I have a perma-runny nose.
It’s one of the countless benefits of living in the world’s worst country.
Oh, FINE—Canada’s not the world’s WORST country. Not while Yemen is still around. It’s just cold here. Really cold.
The other day, though, after shoveling snow for 30 minutes in sub-freezing weather, I wasn’t feeling so generous toward my country of residence, and I may have accidentally exploded hate vomit for this place all over Poor Kyle’s head at dinner.
What kind of place is this? I shovel and shovel and every day there’s just as much snow to shovel. I park the car with a clear windshield and twenty minutes later it’s covered in white dust again. I turn the heater on because it’s so cold and then I turn it off because it’s too hot but in five minutes I have to turn it on again because there is no good temperature! This country’s motto should be “Come on over, relax, stay awhile! Get comfortable…if you dare.”
I wasn’t expecting Poor Kyle to get offended by my trash talk for his country because, quite frankly, he’s the least patriotic Canadian I know. Oh, he’s proud to be a Canadian and all…but he’s not the kind of guy to sugar-coat the place. He acknowledges that the cost of living is stupidly high here, and that the government is as annoying as any other. He’s not one of those irritating don’t-you-dare-say-anything-bad-about-MY-country-because-MY-country-is-the-best-and-yours-makes-you-look-fat kind of patriots. He can take a Canuck joke with the best of them.
But he did not like my hating on Canada the other day.
I guess I don’t blame him. I was getting pretty nasty. But in my defense, my brain was still defrosting.
At any rate, I managed to gulp down the last of my hate bile. I apologised for my rant and he forgave me and we went on our merry ways.
But that night, my stifled animosity, furious that I had pushed it to the dusty corners of my subconscious, reared its acrid head.
In dream form…
There I was, trudging through mounds of waist-deep snow away from George Jettson in the University parking lot toward my first class of the day. As usual, snot was running out of my nose, trailing down my face to my mouth. I couldn’t wipe it because my hands were in my gloves and my gloves were shoved into my pockets. I tried snorting it back up, but it was too far gone. I thought about waiting for it to freeze on my face, but decided I had more pride than that.
Finally, I resolved to dig out a tissue from my backpack so I could blow my nose and be done with it.
I found a tissue, crumpled and a little crusty from previous uses, but it would do.
I wiped the snot-stream. I prepared for a solid nose blow. Cupping my hands and the tissue around my schnoz, I took a deep breath, squeezed my eyes shut, and blew. First my left nostril, then my right.
I blew my nose until I started seeing tiny flashes of fireworks in my head, and just as I decided I’d given it a solid enough effort—just as I was ready to conclude my task—I felt a definite THUNK land in the tissue.
The THUNK had an unfamiliar feel to it.
It was more solid than snot.
It was bigger than a boogie, of that I was sure.
Not normally one to inspect my snotty tissues after a nose blow, I was paralysed with indecision: should I look? It’s so tacky. I hate when people look. But what if I have a tumor, and I just blew out some cancerous matter? My doctor would want to know about it.
Finally the curiosity got the best of me, and I did look.
I opened the tissue and peered down.
My eyes bulged at what they beheld: There, steaming proudly in my sopping wet tissue, sat a perfectly-shaped cylindrical pellet—brown—the approximate shape and size of a single Mike ‘n Ike™.
I had blown my nose so hard that it pooped.