And Then God Sneezed

I had a dream last night. I died and went to heaven. As I was standing there at the Pearly Gates, talking to God, He sneezed. I didn’t know what to say.

The joke above is a very old one. It revolves around the age old habit of saying “Bless you” whenever someone in the room sneezes. The origin comes from the ancient belief that when someone sneezes their heart stops for a moment risking death. Other beliefs are that the soul leaves by way of the nose. Saying “Bless you” is supposed to keep the soul from leaving.

Church in Colorado Mountains

In reality, this happened the other night at a family gathering. There were people from various sections of the country and various faiths. We had everything from Southern Baptist to agnostic. I was the one who sneezed with the result of more than half the people at the table saying “Bless you.” It got me wondering why those who are not normally superstitious still cling to this one. After all, the chances of a fatal sneeze are minuscule. I have however seen people with a nose big enough to accommodate a Greyhound bus so a quickly exiting soul could be a danger to them.

In today’s culture of political correctness this unsolicited blessing could become a sign of rudeness. How does a sneezer know that the people blessing him are not doing him any harm? Can you be overly blessed? Does an agnostic blessing even work? Is it ok for a Catholic to bless a sneezing Jew and vice versa? Would they have to convert? Maybe the person just doesn’t want to be blessed.

And what if in the future this leads to more superstitious traditions? What if one starts that’s totally opposite where when someone farts everyone in the room says, “Curse you”. This could become especially prominent in elevators. It might come in handy too as the farter joins in with the curse to leave doubt as to who the guilty party is.

Personally I find it annoying. I’m not gonna die from a sneeze. I do my own blessings, just as I do my own curses. So don’t expect me to thank you for keeping me from a nonexistent, fatal sneeze.

Don’t Get Caught Near an A/C Vent

Big furry Roswell in front of the air conditioning vent.

The most protected possession a cat has is their dignity. Take that away and we’re just another house pet. Hell, a dog can go roll in fish at the lake then all he has to do is suck up and the apes still think he’s their best friend. But we cats have pride. We always make sure we look good even when we miss a jump or get caught behind a closed door. But sometimes you make a small mistake and the apes over react. There’s no easy way back from that.

Shaved Cat Walking
Shaved Cat Walking

My cell mate Roswell is a long hair Maine Coon. He’s a large fellow and the apes suspect he has some wild cat in him since he has behavior problems and he is of dubious origin(feral). He’s not the brightest star in the heavens and his long hair get tangled and hot in the summer.

Two days ago one of the apes caught him cooling off in front of the air conditioning vent. It’s been getting hot outside so this was pretty normal for a cat with a lot of fur. The ape even got a picture of him.

You can see the shame rolling off of Roswell.
You can see the shame rolling off of Roswell.

Then, first thing yesterday the ape brought up a carry cage and we knew someone was going on a trip. I was pretty sure it wasn’t me since I’d been to the vet recently. Sure enough they shoved Roswell butt first into the cage and took him away. He was gone for most of the day.

That afternoon the ape brought the cage back with a growling, extremely pissed off Roswell inside. When the door was opened, out stomps Roswell with no fur except for his head feet and tail. They called it a ‘Lion Cut”. I call it embarrassing and the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time. You can be sure I’m staying away from any A/C vents this summer.