Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Getting it off my chest: The uncovered cough

It is no secret. I have quirks. As do you. No, I’m not seeking company –as one might do in, say, misery. See, misery loves company. I don’t suffer from these quirks. Au contraire! (I’m also learning French.) I’m okay with them; have come to terms with them.  I wouldn’t say I enjoy them, per se. The familiarity of them overcompensates for any measure of discomfort – or misery. I’m good. I’m good.

My quirks (yes, I own them) are not without reason. That is my story. Things have to make sense – except when they don’t. Let that one simmer for a bit.

I’m coming from the “favour ain’t fair” and “God works in mysterious ways” angles. Yes. Two angles – at once.

Now, let’s take a look at a few of these quirks, and see whether you can relate. And, if you simply can’t, whether you can, at the very least, understand.  If you can do neither, I’m happy you dropped by and so on and so forth.

The Uncovered Cough
Everybody coughs. Whether it be because of a cold, or allergies – as one does whatever it takes to scratch one’s throat – or an anti-choking reflex. Everybody coughs. What everybody does not do, apparently, is cover their mouths while coughing. I find it challenging to think of a personal habit that annoys me more. The GO Train is where I encounter most of these transgressions. People sitting next to me; across from me; two seats down the aisle. It doesn’t matter. As soon as this abominable act is carried out, I cringe. I don’t have “a mini heart attack” as someone tweeted after observing a woman’s reaction on the train the other day. And, again, I state for the record, it wasn’t me. That tweet was not about me. Though it kinda, sorta coulda been. Let’s move on. I cringe. And, not only do I cringe, the power strip on my cough-radar subsequently operates at maximum efficiency. I listen out for the next uncovered cough and when – not if – it happens (because, you know, those things come in twos and threes, if not an outright fit) I execute Plan A.

Plan A – The Exit
I leave the area. Whether it be that car of the train or the platform as we wait for the next train, I skidaddle on my saddle. (Reference to the artist formerly known on Snoop Dogg in the role of rap artist Murderous in Mr. Monk and the Rapper.) If it occurs as I walk down (or up) Bay Street, well, one hears a cough behind one, one does not look around to ascertain whether it’s uncovered. One immediately walks a little faster.

Plan B – The Ask
Plan B is put into action if I am in proximity to the offender, and no other seat is available. I turn to the individual or tap the uncouth being  on the shoulder and politely ask, “Could you cover your mouth when you cough, please?” Now, I already know the answer to that. Yes. Yes, they could. On one occasion, the persona non grata who occupied the seat next to me simply stopped coughing. I thought, I should patent this! Beat the profits out of Dayquil. Just. Like. That. Heyyy!  On another occasion, the person was sitting in a row in front of me. I leaned in through the space between the head rests and asked her to cover. She didn’t glance back at me in acknowledgement. Meh. She did, however, cover the next few times. Mission accomplished.

Now, I know I’d mentioned taking a look at a few of my quirks, but, given the extensive treatment of the uncovered cough, I’d rather not get into the others. For example, I’d rather not get into the utterly disgusting habit some folks have of spitting on sidewalks, leaving others to look at that gross mass of phlegm. Ugh! Who are these people? I can’t believe we breathe the same air! (Mr. Monk and the Astronaut)

Neither will I get into the fact that the hangers have to face in.

And the DVDs have to be shelved in alphabetical order.

And the tweets have to be without grammatical or spelling errors. Have you seen the placement of some apostrophes, lately? Oh, the humanity!

And the dishes must be placed in the sink. In the sink. For the love of sanity, not on the counter. In the sink. Just saying. No. As a matter of fact, I’m not #justsaying. They should be placed in the sink.

Of course, there's a reason for all these...preferences. I have to live with myself.


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