God Bless You, Mr. Cougher
by Will Bailey
Gesundheit! What’s the matter? Were you not expecting to be blessed, in German, for coughing? You’re right; I’m sorry. It’s unnatural to do that for anything other than a sneeze, isn’t it? SARCASM SLAP! WRONG! The rules for publicly pardoning a stranger’s audible bodily functions are arbitrary and nonsensical! Am I to understand that one may be excused for shot-putting snot out of their mouth at a thousand miles per hour, but receive a sharp look of disapproval for involuntarily coughing? Who decided that? A bored, 14-year-old Medieval prince? The prince’s horse? A rock? Did a rock come up with this baffling social convention? I’m going with rock. Also, I will be protesting exclusive public sneeze blessings by enacting my own special system of blessings. From now on, if you happen to cough, sniff, snort, or yes, even fart, in public, don’t be surprised if a blond adult male with a scar over his left eyebrow says, “Gesundheit,” and then promptly disappears. Who knows, he might even be wearing a cape. Soon, the front page of every newspaper in town will read “Who is Gesundheit Man?” with a blurry security camera photo of a caped figure standing poised in the shadows behind a old lady who is about to cough. The Chief of Police will be baffled by G.M.’s utter lack of regard for blessing protocol, and the President will soon catch wind that a caped civilian is wreaking havoc on social conventions in the 22nd most populated city in America. That’s right. This is going to be a game changer. Oh, and remember to cover your mouth. Gesundheit Man doesn’t want to get sick!