Saturday, April 01, 2006

But You Can’t Pick The People You Commute With

What is it with people picking their nose on public transit? When driving alone in your own car, sure, I can understand there’s the perception that you’ve got some semblance of privacy. But out in public like that? On display? There ought to be a law.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against nose pickers. A good many of my friends, I’m sure, are nose pickers. You, dear reader, might even be a nose picker.

Okay, all “holier than thou” pretenses aside, now. Show of hands, please. Let he who has never picked his nose cast the first stone. A-hah. I rest my case. We’ve all done it at least once. We’ve all cleaned the halls with a handy digit.

Okay, I’ll stop picking on you, dear reader, and instead use myself as an example. I have fingers and nostrils, and on occasion I have trouble keeping the two apart. They sometimes meet like star-crossed lovers that secretly rendezvous and enact their passion when they think nobody is watching. I do try to stop them, but sometimes under the light of the moon they connect and become one, create the beast with no fingertip. Like Romeo and Juliet I sometimes can swear I hear these whispered words. “Alas, what finger through yonder nostril breaks? It is the pinkie, and is followed by the thumb. ” But I do manage to maintain control over these desperate lovers when I’m out in public.

So here’s what inspired this little rant. Last night coming home from work I’m sitting on the train trying to read my book when the guy in a seat perpendicular and directly in front of me is also reading a book, his mouth slack and a dumbfounded look on his face. That’s fine, lots of people have that stunned look. I won’t hold it against him. The disturbing thing is that he seems to be absently picking his nose while reading. No, not just picking, and definitely not something that might just be a misunderstood scratch. He’s really hauling away, getting his elbows into it and everything. Ugh. Okay, and now he’s biting his nails. Blech! Can it get any worse?

And what the hell is wrong with me? I can’t stop watching, not that I can help it because he’s directly in front of me. I don’t know, maybe deep down I’m afraid if I don’t keep an eye on him he’ll start wiping it on me or something when I’m not looking. I hope that’s not a library book he’s reading and if so, that he’s not from Hamilton. Whew, he got off in Oakville. Nice relief there.

It reminds me that last week, while I was sitting across from this guy who I sometimes see on the 4:30 train, (can’t recall his name, but sometimes he falls asleep and his snoring sounds like Darth Vader as it echoes through the whole train, completely disrupting the antics, jocularity and team-crossword efforts of my 4:30 train buddies) Anyways, Darth and I are chatting about computer systems and in the middle of our conversation he starts going to town on one nostril, drilling and mining and jamming his finger up to high heaven as if I wasn’t even there. He keeps going on with the conversation as if nothing out of the ordinary is taking place, as if I don’t mind the spectacle.

What the hell is up with that?

And am I the only one who finds public nose-picking offensive?

More reason, I think, NOT to lick one’s fingers when reading a newspaper on the train. Who knows if one of the many nose-pickers that ride these trains was sitting in the seat before you.


Phain said...

Finger lickers...nose pickers...what's next?!?

lime said...

i think i am feeling ill right now.............blech. yeah, i agree on all counts. here are some nice antiseptic wipes for your next train ride

WestDoor said...

Ooooo....boogie much more exciting than data mining.....

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