May 8th, 2009

krazy koati

You can reduce me to tears with a single sigh

Anyone can use breath as a weapon. How many people use breath as a way to breathe, though? While that gave the behavior its name that's no reason to think the name still means anything. Consider the movie, named because the audience could sit and watch pictures move. Yet today, the pictures stay right where they are and the audience moves, often to another theater. So it is with breathing, and different types of breath to deploy from the comfort of our own current movie. Here are some options:

Ice Breath: Once all the rage, this breath has faded in recent decades as people have moved to warmer climates with cold supplied by air conditioners. But breathing ice could become popular again from carbon dioxide sequestration. We could take excess greenhouse gasses and use them to carbonate the oceans, producing a swell fizzy drink to handle ecological and navigational needs. If we do, then we'll need ice cubes, some of them the size of Iceland, which will need some trimming off to be cube-y. This is a good opening for those with anti-granite breath. Hopeful projections suggest a sparkly effervescent Bay of Fundy could make foam castles over a quarter-mile tall that grab at birds and shedding cola on spectators all the way to the horizon. My recommendation: buy at anything under 14 3/4 a share.

Humidity Breath: consider what all those people with fire breath who won't stop shooting off their mouths. Yes, it makes things intolerably hot and leaves them unpopular. But with humidity breath you can then puff out a little moisture on your own. Then immediately point out how it's not the fire breathing that's so bad, it's your breathing. Wait, that's not a good thing. That's considerably worse. Maybe you're supposed to suggest that other people get it instead.

Fog Breath: this convenient way to obscure regions was developed by the National Advisory Commitee for Aeronautics in 1935 to learn how to see if pilots could land using instruments. In four years came the invention of instruments, like the Pitot viola and the Electronic Flight Instrument Saxophone, and three years later they realized it was better to train pilots instead of surrounding them with fog and seeing if they could figure it out on their own. Applications to non-aviation people include adding atmospheric effects to movies, finding laser beams in mid-room, and fooling people into thinking the freezer door was left open.

Calendar Breath: This nearly universal choice lets the breather tell without even looking it up whether April 4th falls on the same day of the week as does December 12th in the same calendar year, provided the April and December are from the same year too. In advanced cases similar information can be provided regarding the 8th of August. These skills are more impressive the less they are shown, so the calendar-breathing is best done around June 6 or so. Under no circumstances should you try this on February 2nd, lest you get confused with and for groundhogs.

Ice Cream Breath: this is more like it. In fact, it's so very much like it that the resemblance startles people who've only heard about it and not yet seen it. This, now, is even more impressive to people who do know what it's supposed to be. Ice Cream breath comes in any of the eight Victory Flavors approved by the War Department, and probably more now that there's peace all over the place. Be careful about chocolate chips, as those are produced by coughing a little bit while breathing. While the results may be indistinguishable from natural-mined chocolate chips it can make you more than thirty-four percent less pleasant to have around when producing some non-hacking flavor such as cherry. There are similar cautions regarding cookies-and-cream, and is why rocky road is these days only seen furtively and with an embarrassed clearing of throats.

Overall, breathing is important and should probably be left to experts. Unless it's the kind of important that must not be left to experts. Just check and be sure which it is and act appropriately.

Trivia: Madame Tussaud learned how to model portraits in wax working under Swiss physician Philippe Curtius. Source: Living Dolls, Gaby Wood.

Currently Reading: The Bagel: The Surprising History Of A Modest Bread, Maria Balinska. (You know, I had no idea bagels were so Polish.)