I have been sneezing a lot these past couple of days. I get that burning sensation in my nose, which in turn causes my eyes to well up with tears and my throat to tickle. Then my chest begins to constrict as I draw in deeper and deeper breaths and finally I explode into an earth-shattering sneeze.


Did you know that a sneeze travels up to 100 mph? With each sneeze, thousands of droplets fly into the air, up to five feet in distance, spreading germs.

image courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory website

This is why it is a good idea to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze. Sneeze in your elbow. Better yet, use a handkerchief or kleenex. Truthfully, I'm not fond of handkerchiefs except the fancy kind that are "just for looks" in a suit pocket. Why does anyone need to save dried-up-snot in a handkerchief all stuck together?

Yuk. I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Jim used to use handkerchiefs. I would gag when I sorted the laundry.

NO WHERE in our marriage vows did it say, "Love, honor and wash balled up snot rags and dirty drawers."

No sir it did not.

Because if it did, well, let's just say my life would have taken a different path.

But because it didn't, I just grinned and bared it. Hell, who am I kidding? There was no grinning and the only one who was baring it was Jim when he was changing into clean underwear.

But I digress.

Finally I put my foot down about the handkerchiefs.

I won that battle.

Besides, there was no reason why Jim shouldn't have been using kleenex. It had been around for over 80 years! Kleenex was invented in 1924 and was first used in Hollywood by the stars to remove their makeup.

By 1926, customers began writing to the manufacturer, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, (KCC) stating that they used kleenex as a disposable handkerchief. KCC took out ads in the local Peoria, IL newspaper showing the two main uses for kleenex: to remove make up or to catch snots, and they wanted the readers response. Sixty percent said they used kleenex for handkerchiefs. KCC changed their whole advertising campaign and their sales doubled.

Here's some kleenex trivia for you:

1928 - pop up tissue with perforated opening first came out
1929 - first colored tissues
1930 - first printed tissues
1932 - first pocket packs

Information from Kleenex website

Now "kleenex" is a commonly used word to describe tissue, but in fact it is a trademarked name of tissue manufactured and sold by KCC.

Watch this quick clip of a baby elephant whose own sneeze scares the bejesus out of him!

Did you ever try to keep your eyes open while sneezing?

It can't be done.

This can be dangerous if you sneeze while driving.

Try explaining THAT to the officer if you should crash due to a sneeze. I could just see it now......

Officer: In your own words, describe what happened.

Me: I felt this tingling sensation in my nose.

Officer: Excuse me?

Me: Yeah. And I knew this couldn't be good.

Officer: What's that?

Me: I was praying for a red light, but it was green all the way. My eyes got blurry from the tears, and...

Officer looks up from taking notes, bewildered....

Me: My chest contricted, and then I let out this huge sneeze! It all happened so fast. The guy in front of me must have slammed on his breaks at that moment and I didn't see them because my eyes were closed.


Me: Not all the time, just when I sneezed!

Officer - hands me a ticket for FOLLOWING TOO CLOSE!!!!

(This is a made up scenario - but it COULD HAVE happened.)

This baby panda's sneeze is so loud that it scares it's mother into thinking that she should have eaten him at birth.

Did you ever wonder why we say "God Bless You" when someone sneezes?

I did, too, and this is what I found out.

Some people believe that the saying originated in Rome during the bubonic plague. Because some of the symptoms of the plague were coughing and sneezing, Pope Gregory I suggested saying "God Bless You" to the sneezer, in hopes of protecting them from getting the plague.

It was a myth that people believed the heart actually stopped for a second during the sneeze; thus the God Bless You wishes you well that your heart will continue to beat.


There are some superstitions behind the sneeze such as sneezing could release one's soul leading to it's possible capture by lurking evil spirits; or

evil spirits can enter through the mouth of the sneezing person; or

the individual person is sneezing out sins and evil.

All three situations seem like good enough reasons to say "God Bless You"!

Information from Wikipedia

We all know and love Jerry Seinfeld. He has a different idea than saying, "God Bless You."

I like it when someone blesses me, because secretly I'm praying I don't pee myself when I sneeze. That "Bless You" is an added assurance, or at least it can't hurt.

Do you say "God Bless You" or "Bless You" when someone sneezes?I always do. Even to strangers. I might just say "Bless You", though, instead of "God Bless You". But I don't like it if people don't thank me afterward.

Here's a polite (and albeit annoyingly) little boy on the Today Show who can't stop blessing his sneezing sister.

A sneeze can come on at the most inopportune time and quite unexpectedly. It even happens to President Obama.

I think it's so funny when you hear an sneeze come out of someone that sounds so different than what you would expect it to sound like. Take this reporter for instance.

And finally, I couldn't resist this little clip from "Everybody loves Raymond", called appropriately, "The Sneeze."

I hope you've enjoyed your lesson for today boys and girls. I must go now and blow my nose.

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