Where Did Roswell Go?

I haven’t seen my cell mate Roswell since Thursday. I’ve been looking all over the Homestead and he is nowhere to be found.

Roswell in all of his furry glory.

I noticed the past week he was having trouble breathing sometimes. He was tired all the time and complaining to me that his chest hurt. But like a usual, stoic feline he tried not to let the apes see that anything was wrong. Then Wednesday it was so hard for him to catch his breath that one of the apes noticed he was breathing through his mouth. I’m sure that’s why they got his travel cage out and took him away Thursday morning.

All cats deserve love. Click on this shirt to find it in the Idle Thoughts online shop.

Both of us have occasionally been trapped in a travel cage and taken to the lady in the white coat to be poked and tortured. Though in the past we always got to come home in a couple of hours. This time seems different. The apes came home without Roswell and all of them have had tears in their eyes for a couple of days.

I don’t think Roswell is coming back. The thought of him not being around makes me sad too. He could be a pain in the ass sometimes but through it all he was a good companion, teacher and friend. We will all miss him.

Birthday Reflections

Today is my birthday. At my age birthdays merely become days of reflection. When a person is young, a birthday means parties and presents. As you reach my age presents become redundant because after all what do you get a man who has everything. And parties are no big thing because frankly it took all of my stamina to stay up late enough to see the Cubs receive the Major League Trophy early this morning. […]

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.