It seems like every time we turn around that there’s a new danger lurking in our daily lives. From cancer causing foods to pedestrians trying to jump in front of your car; we’ve seen it all. Now, studies are showing that there is a new danger to be wary of, and it once again involves driving. The new risk is known by the term “sternutation” in the scientific community. It involves an involuntary ejection of fluid from the nasal cavity accompanied by a loud burst of noise (almost like a cough). The dangerous part of this condition is that when it happens, it forces you to close your eyes, as it has enough force to literally launch your eyes out of their sockets. These ‘episodes’ can generally happen two or three times in a row in quick succession, making them increasingly dangerous the longer they last. All across the nation, this condition is taking its toll on more and more people.
Alan Tumol* is a 27-year-old man from Oregon who is currently facing charges for his role in the death of three mailboxes. He claims that the group of mailboxes were at fault for being positioned inappropriately, but a group of scientists from Oregon Institute of Bodily Issues thinks it may in fact be “sternutation”. We talked to Alan* to get his account of what happened.
“I was just driving home like normal, when I came around the corner by that little convenience store that always smells funny, and the sun was just dipping into the top of my windshield. Suddenly, I was overcome with the need to close my eyes and then my face just started exploding! It was disgusting. There was slime all over my dashboard, and a big bruise on my forehead from where I hit the steering wheel. By the time I managed to get myself back together I had driven across four lawns, and I guess those mailboxes must have been in there somewhere, though I still think they were too close to the road, which has to be illegal…”
Alan’s* lawyers have asked that we not discuss any other portion of the case with him, as it may compromise his credibility. We weren’t sure how that could be the case until we overheard the conversation that Alan* was having with his imaginary friend about whether or not the judge was pretty.
* Name changed for anonymity