Sneezes are like fingerprints–utterly unique to each person.

Some men have such powerfully overblown sneezes that they echo for minutes afterwards, and the neighbors telephone to say ‘bless you’. Sneezes that are too thunderous to be natural; it’s obvious that this kind of man, in days gone by, had sneezing contests with their buddies over a pint of snuff.

Likewise, certain women have sneezes so proper, so dainty, that it’s obvious they’ve been rehersed for hours in front of a mirror. Such a powderpuff ‘ah-choop!’ is best left to poodles.

Charles had once been told by an old girlfriend with an obsession for hygine that his sneeze was ‘perfectly average.’

“You’re the only person I know who actually says ‘ah-choo’ when they sneeze.” she’d said. “Jim used to wake me up when he sneezed.”

Rolling his eyes at another reference to his girlfriend’s ex, Charles had said “I thought everybody did.”

“Nope. It’s not unique. People like to be unique. Your sneeze–perfectly average.”

Perfectly average described many things about Charles, not the least of which was the minivan he was driving down the interstate nearly fourteen years later to the day.

And he was sneezing a lot.