He Sneezed a Huge Sneeze

He sneezed a huge sneeze like he was blowing the spring’s tornados in the mid-west, the summer’s hurricane into sandy-shored New Jersey and torrential waves of lake effect snow into Holland, Michigan and Buffalo, New York

 

simultaneously into the palms of his bare hands while he was sitting at the counter.  He then brought up his kids’ photos on his I-phone and sat surveying their cute little faces.  Billions of bacteria joined him in appreciating the

 

kids. The young, pretty manager who knew him said hi and he offered the diseased device, the harbinger of horrors out of friendship. She held it in her hand and said, “Oh, how cute.”  The next day she was carted off to the emergency

 

room diagnosed with viral influenza and, but for a re-hydration drip, would have been the source of untold grief to her family for the rest of their lives. The man who sneezed across the country into his fleshy palms

 

without even a wipe went back to work as a cook across the street from the sandwich shop and soon became known as “Typhoid Harry,” the male counterpart of Typhoid Mary fame, only it wasn’t typhoid, it was Spanish Influenza,

 

which had killed this writer’s grandfather twenty-six years before the writer was born and trillions of bacteria and viruses ago, most of which are still hanging around or the great-grandchildren or mutations of them who look really cute

to their parents, partying with the rats and roaches all of whom love to recite the passage of scripture about the meek inheriting the earth and then, while sipping wine in the evening after a hard day’s work, saying, “It’s all metaphor.”

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