Dave the cameraman was looking forward to his new job. To say the least. To be working with Kate Swift, Channel 7's delectable young newsreader, was like a dream come true for Dave. Like every red-blooded male in the country, Dave had fallen in love with Kate at first sight. Her lovely smile, her sparkling blue eyes, her long-blonde hair and her flawless complexion. Yes, Kate Swift was beautiful on TV, and doubtless would be even more so in the flesh.
Dave would never forget the first time he met Kate. Like a nervous kid on his first day at school, Dave trembled as he came face to face with the nation's sweetheart for the first time in the studio.
'Hi. I'm Kate,' she introduced herself, as if she needed introduction, 'You are?'
'Dave. I'm the new cameraman.' He could manage no more, awed as he was in the presence of her radiant
'Great to have you on board, Dave,' Kate said, flashing that famous pearly-white smile of hers, the smile which each day lit up a million dreary breakfasts, 'I'm sure we'll get along just fine.'
Still shaking, Dave set about his first day's work at Channel 7.
Unbeknown to anyone else, Dave had a secret wish. That would be to hear Kate sneeze. Dave had always
been a fan of girls sneezing, and had some fond memories, accumulated over the years; but to hear the drop-dead gorgeous Kate Swift, frequently voted 'Sexiest Woman On TV', sneeze, would be the thrill of a lifetime.
Dave's fascination with sneezing was, as far as he knew, totally unknown by anyone else. After all, what
would people think? But sometimes he almost betrayed himself by mentioning sneezing when there was no
apparent reason to, or prolonging conversations about sneezing. There had been some near misses, the odd
funny look, the occasional bemused shrug. But, as far as he was aware, he had made it to thirty-two without
anyone actually discovering his fetish.
Two months after he started work at Channel 7, Dave still hadn't heard Kate sneeze. One time he was
talking to Jim, a fellow cameraman:
'Jim, have you ever heard Kate sneeze?'
Jim looked a little puzzled, but replied, 'Now you come to mention it, I don't think I have, actually.'
Dave wisely decided to drop the subject.
Another month went by, and, one morning, Kate came into the studio, eyes slightly red, face a little
puffy, but still her beautiful self.
'Kate, are you okay, you don't look too good,' said the producer.
'Yeah. I'm-*sniff*-fine. It's just my-*sniff*-hayfever coming on. I'll be-*sniff*-fine.'
'Are you sure? You sound full of it. We can get a stand-in if you like. There's still time before the
Just then Kate looked as if she were about to sneeze, but didn't, and, rather, composed herself. 'I'll be fine. I'm here now, I might as well do my job. Don't worry, guys, I've taken my medication. You don't want me sneezing all over you!'
'You don't know how wrong you are,' thought Dave, heart pounding at the mere mention of Kate sneezing.
Time came for the show to begin. Kate began, her usual perfectly-composed self, the red eyes and
puffiness having been adequately camouflaged in make-up.
'Good morning. This is Channel 7 breakfast news. I'm Kate Swift,' she began, in her usual crystal-clear
'The government has announced...' she began, but hesitated. A burning tickle had arisen inside her
nose, and a sneeze was surely on its way. Oh no! Kate had always been a particularly loud sneezer,
which was why she avoided doing it when around other people. She tried to continue.
'Excuse me. The government has announced plans to...'
It was no use trying to stop the sneeze. But it didn't have to be one of her usual Gale Force 10
sneezes. She could try to stifle it.
'Hmpf!' she sneezed, into the thumb and forefinger of her right hand. 'Excuse me!'
Kate couldn't believe she had sneezed right in front of millions of viewers, including her army of adoring male fans, but at least it wasn't a loud one. But this one was. 'AAH-CHOO! AACHOOO! AAAAAACHOOOOO!' Excuse me!!'
Several more ear-splitting sneezes came and went, about twenty in all, before Kate regained her
composure and soldiered on with the news.
'The blooper shows will have fun with that!' she mused to herself, embarrassed, but relieved that her
marathon sneezing fit was over.
Behind the camera, Dave grinned to himself, a satisfied man. He had found his ideal job, working on
this show. And the hayfever season was only just beginning...