24 October 2008

"Ah - ah - ah - GRAPEFRUIT!"

That's the name of a post on I Am Neurotic which has got me thinking. I Am Neurotic is a website that has been keeping me smiling recently. It's a collection of neuroses that people have, and wish to share with us.

Here's the link:

And here's the neurosis:

When I was a kid someone told me that if you say the word “grapefruit” when you are about to sneeze that it prevents you from sneezing. For years I would say "grapefruit” and it seemed to work. Now instead of saying it I just obsessively think the word “grapefruit” when I feel like I’m going to sneeze. I still think it works.

Well, I guess it's not really a neurosis, but it's interesting.

I've never really desired to suppress my sneezes. Sneezing as loud and as long as possible makes me feel much better than trying to keep all that pent-up energy inside my head.

My Dad sneezes "eee-CHA!" My sister used to sneeze "cat-CHOW!" and she never knew why. And my husband, who has a penchant for the dramatic, sneezes "ah-CHOO-EE-OO-EE-OO-EE!" and needs to be silenced in order to stop.

I like my sneezes to be cathartic, so I just explode: "ah-PHLTBBTT!" And you'd better hope I've managed to cover my mouth in time.

Anyway, I digress. It's late here.

I was meaning to say that I got to thinking about the possibility of suppressing my sneezes by saying "Grapefruit."

The only times in my life when I've wanted to suppress a sneeze have been when I'm in the middle of an exam. This is crazy because exam rooms are full of sneezing and coughing and throat-clearing and shuffling of papers and feet. I guess I always thought that my sneeze more than anyone else's would disturb the peace and ruin everyone's concentration.

This fear might have arisen because of the memory of one day when I was in Maths 1 being taught by my dad when I sneezed so forcefully that my body violently flexed and my head whacked loudly on the metal desk, making a loud "bonggg..." noise.

But I digress again.

I come, finally and in a very circumlocutory manner, to my question.

Which is more disruptive in the middle of a senior Physics exam: A sneeze, or suddenly in the middle of the mostly-silent exam room, some random voice loudly proclaiming "Grapefruit"?

I ask you.


Givinya De Elba said...

There are 2 comments under the original post:

Richard says: I would say “purple elephant”

Lyssa says: Aw man :(. See, I’m REALLY gullible and I was told that it was either “mayonnaise,” “mustard,” or “ketchup,” but I can’t remember which one so I say all three. Then someone told me, “blueberries,” and then another friend said, “no, it’s watermelon.” So now I say, “mayonnaise, mustard, blueberries, ketchup, watermelon,” in that exact order. And one of them has worked for me every time, I’m just not sure which one, hence I say all of them. Great…now you’ve told me grapefruit and purple elephant!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I've heard that... but like you, I don't really care to supress my sneezes...

I wouldn't mind a good cure for hiccups.

Tracy P. said...

Sneeze away, I say. The instructor might otherwise think you were cheating.

And as for the hiccups, drinking water upside down works every time. Are you reading, Lizzy?

stefanie said...

I would prefer the sneeze.

Your phonetic spelling of how sneezes sounds really made me laugh. I'm kind of a 'choo-ee' sort of a sneezer in public, but I love to let off a big 'AHHH-CHOOOOO' when I'm at home. My husband follows the pattern of yours with sneezes of many syllables. Is that a guy thing?

I always heard you could look at a light to help along the more undecided sneezes, you know the ones that can't make up their minds whether they are going to tickle your nose all day, or just get on with it. It works for me to look toward the sun, or at a lightbulb. The problem with that is my family all know that when I make that goofy face and look at the light fixture they can say 'Bless you!' or 'Don't sneeze!' and it reverses the help I'm getting from the light.

Apparently, I have strong feelings about this subject. Who knew!

GreenJello said...


I'm dizzy with word nirvana.

nikkicrumpet said...

hmmm if they grade on the curve...the disruption thingy could be a tool towards a better grade...I'm just sayin...

Givinya De Elba said...

Yeah, sorry about 'circumlocutory' - as a speech pathologist, it's an everyday word for me.

Never thought about using the sneexe as a tool for better grades from the curve! Good idea.

I agree - I hate hiccups with a passion but drinking water upside down has never worked for me. I have, however, got water up my nose that way. Don't remember if that then made me sneeze.

The only hiccup cure that's worked recently is Mr de Elba scaring the LIFE out of me. Hiccups Be Gone!

Jen said...

I would just stick with sneezing but I would like to hear the grapefruit sneeze.

Hippomanic Jen said...

Yeah, I'd go with the sneeze, but I have little sneezes that people laugh at. Sort of a dainty "he-chumpf".

On the other hand, hiccups I loathe and get frequently. If I have them once in the day, they are most likely to return later if I do manage to get rid of them.

Cure - if I eat something it sometimes works.

Sometimes I drink a glass of water in little sips, breathe in, sip, breathe out, sip, breathe in, sip... you get the picture. My theory is that I won't have time to hic because my whole neck is trying to work out which pipe to use. If I can break the hic cycle, I've won for a while.

Tash said...

I think someone saying, randomly, 'grapefruit' in the middle of a silent exam room would lead to the giggles for me!

Although, let's face it, with the pent up stress of an exam and of being so deliberately quite, some sneezes would do that too!

Hee hee, funny post!

Crazy Sister said...

For me, to sneeze or supress would depend whether it was a happy, cleansing, one-off sneeze, or just yet another extension of allergy-laden-flaming-forehead-sinusitus.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a funny website!

But I love sneezing!!

Tracy P. said...

My mom's remedy for hiccups was a spoonful of peanut butter. I can't say that I know it worked, but I was always happy to try it. Sorry about the water up your nose!