consistent numbers. My grandma sneezes in the same pattern every time — I think it’s five sneezes? Of course, they’re such cute little noises that they’re quieter than a cat sneezing. Other family members appear to sneeze in threes, et cetera. I think Ryan should just be glad the two traits haven’t been mixed, because even a double-barrel of this noise could destroy our block, and five at a time would doom the entire city. Or at least give me whiplash.


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