This reflex presents itself in several ways:
- If I leave a movie theatre during a day where the sun is shining, I will most likely sneeze a handful of times. I remember a slew of sneezes coming out as I left the Chief Cinema after watching Sabrina. (Ford, not Bogart... goof.)
- If I'm on the verge of sneezing... you know, when your brain and your body poise for a sneeze, but it can be a false alarm... well, this response I have to light helps me get that final push over the sneeze hill. When it happens, I just glance up at the sun, or a bright light. The worst is when there are no bright lights around. I can sometimes nudge out a sneeze with my cellphone or a computer screen.
I've tried to explain this to my friends. Some of them are bewildered. Most of all, my best friend, Nora Charles. She refuses to believe that this phenomenon exists. I've tried to demonstrate it, but she just laughs. So now that I've produced a Wikipedia as proof, maybe she won't be so incredulous.
For those of you within this percentile of humanity that share this reflex with me, let's celebrate our diversity by unifying. I want to hear about it. You can respond here in this blog... or just speak up in real life. If you want to start a Facebook group, I won't stop you.