Katrina Stonoff

How to Sneeze, a Primer

File this under: don’t try this at home.

Mars and I have been having a discussion about sneezing. Specifically about whether or not one sneezes with one’s mouth open.iStock 826699900 2

My nose has been a little stuffy the last week or so. When I realized I was about to sneeze, I thought, “Oh, good! It’ll clean my nose out.”

But it didn’t. Most of the force went out through my open mouth. So I asked Mars, who is famous for very loud and effective sneezes, whether he sneezes with his mouth open. He didn’t know.

Yesterday, he informed me that he sneezes with his mouth open. He had sneezed, so he made a point of noticing.

I wondered if perhaps sneezing would work better if one kept one’s mouth open, and I made a mental note to try to keep my mouth closed next time I had to sneeze.

Today I sneezed, and I remembered to keep my mouth closed.


First, it hurts. A lot.

Second, though I sneezed into a napkin, the force was sufficient to spray my whole face. I had to wipe my face and re-apply my foundation. Then I had to clean my glasses.

You’re welcome. All in the name of science.

Categories: Oops!