Why do we utter this phrase when someone sneezes? Let’s go back in time to February 600 AD. The bubonic plague is running rampant throughout Europe. The first symptom of the disease is sneezing. So, Pope Gregory I decreed that God’s blessing be offered to anyone who sneezed. And so it was, until I came along.
I never subscribed to this practice. Chances are pretty good that a friend, relative or acquaintance who sneezes is not coming down with the plague. At worst, they are succumbing to a bad cold. At best, they inhaled a random irritant and their body is merely cleaning house. My “God bless you” is totally unnecessary for maintaining wellness. As a pleasantry, it may be fine if the recipient believes in a supreme being. But, what if if this isn’t the case? Now you have committed a faux pas and could possibly be labeled as being politically incorrect. Nobody wants to be politically incorrect, especially in these times of hypersensitivity to almost anything and everything.
So, I go about my business and remain silent when someone sneezes. I’d rather be labeled an asshole than politically incorrect.
I’ve noticed that parking meters are going high tech. They accept credit cards and an app. called Parkmobile. Just enter a meter number and your credit card will be charged for parking plus a “small” service charge. So, four hours of metered parking at twenty five cents would cost me a whole dollar in coin but if I pay with Parkmobile it will cost me a dollar and a quarter. This seems ridiculous. I can only assume that carrying pocket change is becoming a thing of the past. Why haul change in your pocket when a credit card or app will do? I’ve seen vending machines that take credit cards too. This is wrong! Small purchases demand the use of pocket change, not plastic or silicone chips.
I like the sound of pocket change. Give me pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and the occasional fifty cent piece! Their jingling makes me feel flush. Bills and credit cards are silent…and boring. A dollar’s worth of change is substantial, bills and credit cards are merely numbers. Give me four shiny quarters over a dirty dollar bill any day. I even like the sound of coins dropping into a parking meter or a vending machine. The metallic clanking tells me the transaction is real. Clank and I have time on the meter or a candy bar in my hand. In years past, the clank of a few coins brought forth the latest music from the mighty Wurlitzer juke box.
Don’t get me wrong, credit cards and apps have their place in the world of commerce, just not at a parking meter or a vending machine.
Christmas is my favorite holiday. Festive and joyous is she. I love the lights and all the trappings of this time of year. Good cheer abounds and I take it all in without reservation. I took this photograph last night and the effort involved in decorating this home is best described as herculean. Every tree and bush is lighted and the reflection in the pond is glorious. Kudos to the homeowner on a job well done and thank you for making the holiday a little brighter.