Yesterday’s Humiliation and My Father’s Gas


Somehow (and believe me when I tell you that I really don’t know how,) I sucked a small pebble up my nostril yesterday. I was standing on the side of our house watching Mario from Roto Rooter pull out some ungodly clog from our sewer pipe and, just like that, with a simple intake of air, a pebble shot up my nose. I have to say that, at first, I thought a bug had decided to seek shelter inside my face, but it wasn’t a bug. It was a small stone. And as if that weren’t enough to secure a place in the house of cosmic humiliation, I then found myself face to face with one of life’s greatest challenges: how does one remove a rock lodged in one’s right nostril without appearing to the fine men of Roto Rooter as though one is picking one’s nose?

I’ve faced challenges like this before. Like the time my father pulled his 1967 Oldsmobile onto the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway in order to pass gas. Yes, that’s right. He would need to “release the hounds”, so he’d jump out, run around the car, and get back in as though nothing had happened, all in the service of protecting his beloved family from the odor. My father was a good man, mind you, but I never quite knew what I was supposed to do with the knowledge that I had a father who was performing covert “fanny beeps” on the Garden State Parkway and trying to hide it.

So what did I end up doing about the nasal boulder? I ever so casually turned around, faced the Rooter truck as if admiring the artwork on the side of the vehicle and like a stealth bomber, swooped in and dug out my pebble. I quickly flicked it away, and much like my father jumping out of his ’67 Oldsmobile, I turned back to the Rooters as though nothing had happened.

I think I feel like whistling now.


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