Several days ago, Merrick developed a new neurosis. Whenever he burps, the rest of the family is required to stand stock still with hands in 'namaste' or prayer position.
After he says, "Excuse me," we may unfreeze.
The most intriguing aspect of this particular behavioral compunction is that we are all somehow required to anticipate the burp so that its emission coincides exactly with the namaste-silence in one sublime moment. If this moment doesn't pan out as planned, well. Complete psychological collapse.
At least he'll repeat the burp so we have a second chance. We can't look at him in the car, either. And don't even think about sitting in his chair at dinner.