Having had a rather nasty cold this last week, I have sneezing on my mind. Well actually, I have colds and mucus on my mind, but since I’ve already written about the common cold and nobody wants to hear about mucus, let us turn our attention to the sneeze.
I have invited here today a large panel of international experts, some of whom are distinguished by their non-existence and others by being long dead. Let us ask the invisible panel to define the significance of the sneeze.
Ancient Greek: It’s a sign from the gods! A good sign!
Modern Greek: It means that what was just said was true.
Modern Greek: I told you so!
Fleming: (agreeing) It has been sneezed on.
Medieval European Peasant: Thou probably hast the plague. Avaunt!
Samuel Johnson: Nonsense! It’s not the plague at all, I just took snuff.
MEP: Sayest thou…
Pole: It’s a sign your mother-in-law is dissing you at this very moment.
Spokesman for the Committee of Sneeze Significance, East Asia: It’s a sign someone is talking about you behind your back, to be sure, but not necessarily badly.
Fellow Committee Member: Only if it’s two sneezes in a row.
Spokesman: Quite. One sneeze is perfectly positive.
Committee Member: Three sneezes means someone’s in love with you.
DM: What about four or more?
Spokesman: That means you’re getting a cold.