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So today I was on the metro, minding my own business, when I coughed. It wasn’t a big cough. It wasn’t wet or hacking. It was just a cough. Kind of like the small cough to get someone’s attention. I even covered it with my book (which is currently The Watchmen graphic novel — surprisingly boring, in case you were wondering). Plus I was leaning against the window, so it didn’t even go in anyone’s direction. All bases covered, no big deal.

Apparently, though, it was a big deal to the person in front of me, because immediately after I coughed (if you could call it that), she tensed up. Like a flinch.

Having ridden the metro for years, I knew this tense. If someone were watching me at that moment, they would have seen me smile.

I put my book to my face and coughed again, this time intentionally and with a bit more force than the last one.

Another flinch from Helen Hypochondriac.

Another cough from me.

Flinch.

This game I was playing was not unlike poker. You don’t go all in on the first bet. You have to make the other players feel safe. Secure. Guard down.

I waited for the lady to relax a bit. I saw her shoulders slump, and I read a few more pages of The Watchmen (which is still shockingly disappointing). When I got to the end of my chapter, I put the book to my mouth and let out a string of coughs.

My girl did not disappoint. She glanced to her right, not quite far enough to look at me and raised her coat collar. Not the whole thing, mind you, just the right side of it, where my germs of death were coming from. I barely stifled my laugh.

My station was coming up in a few stops, so I had to get another reaction before I had to exit the train. I read another page of the book and coughed once more. Not a big one, a small one. Like the first one. I was going back to basics. And, as small as it was, it was enough to get her to move.

She stood up in a huff and moved to the back of the car, where she had to share a seat with someone (as before, she had a coveted solo seat).

Honestly, what a fantastic way to start the day.

  • Big Dick Dudley

    Helen Hypochondriac – Gold.

  • jared

    I am a big fan of the Graphic novel. I guess it was kinda slow going the first time I read it, but after about chapter three it picked up for me a lot. Now I open it and I am like, I don't think I saw that the first time or how did I miss that. Plus it has that whole highbrow level of being a metahistory of superhero comic books and all that.

  • lesleygirl

    I love messing with people like this, too. Fake coughing FTW!!!

    btw, why does DISQUS think I'm Spanish???

  • I noticed that, too, sometimes. I'll have to look into it.

  • I think the problem is, it never picked up for me. I understood the subtext, and it was nice and all, but nothing was happening. I think I would have enjoyed it more in book form as opposed to comic form, as comic is (obviously) a visual medium, and it was a whole lot of chatter and no action.

  • That's what this blog is, BDD. Olympic Gold.

  • Snooze

    I wasn't grasped by the Watchmen either. Liked it – but not crazy about it. Crazy about how you tortured that woman though. That's hilarious.

  • Yeah, I liked it I guess, but was completely underwhelmed by it.

  • maybe if you focused more on reading the book than doing stupid shit you would have fully appreciated it. theres meds for ADD/ADHD.