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.