RSS Feed

Nasal Etiquette: The Top Five Offenders

English: Fred Ott in mid-sneeze. Still from 18...

I beg your pardon? I didn’t quite hear you the first 10 decibels.

“Coughs and sneezes spread diseases”. They also bring you out in bruises. Why? because if not managed correctly, people like myself will shove a cattle prod up your rear end, causing you to “accidentally” fall down some stairs, that’s why.

We’re into that niche 364 day period fondly known as “cold ‘n’ flu season” and this brings out the very worst in people in terms of the very picky, I mean tricky, subject of nasal etiquette. I have identified the worst of the offenders in terms of nasal airs and graces so that we, as a collective, can target them mercilessly and help them torture them barbarically until they relent.

In case you’re wondering how qualified I am for doling out brutal hooter etiquette based judgement, I once went to tea with the Queen in her back garden during hayfever season and lived to sneeze another day. I also own a nose. Sound credentials, I think you’ll agree.

My number one reason for wishing that my Oyster card came with a complimentary cattle prod, is The Sniffer. This is a person so determined to hang on to their nasal mucus, that they turn every inhalation into an audibly wet sniff. These people are the sole reason that headphones were invented, as Mr Sony found himself stuck on a very long train ride next to someone with a particularly heavy head cold and an aversion to tissues. Seeing as the cattle prod was already invented, he invented the Walkman to drown out the sniffling.

The Sniffer may not realise how utterly maddening and vile their moist Darth Vader impression is, and, as I have discovered, they do not take ‘subtle’ hints. I recently found myself next to one such soggy nosed buffoon on my morning commute. Faced with two choices; offer a prized tissue (they have balsam on them, I’m not made of money!) or waste my cattle prod battery, I proffered for the tissue. She refused. That’s right, this human kitchen tap actually refused a pristine, balm-enriched tissue in favour of a mucusy beatbox performance. I should have gone with the cattle prod.

The Sniffer is usually only a periodic offender, unlike The Snorter. I know of this type only too well as I grew up in a house with one. To my shame, my father is a snorter. I’m still waiting on the test results to come back, confirming whether or not I’ve inherited the full gene or if I’m merely a carrier. Either way, it’s a deep dark shame that I am only now able to admit to.

The Snorter will punctuate your day with a hefty draw of air through their inner facial membranes, sounding much like a chainsaw going through a bowl of lumpy custard. Every half hour. This person has decided that “sinus problems” are a genuine excuse for providing a lovely family meal or romantic stroll in the park with the soundtrack of a ravenous pig rooting through entrails.

The Snorter seems to think that their condition is a magical one and that no nose blowing or doctor’s consultation can provide a cure. Amazing. They do have some uses though – you can dispense with your roosters and alarm clocks with one of these ripping through your slumber at 06:00am prompt, and you’ll be sure to drop at least half a stone if you dine with a Snorter. Nothing puts you off a bowl of pea and ham soup quite like a sound resembling someone inhaling a bowl of pea and ham soup.

The third of the nasal offenders who leave me wishing that cattle prods came in ‘handbag size’, are another lot who don’t see the point in a handypack of tissues; The Handwiper. This person is fully aware that their nose is producing a slew of unwanted moisture, but unlike the rest of the civilised world, they seem to believe that the back of their hand has absorbent and anti-bacterial qualities.

You may think that yes, this is quite repulsive to watch but not reeeeeally so bad a crime, but hold on dear reader, look again and you’ll see that this vile little snot rag has realised they have used up every ‘absorbent’ inch of the backs of their hands and have resorted to smearing their fingers and palms with nasal mucus instead. After watching this, think back to how many hands you’ve shaken this week, how many handrails and door handles you’ve touched. Now think how much you enjoyed licking your fingers after that really delicious sandwich at lunch. You’re welcome.

Next up in the rogues gallery of nasal etiquette miscreants is The Shouter. I’m not talking about the lady who enjoys her bedtime companion a little too vocally, I’m talking about the person who seems utterly incapable of sneezing without knocking every person within a 2 mile radius off their feet with the sonic boom.

Apparently, while the majority of us are able to satisfy our nasal irritations with a mere eek of a squeak, The Shouter feels the need to announce to all and sundry that their nose is having a Tickle Me Elmo moment, by actually shouting the word “ACHOO”. I have several colleagues who perform this ear-splitting routine daily and I swear they shout their sneezes so hard, the word can be seen in a Batman comic style ‘KAPOW’ bubble. Humans seem to manage to control all other bodily noise eruptions (other than in comedy stuck-in-lift moments) so why not this one? A cattle prod up the bum would certainly give them something to shout about!

