I went to teach my elementary speech class this afternoon, a kind of computer zombie after the second day spent at home with the laptop instead of at school (having tasted now of the wonders that are voluntary absences, I'm becoming a big fan of skipping class -- saves gas, too).
I kept looking at the clock, looking back at the kids, and forgetting what time it was. I also would get to the middle of a sentence and wonder what it was I was talking about. That, and I could hardly hear anything anybody said.
And wouldn't you know, today was the day everybody had to go to the bathroom, two kids wanted to call their mom because they had stomachaches, and everyone had a random question.
Like this one:
What if you're giving a speech, and you have to sneeze?
Honestly, in the ten or so years since I took my first speech class, I don't know that I've ever contemplated that question.
The more you think about it, the more sneezing is indeed a troubling human phenomenon. Especially for speakers. And I know for a fact that it stinks for piano players.
But what if you play the flute? (No. 4?) Or the oboe? Or the bassoon?
What if you are giving a harmonica concert at Carnegie hall?
Do nervous people sneeze? Or only relaxed people? (Aura-lee?)
Have you ever seen a President sneeze during a speech? Or a pastor?