Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Cover your mouth

Yawning pits of death

One would have thought I took the wrong turn on safari around the Limpopo River and now I was looking into the presence of death, the yawning buccal cavity of a rampaging hippopotamus.

Well, in fact, in this day of swine flu scares in faraway lands, the surgical masks keeping the germs from exhalation or inhalation – it was an unreconstructed animal, a being of my species, without manners, so uncouth and lacking in graces, yawning in my face on the tram.

Where is the breeding?

I cannot imagine where these people got brought up, we as kids were taught to cover our mouths with our palms when we yawn, over our mouths with a clenched fist in traverse with thumb facing the mouth when we cough and use a handkerchief when we sneeze with the obligatory excuses.

The sneezing is interesting because almost every language offers a variation of the “God bless you” greeting after a sneeze this is said to derive from one of the many myths of which the one pertaining to Pope Gregory I seems to be the most agreeable to me.

He ordered incessant prayers and chanters through the streets as the bubonic plaque approached Rome and sneezing was thought to be the early sign of infection.

A sneeze is a sign

Nobody, goes around with a pepper shaker and apart from an occasional irritation or reaction, a sneeze is almost as good as something going awry.

However, that is beside the point, these times and all times call for a bit of something that separates us from animals and if I once saw a dog raise its paw to its yawn, it is the least that can be expected of us.

The respiratory droplets are the vector and somehow face masks are helpful, just as covering your mouth is useful.

Always have a handkerchief or tissues in your pocket or handbag, cover your mouths when they are opened for other calls of nature apart from conversation and save everyone the fear of death from your germs just as if one were about to be mauled by the friendly hippo taking a leisurely stroll by the banks of the Limpopo River.

Enough mass hysteria is being created by the spread of swine flu do not instigate an unnecessary stampede as a result of your lack of basic manners.

Cover your gob.

Source

[1] Bless you - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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