PICK YOUR NOSE - for your healths' sake....
My local sunday newspaper reported that, according to a lung specialist in Innsbruck, Austria, nose-pickers are healthy, happier and most likely to be better in tune with their bodies than non-nose-pickers. And eaters. Dr Friedrich Bischinger believes that society should encourage children to nose-pick-and-eat. "It's a great way of strengthening the body's immune system. Medically it makes great sense and it's a perfectly natural thing to do."
Well, if it prevents cancer, heart attacks and AIDS, I'm all for it. I think...... On a different tack, just one google effort revealed that dear Phlegmy Friedrich opined all this daring information two years ago via Wikipedia and Ananova. So much for 'News as it happens, as it affects South Australians' then: Freddy must have assembled a mini canoe glued with his own boogers and floated it across the seas to the Sunday Mail if it is to be swallowed (ahem) as being latest news.
I have previously admitted to blowing my nose in the shower as one of my regular, bad habits. It clears everything out, saves on tissues and makes my groggy sleep-laden head feel about a kilogram lighter. That's right, I'm not ashamed of this daily springclean of the sinuses. However, I do not eat it.
In my reception year, I remember seeing the object of my (somewhat misguided) affection, Matthew, sitting directly in front of me in the school Activity Room. We were at an assembly, held inside because of the rain, and Matthew was mostly focussed on the inner recesses of his nasal cavity as opposed anything our deputy principal Mr Miller had to say.
Sadly, I found his actions fascinating - I was only five-and-a-half, after all. Then, after surveying the glistening green globule on his index finger, he put it into his mouth. There were conflicting feelings of revulsion and fascination swirling within me as I saw the look of preoccupied enjoyment on his face. Perhaps I should have a go as well, I thought. And so I did. It didn't take me long to find something worth picking out, and I sucked it from my finger.
Bleccccch, it was salty, tiny and horrible. Even now, goosebumps are springing up on my arms and my scalp as I write this.... Any early stages of a crush for Matthew disappeared quicker than mum's chocolate crackles at a birthday party. How on earth could he do that?
Nearly thirty three years later, I still haven't worked out the answer to that particular question, and if I saw Matthew again (his parents still know my parents), it would take me at least 4 glasses of sparkling shiraz before I'd dare bring it up.
What I do know is that, mostly, the pick-and-eat debacle showed me at a very young and impressionable stage in my life that if something seems different but also disgusting, avoid it. 'Disgusting' is normally a pretty strong indicator that it's best to stay away. Key examples of this have included:
- ** Eating a bowlful of melted copha, icing sugar and cocoa (aka the liquid ingredients of chocolate crackles) - Mum left it out and went outside, distracted by something Dad was making in the shed. The first few mouthfuls tasted like heaven, the other 27 were disgusting. As were my bed sheets, blankets, pillow, hair and face later on that night.....
- ** Trying Philippa's Dad's roll-your-own smokes during a sleepover when I was 13 - It was OK when Philippa tolerated me 'bum sucking' the first ten whilst we squinted at a section of the Rocky Horror Picture Show on the driveway screen visible from her bedroom window. Much later, 'Sweet Transvestite' wasn't how I was feeling when the room began to spin and there was only the hood of my sleeping bag to unload in....
- ** Riding the 'whizzy' in the playground for a full half-hour before setting off on a 450km drive with my family - I was not alone in this episode of stupidity. My two brothers were with me as well. All three of us continued to sit there, grunting out smart stuff like, "I feel a bit woozy now," but not having the sense to get off. We hadn't even driven 10 kilometres through Coff's Harbor's banana farms before the sick cartons at the back of the landcruiser were full.
- ** A bottle of $4 St Agnes brandy (on special) seemed the ideal drink to consume at an 18th birthday party - I was hilarious, beautiful and a fantastic dancer for the bits of the party I remember. Then I was covered in bits - my bits. Bits of pizza, chips, dips, crackers.... In my hair, my boyfriend's car, my brand new jumper. To this day brandy ranks right up there with offal, broad beans and pumpkin as foods only to be force-fed in hell.
- ** Sitting in the front of a mini-cab in London - it all seemed so thrilling at the time. On my way to an interview, I regaled the rather unattractive, shifty-looking driver with what I considered to be very exciting news that might cheer him up. I was just off the plane, hardly knew anyone, had no idea where this place in Hampstead was..... He couldn't seem to find the address for some reason, and pulled into a side street. As he reached over to grab at me, I had my brothers to thank, for I had already undone my seatbelt. He received an almighty HENPECK to the nose and as he yelled in fury and pain, I got the hell out of the car, only to find that 'my' street was just around the corner. I dusted myself down, took a deep breath, walked in and got the job.
There you go, just a few things that seemed sort of digusting at first but kinda exciting as well. As all the old wives' have said for donkeys' years (how long are donkeys years anyway?), go with your first impressions.
Other things that initially seem exciting but I also know to be disgusting are: people who think they become more hip or interesting if they're drunk or stoned; thrice-married, well-monied celebrity columnists telling us how to run our homes and relationships; dealing with home renovating tradesmen who possess a much lower quality work and time keeping mechanisms than the average human being; taking ten minutes to make one cup of coffee and then having to clean the %$#@ machine afterwards; Eaveless, cheaply constructed McMansions - destined to be Bogan Boxes in five years' time; and any contestant from any version of any season of Big Brother.
So, don't pick your nose and eat it. I'm betting that this Dr Friedrich Bischinger was a tubby guy with a lazy eye who also ate sunday school paste. He may have a stronger immune system, but I bet his little black book isn't exactly bursting at the seams.