>Bless You!

>Context: I was taking a test this evening and the setting was as one would expect. It was dead quiet, students deep in concentration. All of a sudden, a fat girl who was probably toting a monogrammed book bag sneezed. What followed was the definition of a true nuisance, a ridiculous chorus of concerned students saying “bless you.” The sneezing wasn’t what broke my focus – the reparations the girl was paid were. The whole hodgepodge of idiocy sunk into my head and got me thinking. What’s the purpose of this act and, furthermore and more importantly, what rationale is it fired by?

“Bless you” after a sneeze? And then what are people supposed to say – “thank you” as if they owe you some huge debt of gratitude for you merely saying it? Look, when I sneeze in a public forum, I feel bad enough for disrupting everyone. You don’t need to call further attention to it by sending me to Jesus as well, ok? Just leave it alone.

Think about it. “Bless you” is such a deep, meaningful phrase. Personal religious beliefs notwithstanding, all one has to do is be aware of what is meant to appreciate its significance. “Oh man, these people want (their) God to bless me? What a simply delightful gesture!” No one says this, though. You know why? Because it’s said every time someone sneezes. The people saying it don’t even think about what it means, they just say it. The term is completely overused.

I’m calling for a new phrase that would be considered meaningful if not used so often to commemorate a regular bodily function. Every time someone coughs, say “fuck you.” Seriously. If we all do this and act like it’s no big deal – sort of the way people say “bless you” so loosely – the expression will no longer cause people to raise their fists in anger. Then we can think of another typically-negative phrase to say when someone burps. Then another for stomach growls, another for joint cracks and on down the line. Before you know it, it will be completely weird to use all these previously-negative terms for every one of our bodily functions except for sneezing. Then we’ll be left with no choice but to do away with the “bless you” phrase and its overuse … and then its passionate meaning and luster as a token of goodwill may start to return.

Did any of this make you choke and cough? Fuck you!

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