The booger sandwich

First of all, I’ve never really known how to spell the word and I can proudly say I’ve never bothered looking it up. I haven’t exerted the effort. It’s important, but not real important. I guess there’s a self-preserving sense of dignity that prevents me from officially researching this.

Until now.

How do we spell tonight’s subject?

Wow, I’ve had it right all these years!

After all, this is not so impressive, is it? “Booger” sounds exactly like…booger. Any monkey could have pasted that word together.

Why am I speaking of this, of boogers? What is my madness of the evening, for I always seem to have a nice handy dose of dried madness on hand, doesn’t it? Or on finger?

Well in the Red Line station tonight, I waited for the train while sitting on the wide concrete seating areas that we can’t really call benches, but for lack of a better description…benches. There was this berserk-looking 55ish man shuffling around with a vacant deranged look on his face and hollowed out dark bags under his eyes. His hair was unkempt but not overgrown, and his clothes looked like they were current but unwashed for about a week. He just walked in circles around the concrete bench and the pillars, and he kept coming too close. He irritated me with his circling and walking within a couple feet of me. A big-ass train station and he has to walk on top of me! I just wanted him to get the hell away from me. I had no pity for his miserable circumstances because he looked like he might have been a respectable citizen as recently as a month ago. Some shit had befallen him because he looked like he was circling the drain but he looked “fresher” than most forlorn homeless. Finally the train came and unfortunately I sat in the same car as he. Once seated, he continued fidgeting and then he did the unfathomable…he picked his nose and wiped it on his pant leg. Oh god I was revolted.

You know how you can have that weak spot, that soft underbelly, an abdominal failing that will literally drive you to the depths of nausea?

For me, it’s boogers. My own boogers are fine. They are tasty morsels, especially when aged and cured over an afternoon. Such patient preparation brings out the tantalizing intrinsic saltiness of a nice caramel-like booger, but I cannot handle the thought of other people eating their own boogers. It is unacceptable and makes me gag.

And there was one time I saw this weirdo on the bus pick his nose and wipe a booger on the bus seat. Just like that. He was with another guy and they giggled at each other. Absolute freaks.

I used to have an autistic friend who would pick his nose while driving. He didn’t just pick his nose…he literally sent in the Caterpillar/John Deere rig to do some deep arctic-like excavation. Forget that it was in bright daylight and the car windows (untinted) fully exposed his evil practice to anyone driving by. He would go to town whenever he drove. I can’t recall exactly what he did with these specimens. I was too horrified and traumatized to keep track. I did not want to know where his boogers ended up. Ignorance was bliss in this case. Ignorance is always bliss when it comes to boogers. For all I know, I may have sat on Booger Busman’s wicked discards and not known. His dried snots might live on my jeans still.

Boogers have held a nauseating lifelong fascination for me. It borders on sick obsession. No, actually, I believe this is a compulsion, to be accurate.

If I see a dried booger smeared on the unlikeliest of places, I’ll be unable to erase the image from my mind. The image will adhere to my memory like fuzz on Velcro and haunt me for the rest of my day. If I try to forget the image, it will slither right back into my mental vision, ruining my appetite anew. I think it’s disgusting how a lot of guys will rub out a booger on the wall in public restrooms. Serious! I have seen this enough times to realize it must be some kind of toilet rite of passage I didn’t get the memo about. If I fish one out in the public restroom, I’m not squandering a good, tasty snack on the wall for chrissakes. Would you pull a Cheeto out of its bag and smear it on the wall instead of eating it? Of course not. Why would anyone do this to boogers? I don’t understand!

I suppose my most revolting and upsetting booger fixation ever is one that plagued me when I was much younger. It doesn’t have such an effect on me now which leads me to believe my booger “condition” is improving. I used to envision a booger sandwich. And furthermore, i would envision a jarful of boogers accumulated over years. A thick, sludgy olive green speckled mass of shiny boogers looking like a martian landscape waiting to be scooped with a butter knife and spread over a slice of white bread. Once sufficiently covered to form a thick sandwich, the second piece of bread was affixed and now you had a booger sandwich! This is as disgusting as fixations come. The mental case that I was, I found it impossible to purge the image from my mind. A booger sandwich. The possibility, the perverse creation, tormented me many days and nights.

That booger sandwich haunted the corridors of my mind for most of my childhood. No wonder I was such a skinny kid.