Big Sneeze

May 10, 2012

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After hosting amorous boyfriend Sunday night and pounding treadmill half hour early Monday morning, popular high school math teacher Martha H drove to school, parked car, and walked toward class, confident she’d have another great week. She sneezed after shutting car door, and nose and sinuses had tickly, cleaned out feeling that became more pleasurable when she sneezed again few seconds later and one more time before unlocking classroom door.

Martha put purse on desk, turned on computer, and placed attendance sign-in sheet by door, and sneezed on paper and then, before she could cover face, splattered glass door. She noted nose getting more ticklish than desired so pressed firm index finger underneath but sneezed as three students entered.

“Bless you, Ms. H,” girl said.

Martha removed finger and in middle of “Thanks” sneezed again. She nodded at smiling students, and after turning and opening file drawer, next blast almost propelled her head onto cabinet. She spun, about to rebuke for laughing, but quick double-sneeze forced to scurry back to desk and grab tissue into which she blew something unpleasant.

Problem remained unresolved, however, and Martha continued to sneeze several times minute as class filled up. She still persevered and wrote opening math problems on board. Attempt to introduce material was preempted by loudest sneeze yet. She waved for students to begin.
“You want us to call 911, Ms. H?” asked boy.

Martha responded with triple-sneeze and then waved at phone, gasping: “Office.” Dutiful boy picked up classroom phone.

Martha sat at computer and, between achoos, Googled “world record sneezing” and read first entry, by guy who noted sister sometimes sneezed three hundred times per hour and, when on roll, cranked out thousand in five hours. Mathematician didn’t want anecdotes. She searched for Guinness Book of World Records but was too distressed to find exact site and settled for someone who quoted Guinness: in January 1981 Donna G began to sneeze and did so almost three thousands times daily, or about hundred twenty times hour, totaling one million sneezes first year. Thereafter, pace slowed during nine hundred seventy-eight days attack persisted.

Mr. L, principal, ran in and put arm around Martha, who sneezed in face and said, “I’ll kill before three years.”

George Thomas Clark

George Thomas Clark is the author of Hitler Here, a biographical novel published in India and the Czech Republic as well as the United States. His commentaries for GeorgeThomasClark.com are read in more than 50 countries a month.

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