Bad breath ain’t al­ways that bad

Record Observer - - Religion -

I am al­ways su­per sen­si­tive about my breath. I try to take care of it, but at times, I’m a lit­tle bit off sched­ule. I really do not know when my breath is really bad.

For me, I only know my breath is bad when the per­son stand­ing in front of me passes out.

It is rather em­bar­rass­ing to have bad breath, par­tic­u­larly when you are in the com­pany of very so­phis­ti­cated peo­ple. I have bad breath all the time be­cause of my great de­light in eat­ing cheese. The Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age warns me all the time that eat­ing cheese will cre­ate bad breath. I know she is right, but cheese is very de­li­cious.

I was board­ing an air­plane to travel north when the thought struck me that I had eaten a block of cheese be­fore I got to the air­port. I was won­der­ing if my breath smelled bad or not. I tried to test it on my­self but it never reg­is­tered with my nose.

I know I have a nose, but my nose does not know when to smell any­thing. The only thing my nose does for me is sneeze, par­tic­u­larly when I am not pre­pared. So, I can’t smell things the way my wife does. She can smell an odor seven days be­fore it is pro­duced!

How she does that I will never know, and at my stage in life I am never go­ing to ask her.

Ac­cord­ing to her, bad breath is al­ways bad, which is why they call it “bad breath.” My con­tention is, bad is a rel­a­tive thing. One per­son smells one way, an­other per­son smells the other way and the twain shall never col­lide. What is bad for one per­son may not be bad for an­other per­son.

I have a habit of nib­bling on cheese. At times, my wife thinks that I am just a mouse. Ac­tu­ally, she uses the word “rat,” but that is a dif­fer­ent story. I just love cheese. When I come home the first thing I do is go to the re­frig­er­a­tor, get out a block of cheese, slice it, go sit down and en­joy nib­bling on that cheese never con­cerned about the bad breath it might cre­ate.

My wife is very con­scious of this and al­ways car­ries with her a packet of breath mints. When­ever she of­fers me a breath mint, I know that she smells my bad breath. I take a breath mint just to con­sole her, but it really does not make any dif­fer­ence to me.

My con­tention is, bad breath isn’t al­ways that bad.

Get­ting back to my plane ride. As I was board­ing the plane, I re­mem­bered I in­dulged in my slice of cheese. At first, I was a lit­tle wor­ried be­cause on the plane you al­most sit on top of one an­other.

For­tu­nately, when I got to my row of seats I was the first one and so I was able to sit near the win­dow. One of the things I en­joy in fly­ing is lean­ing back and rest­ing in the quiet­ness of the at­mos­phere. How­ever, most of the time I have some­body seated next to me that does not know the mean­ing of si­lence.

As I was get­ting sit­u­ated in my seat, some­body came and took the seat right next to me. Be­fore they could even sit down and buckle their seat­belt, their mouth started jab­ber­ing. If there is any­thing I do not like it is a mouth that jab­bers and jab­bers with­out quit­ting.

I am quite fa­mil­iar with the English lan­guage, but I am al­ways per­plexed at how some­body can talk with­out stop­ping or even paus­ing for a “pe­riod.”

Seated next to me was such a per­son. From the mo­ment he got in, he be­gan talk­ing and for the life of me I could never fig­ure out what he was talk­ing about. He went from one sub­ject to the next sub­ject with­out even a bridge be­tween the two.

The flight was a 2½-hour flight and I was not sure how in the world I was go­ing to en­dure such end­less chat­ter all the way. It’s not so much that I mind some­one else chat­ter­ing, it’s the fact that while there chat­ter­ing they never give me an op­por­tu­nity to chat­ter back.

While I was sit­ting there, an idea came to mind. I don’t al­ways have good ideas, but I think this one was pris­tine in ev­ery sense of the word. I be­gan to think of that slice of cheese I had nib­bled be­fore board­ing the air­plane. If my wife is cor­rect, and she usu­ally is, my breath at this time would be dan­ger­ously stinky, to use her phrase.

With a smile on my face, I turned to the chat­ter­box and just let out very slowly my bad breath in his di­rec­tion. It must’ve been bad be­cause all of a sud­den, he stopped and he could not breathe. Just to make sure it was work­ing, I sent an­other hot breath in his di­rec­tion. His eyes crossed and he set back and looked in the other di­rec­tion. He had noth­ing more to say.

I do not think Job had this in mind when he wrote, “The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4).

God’s breath is not bad, but it is good to the point of giv­ing me his life to live.

Dr. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with his wife. Call him at 1-866552-2543 or email jamess­ny­ His web­site is www. jamess­ny­der­min­

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