The past week has been rough. The nose acted up and sneezed its way through nights and what should have been tasty meals.
I remember someone telling me during my highly impressionable youth that if you stared at a bright light when you feel like sneezing, the sneeze will freeze midway through. So, you can go back to normal from a eyes-puckered-stomach-clutched-eyes-watering stance to a normal one without even sneezing. It has happened once or twice and always makes me laugh. So, I spent one morning staring at the Sun every few minutes. After this enlightening experience, I tottered into the home partially blind only to bang into sofas and chairs placed in my path while sneezing just as hard as before.
Imagine then, how special I felt when I saw the world took note of my misery and decided to have a program on National Public Radio about sneezing.
I smiled through my sneezes the whole way through. Apparently, there are some folks who seem to react with sneezes at unexpected stimuli – like while eating mint. Throw something like this at me, and I had to try. I popped some mint into my mouth to see whether I would sneeze more, but as it turns out, I belong to the category who does not sneeze at mints. In fact, I seemed to belong to the category that stifled sneezes with mint. I laughed – a deep, villainous laugh at my system. I scoffed at the sneezes that I paralyzed within me using the simple method of having couple of mints, and boarded my train.
Usually mints are supposed to keep you fresh and awake. But the sudden stoppage in the sneezing, meant my body saw this as perfect opp. to catch a snooze and before I knew it, I was dozing with a minty freshness that little things like railway announcements could not tap me out of. I slept clean past my station, and spent the fresh morning hours grumpily waiting on an alien platform, waiting for a train to chug in – in the opposite direction. When something like this happens, the world suddenly seems to set itself in slow motion. I spent the precious moments musing all the while that if a sneeze out of my system can make it at 40 mph, why can’t I feel like I am getting somewhere at that speed?
The article ends on this enigmatic note
“Want to stifle a sneeze? It’s possible, Meltzer says. Just press hard on the bridge of your nose.”
I just might have my nose in a bandage when you see me next, but you know why.