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JOHN EGGERS: Everything you didn't want to hear about 'boogers'

I always wanted to write a column on boogers, so here goes. As a lifelong educator, I know that if you want to get your students' attention, just say "boogers." The same is true with adults. Just the word "boogers" congers up all kinds of emotions and visions.

Boogers fall into a variety of categories. How many can you name? Of course there are hard boogers. There are soft boogers. There are crusty boogers and crunchy boogers as some children might tell you.

There are long boogers. There are short boogers. There are fat boogers and there are thin, stringy boogers. I am over 70 years old so I know all of this good stuff.

There also are green boogers or greenish. There are red boogers, the kind we don't like to see. There are bluish and blackish and orangish boogers.

There are boogers that are hard to get out no matter how hard you blow. There are boogers that drip out and are hard to stop. There are boogers that necessitate some kind of instrument to get them out like, well, your finger.

It's interesting to learn that when you have a booger present that needs your attention, the booger seems to tell you, "Get me out of here, now!"

Years ago people were prepared for boogers. Men and women would carry handkerchiefs around for booger maintenance. Men would usually keep their handkerchiefs in their back pockets with just an edge hanging out for easy extraction. Women would carry a handkerchief in their purses. Usually they had a perfume fragrance, which was nice. I recall when my mother would give me her hankie to use, it always smelled nice.

The unfortunate part about these cloth hankies was that they needed to be washed. This was in the days before tissues were widely available. Some of those hankies must have looked pretty disgusting with all of those different kinds of boogers collected on them. Some might say it was booger art.

Boogers can be, at times, embarrassing, especially when one calls out for immediate removal. If you aren't around people, it's no problem. You can use any method you please. If you are around people and you have no tissue, what do you do? You see what I am getting at?

I have seen people cover their nose with one hand and extract the booger with the other hand. I have seen students put their heads down on their desks as if they were feigning drowsiness and then take out the booger and wipe it under the desk to join lots of old gum and some dried up aged boogers. If you wanted to identify a place, which had the most germs, and you wanted to get a terrorist to talk who also happened to be a germaphobe, the interrogators could force him to lick the bottom of a school desk. I think that kind of torture would be permissible.

It would be interesting to have a contest for the most innovative booger extraction. High on the list of contestants would be athletes and farmers who are experts at putting one finger on one side of the nose and then blowing the booger out on the other side of the nose. This takes a little bit of skill. If you don't do it correctly, that big juicy booger could be found on your shirt or pant leg.

The people that have to clean up those ballparks after a day of booger blowouts should get some sort of award. Now, I could talk about ballpark spitting here but I covered that in a previous column many years ago. I am not sure which is more egregious, spitting or booger blowouts.

Let's talk about finger usage. I don't see many women using their finger or fingers to free up that annoying substance in their nose. Women are much too etiquette conscious. I can't imagine a more terrible turn-off for a male suitor than a young woman with a finger in her nose.

Men, on the other hand, seem to be excused. Although disgusting, women seem to look the other way, which is a good thing to do. I am surprised that more women don't have serious neck problems.

Parents try to instill in their children the 11th commandment, the one that Moses left on the mountain because he knew it could not be kept, "Thou shalt not pick your nose." Unfortunately, parents sometimes model this unsavory behavior.

I have no conclusion for this column accept my wife found it disgusting to edit. I guess we should be thankful that picking your nose is not a sin. Just be careful where you put those boogers.

Riddle: What is the difference between boogers and broccoli? Kids don't like broccoli. (This is my very favorite riddle and I have told it hundreds of times but I still get a smile on my face because it is so, so true.)

100 percent graduation rate

A local movement is underway to ensure the area has a 100 percent high school graduation rate. Here's some tips on how you can help us achieve that goal:

1. One good question to ask kids is "What are you going to do when you grow up?" Usually this involves some special training, which necessitates a high school diploma. Remind kids of this fact.

2. We will have more people voting when we have 100 percent of our students graduating from high school. It's true!

If your group does not already support the 100 percent movement but would like to and/or have me speak to your group (no charge) about it, give me a call—(218) 766-9009. Thanks.