Sealed with a kiss

Humour

Love is a matter of chemistry. Valentine’s Day is here. It’s celebration time for the young and the old. A time for romance and flowers, roses and champagne, and
kisses.

Swift said, “Lord, I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing”. What’s in a kiss? Anthropologists state that 90 per cent of people kiss. If you are a romantic at heart, you believe that a kiss can unite two souls. I got around to gathering a few hilarious definitions. I am certain that you will be amused to read the following tongue-twisting and quaint definitions of a ‘kiss’.

They may also leave you a little out of breath. But first, let me warn you, that if you suffer from philemaphobia, the fear of kissing, this article isn’t for you. Otherwise, go ahead and have a laugh or two.

The first maxim goes like this, “A kiss is a noun, though often used as a conjunction, it is never declined, it is more common than proper and it is used in the plural and agrees with all genders.” Now, doesn’t that sound like a lesson in grammar? Science goes a step further and describes it as a “close juxtaposition of two or more orbicular muscles in a state of contraction”.

The dictionary describes a smack as a loud kiss and a smooch as a caress and a kiss. According to Oliver Herford, a kiss is a “course of procedure cunningly devised for the mutual stoppage of speech at the moment when words are superfluous”. Do you concur with any of the above definitions?

I cannot tell you when kissing originated, but if you are wondering who holds the title for the world’s longest kiss, I have got the answer to that. If I’m not wrong, it is Akekachai and Raksana Tiranarat (Thailand) who hold the world record. Their kiss went on for 46 hours, 24 minutes and 9 seconds. That must have been quite a feat. The most extreme kissing marathon competition was one in Brazil lasting 62 days 8 hours 15 minutes with a ‘kissing time’ of 833:45 hours. That may have been the longest kiss recorded, but the rules were different.

Talk about a ‘smoochathon’. Just a thought — I wonder if anyone is thinking of breaking this record? That would take a pretty long time.

Kissing customs vary across the world. Whilst kissing is accepted the world over, there are still places, supposedly in America, where it is forbidden to kiss a stranger on the cheek and it is illegal to kiss your husband on Sundays. Eskimos rub noses and kiss. For the health conscious, here is a tip. A minute of kissing burns 26 calories. In the olden days, there was a sweetmeat known as ‘kiss’. Being blessed with a sweet tooth, I would have loved to taste that sweet.

Back in the middle ages, most people were illiterate and couldn’t sign their names. So they scrawled an “X” and kissed it to affirm their sincerity. Till date, people in love and who still find joy in sending cards and letters, often write the acronym “SWAK” behind the envelope, which stands for “Sealed With A Kiss”.

Here is another definition by Alessandro — “The kiss is an ingenious invention that prevents lovers from uttering too many inanities”.

Do you ever wonder why people kiss? Probably it is the “feel good” factor. Well, I think this wraps up the whole “exercise” on kissing. I hope you were amused reading this, for I was pretty amused writing it. Personally, I like this definition by Rene Yasenek, “Kissing is a means of getting two people so close together that they can’t see anything wrong with each other.”

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