Keeping Your Nose Clean

It is your right to sneeze!

The nose is the center of all.

If you take an electric back massager, the heavy, thick kind that plugs in and has a plastic handle, not the sexual kind, turn it on, put it between your upper lip and nostrils, then wait a moment, you'll sneeze. At first this is a painful and complicated process, and it makes the inside of your head itch. It feels like your sinuses are filled with bedsprings. But after some practice, the release comes in seconds: your congestion vanishes, the inside of your head turns to liquid, and you burst forth with a massive sneeze.

It looks and sounds odd when you do this, and when you do it for the first time in front of a significant other or friend they may stare. The look will be similar to the look you received when you drew false eyebrows on the cat after you shaved it, or the time you cooled the soup with compressed air, or that night you went out to the movies wearing your sweater as a pair of pants. But stand up for your individuality! It is your right to sneeze. Forget the alternatives: I've tried pepper, but it's nasty, and ayurvedic neti pots, where you suck salt water through your nostrils, are good and cleansing, but messy, and nowhere near as exciting.

Once this works for you, and you want to share the story of your sneeze life with others, you might find that some people dislike frank talk of sneezing. They see the sneeze as private, personal, something to hide and for which to apologize. The same people will talk about colonics until the polyps come home, but discussing an electric sneezing device is beyond their mores. Leave those people to their congestion. You and I will have clear heads.

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See also: The Nose, by Nikolai Gogol.




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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


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