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Did You Just Sneeze? Let me Say, "Science!"
Saturday, March 24, 2007 by scott

Did you just sneeze?

Oh. Well, what am I supposed to say? "Bless you"?

That's downright absurd. I sit writing this in the year 2007 and I am fairly certain that your soul is not trying to escape your body. In fact, I don't even believe in god.

Regardless, I don't see how my blessing offered unto you is going to help with your hay-fever.

I sit in an office for a good nine hours every day, and we have an open floor plan. That's right, no cubicles, no privacy whatsoever. It's inevitable that in any of my nine hour sittings, I'll hear no less than ten sneezes.

Of course, no one in my office is rude, so I also hear "bless you" no less than thirty times. Yes, thirty. In my estimation, every sneeze finds about three people kind enough to bless it. Approximately.

Is it any wonder to you that I became a bit wary of the phrase "bless you"?

Try this little exercise: Say the word "article" to yourself over and over again. The word will lose all meaning. I found that my brain ends up dividing it into the phrase "ar tickle", which obviously makes no sense at all.

So it is with the words "bless you". They lost all meaning and began seeming senseless to me. I began to wonder how so many people could utter such gibberish thirty times a day.

Long ago, I decided that I am not a religious person. I'm a scientific person. I don't believe the two have to be mutually exclusive, mind you! I know "honest-to-god" scientists that believe in a higher power. I, however, believe that a scientific analysis of the world is our best shot at figuring it out. I believe that when you die you simply cease to think. I believe that consciousness is just some gnarly computation going on in our brain (to paraphrase Rudy Rucker).

Maybe it's just that I'm extremist, and so saying "bless you" to me after I sneeze is as absurd as saying, oh, "leather belt". It has no contextual meaning at all anymore. (In fact, why say anything at all? Just let me sneeze and get on with my life!)

But even if you believe in a higher power, I pose the following question to you: What do you think has a fairer chance of remedying your friend's allergies? Your blessing, or the inventions of modern medicine (born of scientific methods, of course)?

I think the answer is obvious; you may disagree.

In the past month, I have not uttered the words "bless you". When someone sneezes, I instead say, "science". Why? It's shorthand for the phrase "science cure you".

So next time that snotty co-worker of yours is having a sneezing fit, offer them "science". They may find a trip to the drugstore more practical than a visit to the local church.
(33 to 53)
  bless who?
  thanks for writing this! ive been saying this for years, and have even resorted to the phrase "curse you" in response to sneezes. if someone is offended enough to call me on it, i just ask them to explain why saying bless you is in any way more beneficial to their condition.
  Sunday, March 25, 2007 by squidelicious
  bless who
  Saturday, July 11, 2009 by jytrf
  "Leave a Comment, Dicklock"?
  I'm quite disturbed that A) you find it necessary to attempt to verbally abuse someone for saying "bless you" after someone else sneezes, B) you also think it is funny to insult people about to comment on your abysmal stories, and C) that you have a audio version of the sad pieces of text that you waste your time writing.

three words of advice: if you want to make insults funny, you need to make the adversary, not yourself look like an idiot. If you want someone to show their admiration for you, firstly do something worth going "wow" over, and secondly, don't insult them.
i hope this helps you become something more similar to a human being.

also, your "Priceless Coral" looks awfully similar to beige...

  Tuesday, September 28, 2010 by Dicklock
  "Extremist" does not mean what you think it means. Extremism is synonymous with terrorism. Idiot.
  Tuesday, September 28, 2010 by Grady Richards
  sadly, i'm going to have to agree with scott here
  Extremism is not synonymous with terrorism. it does just mean taking an extreme stance, which is what terrorists do, hence your confusion. now don't mind me as i go and jump out the window.
  Wednesday, September 29, 2010 by Dicklock

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