Thursday, April 15, 2010
An Oldie but a Goodie
I found an old bit I wrote maybe 6 or 7 years ago as I was digging through some old emails. It discusses a topic I've often wondered if other people know about me. I'm a chronic nose-picker. In my car, in my home, in other people's homes, I dig. I do it so often with little to no regard whether or not other people are around, but as few people have actually called me on it, I dont' know if anyone has really noticed. Is this a faux pas that people discreetly overlook? Is it so heinous that no one will talk about it? Is it no big deal? Has no one even seen me do it? Am I paranoid?
I don't know.
Let me know what you think about nose picking and/or other socially acceptable/unacceptable vices. And until then, enjoy my old nose-picking piece, unedited from its original form.
I was 18 and working at Bally's right out of high
school. It was a slow morning and pretty soon I was
alone in the pool area when I felt some large, alien
obstruction in the depths of my right nostril. I
figured I was alone so I could take care of this beast
without embarrassment, but, just in case, I
double-checked and the coast was still clear.
This monster was so deep, that I had to go in with the
pinkie-- the only digit thin enough to reach back
where this thing had taken up residence. However this
was too big a job for the pinkie alone. But with the
pinkie I was able to partially dislodge it and move
the asteroid down to a more palpable level. I then
brought out the big gun, my right thumb, for the
What came out of my nose, I had never seen the likes
of before. I have still to this day failed to find
it's equal, and I assure you it's not for a lack of
looking. It was like there was a softball on the end
of my thumb.
Anyway, I had just pulled this monstrosity out of my
nasal cavity and had just begun to contemplate the
international repercussions that this thing may have
caused when out of nowhere, a woman in her 40's is
STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO ME, STARING AT ME. I have no
idea how long she had been there, but I really wasn't
concerned with that at the moment.
What concerned me was the watermelon attached to my
thumb, and what exactly I was going to do with it in
front of some woman that wanted to discuss something
with me. Flicking it off or whiping it on the table or
wall was right out of the question. Not only would it
have been disgusting to do so, but this booger
belonged in the Smithsonian, not the underside of some
dirty deck furniture in Catonsville.
But at the same time, I could not in sound mind leave
this historic occasion strapped to my thumb and have a
conversation with a total stranger. So I did the only
thing I could at the time. I folded my thumb, historic
occasion and all, into my palm. I felt the
stomach-churning "squish" and said in a wavering
(damned near whimpering) voice, "Can I help you?"
It turns out this woman was recruiting for some
pyramid-scheme company and wanted me to buy into it or
something. She had papers and charts (the pages of
which I was sure to turn with my left hand) and talked
to me for a good 20 minutes, with my award-winner
still oozing around in my right hand. I really can't
elaborate more on what she talked to me about, but
considering the circumstances I think I remember more
than most would.
After she left, it felt as if I was allowed to breathe
for the first time in my life. I looked in my hand and
felt a strange mixture of relief (at the woman
leaving), regret (at not being granted the recognition
and esteem that I felt I deserved for this discovery
of intergalactic proportions) and disgust (at the
devastation these intergalactic proportions had just
left on my right hand).
It took almost 5 full minutes of washing to finally be
free of my burden, and now, 6 1/2 years later I am
finally beginning to be free of the psychological
burden this incident (if that is indeed a strong
enough word) left me with. I'm glad I was able to come
clean about this whole thing. I feel so much better.
But at the same time, I have dredged up old feelings,
particularly of loss, that I haven't felt in a long
"Farewell, oh Prince of Coagulated Mucous, wherever
you fare. Don't look back! Be brave! I hope you find
happiness in all of your adventures!"
I suppose that a booger of that magnitude didn't
deserve to be in a museum after all. A free spirit
like his, he needs to be out there in the wild,
roaming, roving and wandering, picking up chick
boogers; loving them and leaving them, hopping on his
Harley and flying down Route 66, heat waves rising on
the road ahead.
Thanks for reading and subscribing and as always...
My lips to yours.