Everyone picks their nose and if you don’t, you’re missing out on one of your body’s greatest gifts, however, there is a time and place for such zealous facial mining and while in public is most definitely not it. The Green-Gold Digger seems to think that they are shrouded by a cloak of invisibility, activated as soon as they insert an inquisitive digit into their nugget encrusted nasal cavity, regardless of where they are.

Whenever I see a Green-Gold Digger knuckle-deep, I feel the urge to shout “pick me a winner!”, but that would mean talking to them. Instead, I like to maintain a steely gaze of accusation and loathing, in a bid to make them think twice before wiping it on the seat, flicking it into the unknown (aka onto a passing stranger’s leg) or worse still, popping it into their mouth as a tasty mid-morning chew. I mean really, have these people never heard of gum?!

If you can think of worse nasal etiquette criminals, then by all means, please do name and shame, but for now, I’m going to suggest that we take our cattle prods to the streets and rid the world of these honking, tooting, sniffling, rooting vile affronts to human nature. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the patent office with my designs for the ‘cattle prod-nasal hair trimmer’.

About these ads

About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

138 responses »

  1. From Mr. Sony’s Walkman to “the lady who enjoys her bedtime companion a little too vocally,” it is all too wonderful. Never before have I enjoyed nasal hygenie (or lack thereof) so much. Brilliant piece.

    Reply
  2. That should be “hygiene” not “hy genie.” But say “hi” to her nevertheless.

    Reply
  3. Gross but very funny! I should introduce you to ‘The Pig’, my daughter’s beagle. She is, I believe, directly related to The Snorter…causing me many sleepless nights. Oh, and we call her The Pig since she snorts (all day long) like a pig looking for truffles…

    Reply
  4. Another gem of a piece, PFPT! *thumbs up*

    Reply
  5. Snorting is just the preparatory event, dislodging the ammunition and loading the chamber. But the Hawker completes the whole assault, ratcheting out a wad of mucus-fire on the unsuspecting (if we’re lucky) pavement.

    Reply
  6. As usual,Snort,Snort! – bull’s eye. This post has the ear-splitting shriek of truth about it…..

    Reply
  7. Ooohhh disgusting, the thought sends shivers down my spine. Unfortunately, I work part-time in a pharmacy, which means we get the lot, and what’s worse, because they’re sick they think they can get away with it.

    My favourite (read: sarcasm) moment was a couple of weeks ago on the tram when I noticed a couple in their twenties standing together. All well and good, until the man decided to pick his nose and then proceed to eat his findings. And to think she was probably going to kiss him not soon after…

    Reply
    • Working in a pharmacy should mean you get trained in the effective use of a cattle prod on day one! I hope they showed you how to get maximum efficacy by the application to the bottom.

      Worse than the fact this girl will probably kiss him, she will also probably let him infect her with his seed and produce more bogey munching cretins. We’re doomed, DOOMED!

      Reply
  8. Don’t bother with any patented machine just swing the axe at these feckers necks – drives me potty and yeah that is the sole point of Walkmans et al – I had a Belinda Carlisle tape stuck in one once, don’t ask – but at least it drowned out the winter snivelling season. “Heaven is a Place On Earth”? My arse it is.

    Reply
  9. Too funny. I never thought about this before! What will you be blogging about next?

    Reply
  10. Perhaps, a “training” helmet is what’s needed. It can be set so that it fits on the head and to the edges of the nostrils in such a way that the moisture of mucus (on finger or blown) will connect an electrical circuit hooked to a portable charge in which the end is already … um … inserted. i just thought, since you were already on your way to the patent office…
    Scott

    Reply
  11. There’s another that’s completely revolting. They plug one nostril and blow snot out the other. I’ve seen people blow it onto sidewalks, vegetation and even their hands. I don’t understand how people can be so utterly disgusting *shudders*

    Reply
  12. karenspath

    Too funny for words! And so true. I used to be a Sniffer until I went to college and sat in a history class and listened to others sniff throughout the entire test. It was so distracting that I went and bought those little packs of tissues so I would no longer be Sniffer. Now my purses all have their own package and my car has a box! A thousand blessings on the head of the tissue inventor!

    Reply
  13. Holy crap, this cracked me up! I have to admit to being a “snorter” but usually to the end that I can spit out said mucus causing me issues. At times I am amazed by the sinuses capacity. But I’ll spare you that. I have a neighbor (my senile stalker that I like to write about) who sat over my neighbor’s house picking his nose and flicking it… Charming, right? Senility or merely the sense of entitlement that seems to accompany old age for so many? I dunno, but it’s plenty disgusting.

    Reply
    • When I’m older, I intend to make it my business to pick my nose, fart and belch at the dinner table. By older, I mean next week.

