Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Most Honest Post to Date

Here’s a little known fact about me, I sneeze approximately 1,329 times a day. I’ve tried everything from saying to myself, “self, do not sneeze today” to writing on a chalkboard, “I will not sneeze today” several dozen times. None of those seemingly bullet proof solutions have ever been able to suppress my amazing urges to sneeze though.

It’s gotten to the point where I’ve had to hire two retired mall security officers to carry around a mobile sneeze guard and hold it in front of me wherever I go. The Mall Pigs, as I like to call them, (seriously, it’s a term of endearment…) and I can often be seen walking around town, taking in some fresh air. Awhile back I had an automated system that was mounted on a giant backpack. It was a circular guard that would rotate every 5 minutes. As the shield passed through the backpack, it would be washed off, thus ensuring that I had a newly cleaned sneeze guard every 5 minutes (kind of like the protective shields they have on the tv cameras mounted on Indy cars.). While I loved the automated system, as I am a gadget freak, I missed the human touch. I like having officer Dukowski and officer Schmidt at my sides for every day conversation. I keep the automated sneeze guard in my car though, in case one or both of them call in sick. (for those of you that are dying to know, and I’m sure there’s at least one or two of you out there, officers D. and S. have a squeegee system worked out where in they alternate cleaning off the old fashioned portable sneeze guard. I do not envy them, but they rarely complain about it.)

This brings me to my next topic. All to often, people like to point out to me that when you sneeze, apparently you can’t keep your eyes open. This is false. I can absolutely keep my eyes open while I sneeze. Not only do I have photographic evidence of me in mid sneeze, eyes wide open, but I challenge anyone to stand directly in front of me whilst I sneeze and see if I close my eyes. What 99.95687% of the people I encounter don’t realize when they tell me this is that I have a stamped certificate from my optometrist. It has been notarized by a state representative and states that I possess “Superior Ocular Control.” Or SOC as it’s known in the optometry world. It’s not surprising that they don’t know this Because to my knowledge, I am the only person in the state of California that qualifies for such a prestigious award. I’m not shy about presenting it to them either. When question, I can often be heard explaining to the individual that I have SOC.

I will answer the obvious question now. No, I do not keep my eyes open every time I sneeze. While I do possess this rare ability, I choose not to do it unless called out on a challenge. The reason for this is that the only known side effect of not closing my eyes while I sneeze is that all of my eyebrow hairs fall out. Again, if challenged, I will not back down, but I prefer to keep my eyebrows. While everyone agrees that I don’t look any worse without eyebrows, as a matter of personal preference, I like to have them there. When I put on the prosthetics, everyone can tell and it’s just sad. “Nobody’s eyebrows are that perfect!” people will say. They are right; no one person has eyebrows as magnificent as my little eyebrow toupees. But the three hours it takes every morning to get them to look that way just isn’t worth it for me. Sure, having remarkably perfect eyebrows is nice, but the cost in time is to high. Bear in mind that I have many things to accomplish through out the day and to lose 5 hours to the eyebrows (three to apply, two to remove) is just too much.

While I can see how many people might think that all this sneezing would be a bit of a curse, allow me to enlighten you to one of the many perks it offers. A study was recently conducted by the National Association of Sneezing And Loitering (N.A.S.A.L. for short.) wherein it was determined that given the high totals in everyday sneezing produced by me, (I was second overall in the world. First place when to some Norwegian named Thor. He sneezes an average of 1,700 times a day. I rarely break 1,500 on a good day.) I am the most blessed individual on the face of the planet. (Turns out Thor, the first place guy, is kind of a jerk, so people rarely bless him. He’s actually ranked as the 5,631,326,215 most blessed individual in the world, if that’s any indication of how big of a jerk he is.)

Ahhh… another post in the books. Feels awkwardly unsatisfying, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, maybe next time I’ll post about something that makes sense… maybe not. Hot damn I’m unpredictable!!


jazz said...

not sure what to do with this one frankly.

do i bless you and head on my merry way?

do i send the allergy spammers over to you?

do i sigh and say, "oh, that crazy jon!"...?

do i bask in this post because it will probably be the last for at least another month or two?

ahhh...the options are endless...

cadiz12 said...

yeah, ditch the falsies. you can spot a fake eyebrow a mile away.

god bless you -- times 1500

Glo said...

Lucky for me, I have not met Thor, so I just blessed you both and went on my merry way feeling oh-so-polite. Then I gigled more at the squeegee system and the attempt to cure the sneezing through the tried-and-true chalkboard.

Amazing thing about Jon's posts. I enjoy them forwards and backwards. That's true talent.

Radioactive Jam said...

Two words: chalk allergy.

Do you find weight control is not an issue, given your frequent expulsion of... er, body mass? I'm just, you know. Wondering.

I think I kept my eyes open during a sneeze once. I tried, anyway, and thought I succeeded. Can't be sure without photographic evidence though. Plus my eyebrows remained intact so... not sure.

