Dublin: 18 °C Monday 18 October, 2021

A commuter shared the most poetic story about a guy sneezing on the train on Twitter

Never a dull moment on the way to work, is there?

COMMUTING IS SHITE. You never when the bus is going to turn up, and then when does, you have to compete for a seat next to a man-spreader while silently willing someone to open (or close) the windows.

We won’t even go there about what the new Luas has done to our mornings.

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Anyway, Jamie Susskind encountered a rather captivating individual on his travels the other morning.


Not a million miles away from similar scenes you’d see on d’Luas.

Despite the fact that the tube was heaving, he squeezed on past “the usual smell of bad breath and shower gel”.

He then went on to say that today’s journey was … Different.

The crowd was tetchy. There had been some jostling on the platform, and the odd (half-embarrassed) cry of ‘move DOWN’. When I boarded, a lady with a strong Liverpudlian accent had started yelling at the guy next to her for squashing her arm.”
Barely able to move my head, I turn my head and look to the right. What I see there chills me to my very core.”

Jamie witnesses a man about to commit Cramped Commuting Offence #1 – sneezing.

His eyes are wide. His nostrils are flared. He’s moving the top of his mouth in a circular motion and frantically crinkling and uncrinkling his nose. The poor bastard is about to sneeze.”

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For a moment I wonder if he might be able to suppress it. He’s trying his best. He’s doing everything he can. But I can see that he is ultimately powerless. Like a gathering storm, the sneeze cannot be resisted. It is a force of nature.

Jamie (thankfully) realises he’s out of the Splashzone. Others, include Angry Scouse Lady, are not safe from the impact.

In the microsecond before the sneeze comes, I lock eyes with the guy. He looks at me like a man who has been sent to the gallows. I try to look sympathetic.
His head jerks back, hitting the door behind him. His eyes are closed. In the same second, the people surrounding him begin instinctively to recoil.”

But then, something unexpected happened.

His jaw clamped shut, our man somehow takes the full brunt of the sneeze internally. His entire face – cheeks and upper neck area – expand outward like a bullfrog before rapidly contracting again. He emits two noises simultaneously: a high-pitched squeak and a deep, gutteral moan.”
It was LOUD. Half the carriage crane to look. No one knows what’s going on. The guy’s eyes are half-closed and streaming with moisture. Were it not for the passengers propping him up, he’d have collapsed from the effort.”


After a few seconds he opened his eyes and we again acknowledged each other’s presence. He must have seen the admiration on my face because he gave me an imperceptible nod – regal, magnanimous – modestly recognising the scale of his achievement, but without wishing to gloat.”

Jamie declared Random Tube Sneezer #1 his morning hero – a title he’s most definitely worth of.

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