      Reply
      • Sweet! When I first met my husband I laid down a few ground rules. Belching is fine, but farting with reckless abandon is a no-no. I don’t want to hear him bust ass and then half an hour later be like, “Heeeey, baby… hubba hubba”

        Reply
        • missy amber

          I need my husband to see this – maybe then he’ll realise it’s not just me who can’t erase the memories of skanky bodily functions when attempting to rekindle some vestige or romance. Sooooo not helped by his other favourite hobby – drop-kicking his underpants into the laundry basket from across the bedroom. Sexy!

          Reply
          • Haha! To be sure. I’m sure I have some habits that annoy Hubs, and I’m not always exactly ladylike, but I try to keep a smidgen of decorum. And hubs has a bad habit of not shaving or clipping his nails enough. When you see someone all the time, I guess it’s NEVER perfect, but to some degree men always seem to expect their women to keep them “interested” and take care of themselves, so why shouldn’t the men have to do it too?

            Reply
  14. I had a great laugh reading this, so THANK YOU!
    During my Calculus 2 final exam in college I had the dubious honor of sitting next to a Snorter who regaled us with his bodily noise (I kid you not) every 30 seconds. I completed my exam as quickly as possible, and to this day I blame him for the B. Should have been an A.

    Congrats on FP. It’s a wild ride.

    Reply
  15. absolutely loved it. you have a gift for writing and humor :) God bless

    Reply
  16. I never travel anywhere without a pocket tissue or two and, in the colder months, a handkerchief. How do other people get by without them? Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and love your writing style. You’re a wag and a card, my dear.

    Reply
  17. i have long wondered where it is that Snot comes from…and why there is alway an abundant amount. I tried to get my son to do his 8th grade science project on Snot, but he opted for the ‘science’ of potatoe guns…

    Reply
  18. Reading about the “handwiper” actually made me gag. Well done! haha

    Reply
  19. That was hilarious!

    For me, a prime offender is the Cloth Hankie Carrier. Seriously, cloth hankies in this day and age?!

    Seeing people blow their nose into one of those archaic snot rags and then stick it back into their pocket only to pull it out later and stick their face right back into it to blow their nose again is truly cringe worthy to me.

    That they wonder why they stay sick so long when they willingly eschew simple, but effective hygienic progress like single use paper hankies is something that just makes me shake my head.

    I used to have a friend who used cloth hankies and would get vicious colds, I told him to trade in the cloth hankie for paper ones. He asked why and I told him the principle was similar to why you only use a condom once but that went right over his head.

    Reply
    • Condoms are single use? Now you tell me! ;)

      Cloth hankies are good for 2 things. Stuffing grannies sleeves, and being pulled out of top pockets by dandies and fops, to slap each other round the faces while challenging each other to a duel. You get that a lot round here.

      Reply
  20. Beautifully written, brilliantly categorized. Nasal offenders beware….we here in New York City are just as annoyed and ready to take action! Stocking up on inexpensive tissues and a cattle prod as I write.

    Reply
  21. Hahaha. This is great and timely.

    Reply
  22. I laughed from beginning to end. Brilliant!!

    Reply
  23. bwahahaha THE ONLY ONE YOU FORGOT WAS THE ONE SIDED CONSTRUCTION WORKER BLAST!!! Its a winner with the extra beauty of a REAL VISUAL and enough disgust to make you jump back, getting in your cardio for the day! hehehehe

    Reply
  24. I died the whole way through. All of these are SO TRUE! Congrats on FP!

    Reply
    • Please don’t die, I’ll have to answer so many questions, there will be press, there will be a funeral. I’m not sure I even have time to buy a new black dress.

      Reply
  25. Nasal offenders are the world over, living in their snot filled oblivion.

    Reply
  26. Absolutely hilarious! I had tears streaming down my face by the time I got to “nugget encrusted”! So funny it was unbelievable!

    Reply
  27. How about the Snot Rocket? You know, when they hold one side shut and shoot the snot onto the ground. Gross.

    Reply
    • I had thought it was mainly restricted to over-paid football players until it almost landed on my feet yesterday in a mountain bike drive-by snotting. I was just so annoyed that I’d left my cattle prod in my other handbag.

      Reply
  28. I’m laughing so hard I have tears in my eyes! I work in retail and see the lot. One day a man came in with two yellow candles hanging out of his nose. He leaned on the shop counter to ask me questions. As he was speaking one candle slowly, slowly started descending like a slow-mo waterfall until it landed with a splat on my shop counter! It then continued to pool there while he kept on speaking. When he finally left (without buying anything, typical!) I got out the rubber gloves and disinfectant! I love retail!

    Reply
  29. 151Charmaine

    This was so brilliant, I haven’t laughed so much and so hard in such a long time, I had forgotten how silly I sound when I lose control of my hysterical giggles. Thank you!

    Reply
  30. I live with a Snorter. #2 worst.

