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Wal-Mart Adventures: The Nose Picker’s Dilemma

By James Donahue

Arthritic knees have made shopping trips to stores more troublesome to this writer than they used to be. Fortunately, the local Wal-Mart has installed numerous benches for folks like me to use while our partners shop the store. And that has made me a silent witness of many strange and sometimes humorous encounters.

This one involves a young woman with a baby in her arms. When she thought no one was looking, this woman did something we all try not to do in public. She stuck the index finger of her right hand up her nose.

It was a quick gesture, but the finger mined that nose deep enough for her to have captured a booger. And thus we consider her strange dilemma in a crowded store like Wal-Mart. Now that she had it, how was she to dispose of her prize?

We all know that nose boogers come out in various forms. Sometimes it is damp and sticky, thus requiring a tissue for its quick disposal. Other times it comes out dry but soft, and can be rolled up in little balls before dropped at some inconspicuous place . . . hopefully in a waste basket or toilet.

As the woman passed I realized that if her booger came out wet and sticky, she was going to have a problem disposing of it. There was no way to use her free arm to reach for a tissue. She had it wrapped around her baby. Thus she was going to be stuck with carrying her nose secretion around the store for a while until she could think of a creative way to get rid of it.

What were her options? Did she wipe it in the baby blanket and then go home and wash the blanket? Perhaps she and baby entered a women’s restroom where she had the opportunity to reach for a paper towel.

There were two other options but both are too gross  to believe she might have chosen. One might have been to wipe it on a store counter, or some merchandise. The other was to carry it around until it became dry enough to roll into a ball and drop.

Yeah . . . we all know nose snot dries relatively fast and we can do that with it if we wait long enough. But that is something we don’t usually discuss in polite company. Guys drinking together in a bar might talk about it, but not likely. Back in my drinking days I remember talking about many repugnant subjects, but we never talked about pulling boogers out of our noses.