No, It (Snot)

I boarded an articulated 14-Mission last week, and purely for shits and giggles, I chose to sit in the accordion section. One of the two-seaters was open, so I figured, why not?

Immediately across from me was a man of indeterminate age and mental ability. He could very well have been 32 and mentally retarded or 54 and blitzed off his rocker. One thing was for sure — he wasn’t like the rest of us.

But he was relatively clean. The warning sign for me was his incessant chewing of the cud, a systematic gyrating forward and backward of his lips and jaws.

After my initial curiosity and observation, I let my eyes wander. But they were drawn back in an instant when I noticed something emerging from the man’s nose. It didn’t quite look like snot or mucous (what’s the difference, anyway?), but more like spittle. It fell in a clean line over and down his top lip toward his mouth, stopping just about at that line where lips meet face.

He was cognizant enough to notice that something had happened, something drastic but not an emergency. He looked at it, whatever it was, and wiped one hand across his lip, neatly eliminating the intruder in one stroke. This leads me to believe it was some of sort of mucousy material. Never mind.

What happened next is the real impetus for this diary.

After removing the substance from his face, our fine fellow proceeded to distribute the goods evenly between both his hands. After a good 15-stroke rubbing, and perhaps for good measure, he wiped both hands on the thighs of his jeans. Fine. But then … then.

Perhaps you can guess, but seeing it all unfold right in front of me, and on the last leg of a particularly successful day on public transit, was somehow shocking.

And perhaps he had a balance problem, and despite the fact that the bus was traveling no faster than 20 mph, not turning, he needed the assistance.

Either way, that pole sure got what was coming to it.

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