How Many Times do you Sneeze?


Sounds like a strange question, right?  Let me take you on a guided tour of my mind (Buckle up, this could get bumpy).

I always sneeze twice—not once, not three times, but twice—every time.  I can’t explain this.  When I sneeze, my wife will just stop and wait for the second one.  No use in continuing the conversation, because we both know it’s coming.

Maybe this isn’t all that odd, but then again…my son always sneezes three times.  Same thing, if he sneezes, we just wait until he gets all three out.  Just a strange coincidence, right?

Then I start to think about it.  I’m a junior, named after my father.  My son has the same first name, which makes him Freddie the third.  If he had a son and named him Freddie, would my grandson sneeze four times?

Then my mind starts to churn.  Maybe it’s a sneezing curse laid upon one of my long dead ancestors.  Let’s say my ancestor was attending a sacrifice in Tenochtitlan and happened to sneeze just when the priest was slicing open his victim.  The knife slips and the priest stabs the heart before he can pull it out of the victim’s chest.  Of course, this is a bad omen which eventually leads to the Spanish invasion and the fall of the Aztecs.

As punishment, the priest cursed my ancestor.  With each generation, another sneeze is added until eventually, the line dies out from chronic sneezing.  The only way to beat the curse is to not pass on the name of the ancestor who caused the calamity.  The family will actually have to forget him in order to survive.

Of course, I come from a wily family.  Their solution was to alter the name every few generations to reset the curse.  So a few generations after the curse began, one of my ancestors switched the name to Spanish – Fernando.  My grandfather switched from Spanish to English, but now the curse has caught back up to us.  Now, I have to find a way to beat the curse without losing the family name.

Yeah, I have a weird imagination, but that’s where stories come from.  I think writers are always putting together these strings of strange facts and coincidences and weaving stories out of them.

Of course, if I have a grandson named Freddie who sneezes four times, I’m going to have to take a trip to Mexico City to sort this mess out.  Do you think that priest’s spirit is still kicking around the place?  On second thought, maybe we’ll move to China.

How do you say Freddie in Chinese?