I was on a bus the other day, nothing special about that, unless you mention the teenage kid opposite me who wouldn’t leave his nose alone. He may have been suffering from a mental problem I wasn’t aware of (and I wasn’t prepared to enquire as to what exactly the condition would be that forced him to try and hammer his entire fist inside his nasal cavity) or he must have had something stuck up there. At one point I swear his index finger went right up there until his knuckle reached the rim of his nostril.
Everyone with a nose will have a booger problem at some point. Nose problems are not restricted to the human race, some animals have tongues that let them lick their noses thereby keeping the flow of mucus warm and dribbly and easy to lick away. So why is it that humans often seem pre-occupied with snot?
This teenager was a spotty reject and totally oblivious to his surroundings as he went about his nasal mining operation. At first I was appalled to think anyone could be that disgusting in public, but after a while I became fascinated by his attitude to the job in hand. He appeared to be a seasoned nose picker as he switched fingers and nostrils frequently and managed to tug free some spectacular chunks of snot which he wiped on the seat beside him.
Many times I came close to saying something to him but I couldn’t find the words that would sound sane enough to my own ears. I would have to find words that matched his moronic teenage intellect and dismal outlook on life, something like: “Found anything cool up there kid?” or “Boogers huh? Love em or hate em, they’re a nuisance huh?”
I sat there and watched him ferreting around for 25 minutes. I realised I wasn’t the only one who was watching. An elderly woman was glancing at him from across the aisle with an expression of disgust on her face. A pencil neck next to her did a double take and seemed shocked at the view before him but when he smiled I wondered if the teenager and the pencil neck were sharing a secret joke.
I was quite startled to discover that after several minutes watching the Nose Show I wanted to pick my own nose. I wasn’t sure if I had anything up there, I couldn’t feel a particular blockage or sharp bogey stick causing me discomfort but I just felt like a good root around might benefit me in some way. After all the teenager always looked intensely satisfied when his finger dug out a large lump of green mucus. Perhaps I would feel a sense of satisfaction if I found a snotty pile inside my nose?
So next time you catch someone eagerly drilling away inside their nasal passages, don’t mock or dismiss them for being dirty and gross, watch them like you would an Animal Kingdom documentary. I admit that once I was within the privacy of my own home I spent a solid 5 minutes rooting around my nostrils and did manage to haul out a pretty impressive booger. Yes it was freakishly satisfying.