I am still vacationing in Marin County, thousands of miles away from blizzard smothered Manhattan, where I refuse to worry too much about leaving the window open in my humble abode …
As soon as the clock struck midnight Christmas Day, while I was assisting my sister, Dovima, with setting up presents and as I imagined falling thunderously into the fireplace, waking the entire household and setting off the dog, Thurber, I sneezed four times. Sixteen minutes later, I sneezed twice more.
Fortunately, as we opened gifts later that morning, my sneezing took a reprieve, but it returned with a vengeance at 10:47 am when I sneezed an additional twenty-five times through the course of Christmas proper until I exhausted my supply of sneezes at 11:01 pm. As I sneezed a final three times at that moment, this exertion prompted my sister to ask:
Dovima: What was that a million?
Me (disappointed): That was only 31 for today. At least I made it to thirty.
Dovima: Now you can shoot for forty.
My niece, Sweet Pea, found this exchange hilarious.
I have been counting my sneezes since my birthday last May 4th, and I intend to count them through May 3rd since I start what I finish, no matter how inane, useless and absurd. With the 31 I accrued on Christmas day, I am up to 372. Après Christmas I have returned to a modest number of sneezes again, four on Sunday and zero thus far today.
Dovima was baffled why I had such a sneezy Christmas. The house is clean. Tangy, the cat, lives outdoors which is great for me since I am deathly allergic to the kitties, but if there was one cat I’d love to pet, it’s super cool Tangy.
Thurber, Tangy’s nemesis, the pampered prince of a dog Tangy finds pathetic, is a hypoallergenic Poovanese (poodle-Havanese mix). Back in early 2009, then 14-year-old Sweet Pea, either in an act of supreme self-sacrifice or obscene sibling rivalry, was willing to donate Thurber to the Obamas before they adopted Bo. This was coincidentally during the period when Sweet Pea and Thurber had rather frosty relations. I am pleased to report that they have since made amends and are now on much better terms.