- Paul Davidson
Bless Your Cough
I have uncovered what I believe to be the most dramatic, most ignored, American personality flaw ever.
Here’s the scene: One man is sitting next to a woman on a train. The man coughs.
Woman: Bless you.
Man: Thank you.
Did you see it? Do you get it? In a double-blind test among 100 people, I have waited for a person to cough. Upon doing so, I have said “Bless You.” 90 out of 100 times, the people have said thank you. And I find that to be, well, a bit disturbing.
If I cough and you say “Bless You” to me, I’m going to turn to you and say, “FYI, that wasn’t a sneeze. I coughed. So, you probably don’t want to say that to me. Had I sneezed and then had you said ‘Bless You’, well then I would have said thank you but for you to say ‘Bless You’ to me after I’ve coughed — well that just doesn’t seem right.”
You may ignore me after that, but you won’t deny that I’m right.
If a person coughs, maybe there’s something else you could say that alludes to the fact that you want to bless them, but that doesn’t take away any of the true spiritual blessing you might be giving to someone who sneezes. You know?
I think we need to discuss this a bit more, but I think you know where I’m going and I think you agree with me that anyone who says ‘Bless You’ to someone who coughs is just trying to start trouble.
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