You ever pull out a really big booger and find a hair in it?
Digging in your nose, that’s a disgusting habit. So disgusting, in fact, that people only do it when they’re locked in a room, all by themselves, and no one can see them. . . Or when they’re stuck in traffic.
What’s the rationale behind that? “I’m alone in my car. No one will ever see me here. I’m practically invisible. I’ll go knuckle deep after a nose nugget. As long as I don’t make eye contact, the hot blonde in the car next to me won’t see me through this thin layer of glass separating us.”
So, you go for it, tentative at first, with just the tip of your finger — maybe just your fingernail if you haven’t clipped them in a while. But it’s a slippery little booger, and it squirms a little deeper.
You check the blonde. She’s texting someone. Probably her boyfriend. Probably sending him a picture of the ogre picking his noes in traffic. You don’t care, this is war, and you’ve got a cliff hanger on the rim of your nasal cavity, so you go for it.
If successful, Budweiser will probably make a Real Men of Genius commercial about you. So you keep going until you scratch the inside of your eyeball, all the while, hoping like hell you don’t hit a bump and shove your finger through your brain and kill yourself.
THAT would be embarrassing. Can you imagine that conversation between your distraught mother and the Emergency Room doctor?
Between deep sobs, you mom manages to gut out the question. “Doctor, how’d he die?”
The doctor shoves his hands deep into his pockets and sighs. “I’m sorry ma’am, it was a severe NPA. We did all we could, but we were too late.”
You mom peers through teary eyes, and a look of confusion washes over her face. “NPA?”
“Nose-Picking Accident. One of the worst I’ve ever seen. The force of his finger against the inside of his skull dislocated his second knuckle. That must have been on serious snot drop.”
Then, all of your friends would have to read that in your obituary the next day. Sad.
But right there, in traffic, not even the threat of eminent embarrassing death can deter you on your hunt for Snotsquache. When you extract your digit, victorious, you admire the green goo on your fingertip. The way it glistens in the beam of oncoming headlights. How could something so big come from such a small opening? And it hits you.
It’s not like you can wipe it on anything. You’re in your car. If you were at a restaurant, you could scrape it off under the table like an old piece of gum. Or if you were in bed at your girlfriend’s house, and she was, oh, I don’t know, in the bathroom, you could smear it between the mattress and the boxspring. But you’re in your car. So you just wipe it on the sole of your shoe and try not to step on anything until you get out.
Disgusting habit. That’s what I think about when I should be writing.