I can’t recall ever being sneezed on. Not by another human being, anyway. Horses, dogs and cats? Yes. Another person? No.
Not until Friday night. I was minding my own business, sitting in the front row of a packed concert hall, listening to Neil Gaiman speak at George Mason University’s Fall for the Book Festival, when the gentleman seated behind me suddenly blasted the back of my head with a great honking snootful of mucous.
These things happen. Sure. Yes. Absolutely. No malicious intent. Just a sneeze.
His wife made a half-hearted attempt to discretely wipe some of the snot from my hair. Or maybe she was just trying to rub it in, thinking I wouldn’t notice. I’m not entirely certain, as I was trying to ignore them and pay attention to the person speaking at the podium a few feet in front of me.
Here is a dramatic re-enactment of the aftermath of this event, as I now remember it.
Then it happened again on Sunday night while Michael Chabon was talking.
Oddly, this doesn’t outrages because of the yuck factor or the amount of time I’ve spent washing my hair this weekend. Accidents happen. This annoys me because I’m once again on a very high dose of a very unpleasant drug designed to cut my immune system off at the knees and at each of the 3 public events I chose as calculated risks there was a single solitary sneezing guy – and each time, that guy was seated right behind me? How is that possible? What are the odds?
I guess it would be weirder if it had been the same guy each time.
I’ve upended my life to minimize the amount of interaction I have with germyness for the next few weeks. I’ve stocked up on hand sanitizer. I’ve rearranged my life to avoid Metro and small children and teeming crowds as much as humanly possible. And yet? Old dudes with weaponized nasal passages seem to be homing in on me like Jack Ryan after the Red October.
To be fair, avoiding Metro and small children and teeming crowds is pretty much my avocation, but I’m too tired to work up a funny line of persecution and inconvenience and indignation, so let’s just pretend that in the day-to-day, my favorite activity is taking small children to big events via Metro, where we lick the handrails and seatbacks to pass the time along the way.
I’m lacking a punchline today. Here, have a sneezy baby panda, instead:
[embedded video: sneezing panda]
update: comments are being harshly moderated to eliminate any links to sneeze fetish sites because, although my moderation criteria is pretty liberal, some of the stuff that’s been left in the comments crosses some serious lines. Also: yuck.