(hard, 2 points): Incorporate a superstition.
(easy, 1 point): Use the name of a Disney Character
I am 36… I think… 2008 - 1972 = yep, 36. To this day when I sneeze I will most likely hold it in and sneeze on the inside, if you know what I mean. I will sometimes make the little "A-CHOO" noise after I've squashed it deep inside but there will be no outright sneeze. No, it's not for fear of snotting all over myself or someone else… although on those few occasions where a sneeze sneaks up and surprises me that does cross my mind. It could happen! Anyways, the reason for holding it inside is because of what happened when I was a kid.
When you were a kid… Wait let me rephrase that because I don't want to assume anything about what "you" were like (you know what they say about that… ass, you, me… LOL). When I was a kid I would hear all the crazy things that grown ups tell you and think "yeah, right!" or sometimes I would think it sounded pretty coolJ So being a kid I of course wanted to do whatever it was that I shouldn't be doing just cause I was told not too and also a little because I wanted to see if anything they said would really happen.
I was a sneezer. I'm not sure why really, it may have been because most of the grown ups around me smoked like chimneys but they'd say different. Anyways, I sneezed a lot. I was always being told to cover my mouth. I was a kid; it's the last thing I thought of as it was coming. I was normally to busy dressing up in costumes , playing or just being nosey to stop and cover my mouth. I argued this with my grandma one day and she told me that if I didn't cover my mouth the devil could enter my body as I'm sneezing. I just laughed and said my favorite line, "Silly grandma, tricks are for kids." She didn't think that was funny so I tried to recover from my smart mouthed line and used a more rational one which was, "I thought that the devil was driven away by people saying "God bless you"." She had once explained that to me so I knew I was right there. Well, I think that just irritated her more than my smart mouthed comeback because she said that she was going tell everyone not to bless me the next time I sneezed so that I could be taught a lesson. With that I grabbed my stuffed giraffe and headed off to bed.
Grandma came to tuck me in that night and wouldn't you know it, I sneezed. Do you think I covered my mouth? Nope, didn't even try. This disturbed my grandma because she was sprayed a little. She kept her word though, there was no blessing coming my way from her. Yeah I was feeling a little nervous about that but pshhhhh the devil?? Come on! She finished tucking me in, didn't complain about the spray or say a word about not covering my mouth or not being blessed. She just turned off the light and said "Sweet dreams, you're gonna need them." Yeah, I get some of my sarcasm from my grandmaJ
Needless to say, it took me a lot of snuggling with Geoffrey (my giraffe) and counting pink, fuzzy bunnies before I finally realized that I just wasn't going to fall asleep. What?? You were expecting I'd count sheep? Come on, that's too normal! I decided to pull out my Halloween flashlight and read a little. Before I could begin though I heard a voice coming from… it sounded like it was under the bed. I wasn't sticking around to find out so I ran to the closet so I could hide. Next thing I know, I'm surrounded by flames! Flames I tell ya, seriously! Then, out comes this blue dude and he tells me that his name is Hades. For whatever reason, he insists that I'm some Persephone chic. Who would name their kid Persephone… or Hades come to think of it?
Well, turns out grandma was on the right track. I sneezed, didn't cover my mouth, wasn't blessed, and in came Hades, or Persephone… whichever you want to give the award to for most sneezed welcome spirit to come and haunt me. I was going to try to escape but Hades said that I wasn't going anywhere; he had been trying to get my attention for quite some time so now that he had me it was off to solitary confinement until I agreed to marry him. Come on I was 10 (or so) and so not ready to marry a boy, ewwww. That and the fact that he was supposedly the devil were just not selling me into the idea of marriage. Off to the brig I went!
It was right about then that I was missing Geoffrey; he was my security blanket of sorts. It was hot, I was dying of thirst, and I was starting to see things. All of a sudden a little door opened and in came… Geoffrey??? I took a closer look and it wasn't him at all. It was my grandma's dog Schnitzel who died last summer and he was wearing a giraffe costume! It made sense that I'd see him here; he was a dog from hell!! I was in no place to push him away though so I welcomed him with open arms and cuddled away my fear until I finally did fall asleep.
Grandma found me in the closet the next morning curled up in a ball with Geoffrey...
my stuffed animal not the ghost dog. It happened to be October 31st, Halloween morning, so she sang her little ditty "Trick or treat, smell my feet, gimme sumthin good to eat." I should say she screamed, at the top of her lungs. She loves to be the one to sing it when the kids knock on the door, I think that I get my lack of sanity from her alsoJ I jumped and scrambled to take advantage of the fact that she had the door open and Hades was nowhere to be seen. I told her the story and all she had to say was, "Your mom thought about naming you Persephone." "See you in a little bit, get your costume ready so you can go trick or treating later tonight." That's it, that's all she had to say about it. No, I told you so or you deserved it or did you learn your lesson. What the heck!?!?
So I think of that night quit often. You'd think that the lesson I learned would be to cover my mouth when I sneezed but no. I figured even if I had, Hades would have still came. He didn't possess me, he just appeared. Covering my mouth wouldn't have stopped that. The real lesson learned was you should always keep the closet tidy and not just shove everything in there. I think when I got in and that avalanche of stuff fell something hit me in the head and knocked me out. This caused me to dream crazy dreams put into my head by my grandma! Yes, I do suppress my sneezes but not for fear of the devil getting in so much as just not wanting to see Schnitzel dressed up like Geoffrey again… that was just creepy!