And that word verification thing? If 'bots can't read it, why does it have to actually change? Seriously. *I* won't tell them it's the same nonsense phrase over and over; how will they know? Every blog could have its own unchanging nonsense phrase. Wouldn't that be equally effective and a lot less annoying?

Syar said...

worth the wait.

National Association of Sneezing And Loitering (N.A.S.A.L. for short.)....You crack me up, dude.

bless you and gesundheit. you too, Thor. and give a few to Dukowski and Schmidt. I hear sneezing's contagious. what does that job pay anyway?

see you in a month!

Jon said...

Jazz: you do whatever feels right in your heart.

Cadiz: you’re right, besides, bald eyebrows are in right now, aren’t they? That’s what I heard anyway…

Glo: It’s often been said that reading my posts backwards helps you make sense of them. But seriously, Thor is a tool. He steals candy from babies, kicks puppies and routinely destroys little kids on the tetherball court. He’s like twice their size!! Man that guys a jerk.

RaJ: You say chalk allergy, I say it’s the cat I strap to my face every morning. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

I am currently unaware of any SOC level members of N.A.S.A.L. in Florida, but that doesn’t mean much. I’d recommend you go and get yourself tested. You’ll want to get your membership card ASAP if you do qualify. It features such rewards as 1.5% off all Thrifty Rental cars, 2.89% off all air refills for your tires at participating Mobil gas stations, and a lifetime supply of used paperclips (some of which may be straightened out).

I can understand why they have to mix up the word verification thing even though bots can’t read. Sure, maybe you won’t tell them, I sure wont tell them, but not everyone is as anti-bot as us. There are some Bot Supporters our there, or B.S. for short. What I can’t quite understand though, is why they have to simulate an acid trip when trying to read the word verifications. I always end up dropping a couple tabs just to get it to straighten out so that I can type it in properly and make sure that everyone has a chance to groan at my comments.

Jon said...

Syar: That’s what I get for not refreshing before posting a comment. Lesson learned.

As I’m sure you’re aware, N.A.S. (National Association of Sneezing) was having a hard time getting the funding they needed to conduct their studies. We all know how important their findings are to everyday culture, so they did what anyone did, they adopted the loiterers and formed a powerful alliance that commanded a much higher budget. Adding the loiterers was easy enough, they were all just hanging out in front of the building already anyway.

By the way, the job pays 16¢ an hour, but there’s full benefits. Health care is pretty important in the mobile sneeze guard operator industry. Interested?

Jon said...

RaJ: I totally glanced over the weight loss issue. While I never really considered it, in some small way, I’m sure it does contribute to my totally ripped abs. I have on occasion stopped bullets with my abs. It’s actually a two part procedure, first I sneeze, and the wind force behind my sneezes is tremendous, so that slows the bullets down to a tolerable speed. After that, I let my abs of steel do the rest. It would kill a normal human being to do that. It’s just a good thing I sneeze as much as I do.

Radioactive Jam said...

So if someone *seriously* wanted to put a bullet into you, they'd need to have a synchronized firing mechanism - think WWI aircraft guns shooting "through" a moving propeller - timed to the short gaps between your mind-bogglingly frequent sneezes. Not a trivial problem, though perhaps more importantly it makes me think of a new olympic competition: synchronized sneezing.

A somewhat atypical team sport, sure. But where were those 5 or 6 synchro swimmers before it became a world-class event? Unknown, I say. Probably sneezing from chlorine irritation.

Synchro sneezing could be a multisensory competition, with marks for visual and aural elements.

Teams and timing not your thing? That's okay because I just thought of yet another competition possibility: The Snot Put. Part of the Olympic Sneezing Biathlon when coupled with Projectile Sneezing (where a small, javelin-shaped object is inserted then ejected from one's nose).

Tough to say whether these should be summer or winter events: green of summer vs. slickness of winter, flu season vs. summer allergies etc.

Plus, there's always Coaching and - better still - those lucrative TV color commentary opportunities.

Just thinking as I type, is all. So to speak.

cadiz12 said...

snot put!

jon, on those especially goobery days, you'd be all set for the gold, right?

omar said...

Just so you know, I read this post a few days ago, but I just want to pace my commenting so that it spreads evenly over the next month.

Radioactive Jam said...

I'm sure Jon's been working on the next post, feverishly typing Stuff between sneezes. Trying to keep the keys unstuck. And so on.

Word Verification: an IM session capture
Person #1: luv, pp? (love, pretty please?)
Person #2: ffn (friends, for now)

cadiz12 said...

sorry, i'm not buying it. i'm waiting till dec. 15

omar said...

Still pacing...

Guyana-Gyal said...

Ahhhh...bless you!

Syar said...

whoa....I swear that I left a comment here after my first one. I know it was after omar's cause I was praising him for his pacing.

my comment has been swallowed by an all-consuming pitch black vortex!!!

why do i sense a sneezing conspiracy?

cadiz12 said...

dude, you're really going to make us wait till dec. 15, i gather.

where is the love?

omar said...

I think this post is...