Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A-choo! Counting the sneezes in life

"If you want to make a person feel better after they sneeze, you shouldn't say 'God bless you.' You should say 'You're so good looking!'"
- Jerry Seinfeld, in "The Good Samaritan"

A flurry of successive sneezes for a day or more can be a sign that a cold is imminent. However, sneezing has taken on a whole new meaning for one person.

For whatever reason - maybe boredom or just something that struck his fancy - go know - David Fletcher who calls Birmingham, UK home, has been counting wait for it - his sneezes since 2007. That's nothing to sneeze at. Couldn't resist writing that but I digress. Anyway...

There was no real reason or motivation that compelled him to start counting sneezes.

"What started out as a little conceptual art joke, a playful satire of the “blogosphere”, and a mock scream against the futility and emptiness of modern life, turned into something more intriguing", Fletcher explained in his blog, Sneezecount,

In his blog, Fletcher keeps a daily count of the number of times he sneezes in one day including the time, date, his location at the time and a brief description of his activity at that time. He also offers a description and guide of the strength of the sneeze i.e. mild, moderate to very strong, which he records in a notebook and transfers to his blog.

In his "Reflections on the Counting of Sneezes", the sneezer shares some of his findings since beginning his undertaking. In addition to noting the number of times he sneezes, he also documents his activity at the time. For example:

July 2007 - accumulation of 36 sneezes
Place: Bedroom
Strength of sneeze: Mild
Activity: Just finished cup of tea

He is still counting and is now up to 4,059 accumulative sneezes since he started.

This got me thinking. We could, if we really had a lot of time on our hands and wanted something to do, keep a blog of similar activities, like coughing for example.

Thursday, October 16 - 3 coughs
Place: kitchen, den, bathroom
Strength of cough: 2 regular, 1 choking on water that went down the wrong way
Activity: washing dishes, watching TV, drinking liquid with supper

Friday, October 17 - 12 burps
Place: kitchen, den
Strength of burps: 2 mild, 3 medium,  2 medium-strong, 5 strong
Activity: eating chili, watching football on TV (beer involved)

The possibilities are endless like keeping track of the number of times one blinks, uses a tissue to wipe the nose, yawning, scratching one's nose... Meanwhile, my philosophy in as far as sneezing is concerned is a sneeze is a nose tickle looking for a way to get out. Or something.