    Reply
  31. so hilarious…as are the keywords you used to tag this post with. you should probably do a follow-up post on the etiquette of swallowing graciously. anyone else with me who hates loud swallowers/those who make various mouth noises? just me??

    Reply
  32. Ah, it’s funny ’cause it’s true! So, so true….and so, so funny. Congrats on the FP!

    Reply
  33. morealtitude

    Hah hah- I laughed till I cried. Full disclosure: I am a Shouter. Thank you for enlightening me to the distress my condition causes others. Hilarious stuff :)

    Reply
  34. My god this made me laugh, well done, great post :)

    I was once a terrible snorter, got better after I quit smoking. And I’m a loud and proud sonic-sneezer, I know it’s wrong but god I love a big loud sneeze, I once did seven in a row, felt (and sounded) amazing!

    Liked and followed, thanks for sharing :)

    Rohan.

    Reply
  35. My dad is a snorter as well. I call it snarfling, because he sounds like he’s bringing up a loogey as well as taking what’s in his nose and moving it elsewhere. The thought of that sound right now is making me nauseous. It is something that grosses me out a lot, to the point that when men do it in public, I make an ugly face and usually say something crass.

    Reply
  36. It’s all because of ME! No, not the dribbly nose thing: the recognition thing. I became a follower of your blog, recognized your talent and humor before the WordPress guys did. Congratulations on being a phenom on Freshly Pressed!

    And don’t forget who your friends are….

    Reply
  37. I confess, I confess! I’m a shouter. What can I do?

    Reply
  38. I travelled with a friend who sniffed for hours on end. She refused to blow as wiping her nose would have ruined her expertly applied make up. We no longer travel together.

    Reply
  39. Don’t forget the Ones Who Blow Their Noses Into Their Dining Napkins. The cloth ones. The waitstaff deserves an ENORMOUS tip.

    Reply
  40. Nice to see you again! So funny :)

    Reply
  41. Hilarious! and nice way to categorize too! Keep it coming

    Reply
  42. A funny blog about boogers…I love it! Wasn’t so funny during all the years I was teaching middle school kids, though…saw more than my share of all your above mentioned characters!! Where was your cattle-prod then, huh???

    Reply
  43. Oh last year’s cold season… what a nightmare. I was sick for two months straight. I ended up losing my voice and coughing so much (which can be another pet peeve, but unfortunately coughing is really, really hard to control. Trust me, I’ve tried.), to the point that my abdominal muscles and my ribs hurt and were sore from the amount of coughing that was going on (and it was interfering with my sleep. I felt so bad for my roommates). I sounded like I was dying and it took my voice about a month to recover, so I got to talk with a really sexy rasp. It didn’t help me that I was surrounded by preschoolers at the time every day, which in my opinion are the worst offenders when it comes to spreading snot since they have no concept of germs and what they are.

    Reply
  44. I so relate to the shouter. I work with one – I guess she didn’t get enough attention as a child so everything she does is overexaggerated. Talk about nerve plucking!

    Reply
  45. When I was on the tube this summer I experienced all these nasties. Just blow your nose!

    Reply
  46. Nerd With Taste

    HAHAHA “pick me a winner!” My mother used to tell that to me and my siblings! NOSTALGIA ALERT! ~ nerdwithtaste.wordpress.com

    Reply
  47. We could always find my dad by his sneeze at the back of any big box store. He was shouter. On the other hand, there is squeaker in our office who I swear does it for the attention. I heard that there is a gene that determines how many times you sneeze when the irresistible urge hits. I always sneeze twice; my husband should pull over to the side of the road when he sneezes 10 times at the least. Our children follow one or the other of us.

    Your post is so true. Ugh!

    Reply
    • We had a squeaker. She would squeak 5 times in a row before ending with a higher pitched squeak crescendo, several times a day. I’m not saying it bears any relation but she’s no longer employed by my company.

      Reply
  48. LOL, I’m sick and I have a stuffy nose as I’m writing this comment. I’m sad to say that at this moment, I’m all of the above (with the exception of eating my boogers, of course).

    Reply
  49. LOL… A blog that is so hilarious and so able-to-relate kind

    Reply
  50. It’s funny that you mention about the nose picking because I just saw an episode of QI where Stephen Fry was commenting on how we absolutely should not be picking our noses and why – I guess he just doesn’t know ;) As for other offenders we seem to have a lot of what I would call fumigators in my office, people who come in sick (even though we have paid sick leave) and then sneeze every where so that everyone else gets sick too, it’s so thoughtful!

    Reply
    • You’re so right, these people think they’re doing us all a favour by dragging themselves into work when actually, they would be far more popular if they didn’t contaminate the entire place with their bubonic plague and pitiful moaning.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,274 other followers

%d bloggers like this: