The Reason People Cover Their Mouths While Yawning

Many years ago during the Bronze Age, on the continent of Atlantis lived the Kind King Bustamoov. He was beloved by all of the people of the kingdom and was respected by the rulers of other nations. His son Justagoov, however was an idiot freak.

When he was young, Prince Justagoov was hit on the head when a mule kicked a bucket of milk at him. Since, that day Justagoov would, without warning, think that things were falling at him, causing him to scramble out of the path of these imagined threats.

Justagoov also had a fascination with flowers that was beyond normal. This obsession stems from a curse put upon Jutagoov by a witch that was drunk one night and thought it would be funny. She was not willing to admit she had been tipsy, so even when her friends tried to tell her it was a stupid curse, she stood by it.

Some years later, during an important gathering of the United Nations Of The Bronze Age, King Bustamoov hosted a dinner party for many of the world’s most important leaders. Among those in attendance were King Alex of Trebekistan and, Queen Whatsa of Mattaferyoo, Warlord Chorr from Tezon 9, King Kugel of Schreiber and Skeletonface.

Aside from an argument between Chorr and Skeletonface about the quality of apples grown in London, the event was going very well. That is, up until the point when the young prince noticed a flower in Queen Whatsa’s hat. He went into a kind of trance and grabbed the hat right off of her head. He then stood there and stared at the flower, holding it ever closer to his head until it touched his eyeball and he snapped out of his daze.

Queen Whatsa broke the awkward silence that followed by saying “My good word! Who is this miscreant.”

“That is my son,” the King of Atlantis said. “He’s got issues.”

“Damn tootin’ he does!” King Alex rose from his seat. “He’s some kinda friggin’ weirdo.”

“I assure you,” Bustamoov said “his strange behavior is the result of a witch’s curse.”

“Curse Schmurse,” King Alex responded “That bitch just touched his own damn eyeball with a friggin’ flower.”

At that moment Justagoov thought he saw a buffalo falling down towards him. He dodged under a table, knocking Skeletonface out of his seat.

“Was that part of a curse too?” Queen Whatsa asked.

“Actually that is the result of an injury my boy suffered in his youth. I can assure you that aside from those two things he is a perfectly normal boy.”

“I don’t know.” King Kugel said. “I’m not sure I want to work with a kingdom that he may one day be in charge of.”

The other dignitaries agreed with Kugel’s thoughts and began to leave. On the way out, King Alex was heard to say, “That is one crazy messed up bitch.”

The king knew he had to get help for his crazy messed up son, so he went to his military advisor, who convinced him to put more money into weapons research. When that did not cure the boy, the King went to the Magic Wishing Well in the Capital of Atlantis, Atlantic City.

The Magic Well was inhabited by a genie named Povich. He was probably the fourth most powerful genie in that section of town, so he would surely be able to cure the boys afflictions.

Povich spoke to the king. “I can cure the boy’s problems if you drop twenty three gold coins down my well.”

The king began to do just that when Justagoov thought a farm was falling on him and he jumped out the way, directly into the well. At the bottom of the well he found himself in Povich’s apartment.

“What the–” Povich wondered as the boy fell into his abode.

Before Povich had time to react Justagoov noticed a flower in a vase on Povich’s coffee table. He went into another trance and grabbed the flower, dropping the vase and causing it to shatter onto the floor.

For this Povich raised his price. He would only grant the King’s wish if the King also wished for Povich to be freed from the well so he could wander the Earth.

The king agreed.

Justagoov’s afflictions were both removed, and Povich was allowed to leave his Magic Well home.

Even as relations between Atlantis and the rest of the world returned to normal, another perhaps more serious problem was arising. A little known fact about genies is that they all have a great desire to poke people in the tongue while they yawn. Most genies are unable to do this because they are magically bonded to items like rings, lamps, candles, or boomboxes. Povich, however was now free and more than willing to go on a tongue poking spree. Soon all over the world, people everywhere were being poked in the tongue by the renegade genie.

King Bustamoov felt responsible for the new problem and sought his military advisor’s advice on how to handle the situation. When increasing the military budget didn’t work, the king was all out of ideas.

But one night, the answer came to him in a dream. The next morning, before he did anything else, he addressed the entire populace of the Earth and told them:

“From this day forward, it would be well advised to cover your mouth with your hand while you yawn!”

With that, the people of Earth had the answer they were looking for. They soon put an end to Povich’s tongue poking madness.

He then got mad and sank Atlantis.

The End

Patrick D Ryall, the D is for Jewelry
Originally posted on Contains2 Sunday 20 October 2002, but written sometime before that in a random email

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