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Excuse me, madam? Is this your soul in this hanky?

February 7, 2014


Oh, bless me.


You know, I’ve actually had people chastise me for that before.

Well, excuuuse me. And here I thought issuing a godawful racket in public plus making no attempt to quell your various bodily functions was considered impolite in our society. Oh, you’ve just blown all the windows out of the eighth floor office and toppled the giant photocopier onto Janet. Bless you.

Not to say that I necessarily approve of our prissiness about such matters, but if we’re to agree that we should be making a fuss, let’s at least be consistent about it.


Oh, bless me.

Why didn’t you bless me?! I may have engulfed you with a cloud of evil smelling digestive gas, but still! It’s the same as sneezing, isn’t it? I’m firing green ooze at you from my nostrils at terminal velocity. Or I’m doing it into a small strip of cloth or paper and putting it in my pocket like some kind of lunatic.

Particularly if you’re at a distance from someone, an irritating noise in a silent area is an irritating noise in a silent area regardless of whether or not it smells. Especially when you could just as easily NOT employ the use your vocal chords while firing schnizzle out of your nose. It’s not a physical requirement.

This idea about sneezing being something worth blessing is born of superstition I believe, and as with all superstitions, those who set store by them would prefer not to think about them too carefully.

However, I won’t say the idea that sneezing rids you of your soul is any more ridiculous than the idea that the universe gives a flying left bollock if you scrabble frantically at your fine oak armoire like a crazed chipmunk in the name of “touching wood”.

Or touch your friend’s head instead, because there’s no wood around and you’re desperate and you think the universe will be fooled, well not really but you think if you make a lame joke out of it instead somehow the gods will be appeased or something and everything will be OK. Or you don’t really believe it, really. You’re doing it “just in case.” I mean, it can’t hurt. It can make you look like an imbecile, but it can’t hurt.

To me, the pure neurosis of superstition proves that every single one is an invention of humans. No supreme being or force could possibly get anything done if it suffered from such chronic OCD that it couldn’t bear for someone to put shoes on someone else’s table, or for someone to put an umbrella up in their own damned house.

They would also be pretty insipid if some short specky layabout sitting in Batman pyjama trousers could successfully snatch someone’s soul from their clutches by perfunctorily uttering two syllables of phatic drivel in response to a sneeze.

I’ll tell you what, God. Or fate. Mother Nature. Stop peeping in at other people’s windows and maybe you won’t get so stressed out.

~~~~~~~〃゚д゚¬¬  noooo!!   shooooeeesss!!

So no, I will not “bless” you. Shut the bloody hell up.


From → British Culture

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