2004-03-12 � Excavation

Snot and spring and snuffly bits

Hullo lovelies! My, you all look bright as daffodils today. In my mind's eye, at least. So... I am sufficently along in the dino drawerings to have earned a moment to update and elaborate on my fixation with pussy willows.

It is entirely 100 percent true that I once shoved eight pussy willows up my nose. Really. Granted, I was like five at the time, but believe me, most people who know me wouldn't be altogether shocked if you called them up and told them I did this yesterday afternoon.

I can't tell you what possessed me. I clearly remember wandering around one bright spring day in field at the end of our street, most likely bundled within an inch of my life as my mother had a morbid fear of allowing my brother and me to step one foot out the door without at least six layers of woollens, snow pants, a hat or two, a scarf, three pairs of mittens and earmuffs between the months of September and June. Really. Our old family doctor ... Dr. Bonebreak... seriously. That was his name. He was famous for his bellybuttons. My brother, my cousins and I all sport lovely Bonebreak bellybuttons and they have been much admired over the ages... said we were the only children he ever treated for heat rash in December.

Anyway, I remember roaming around, back in the days when children were allowed to do so without being accompanied by a SWAT team and spying some lovely fat pussywillows budding blissfully in the sun. I remember petting them and then rolling them around on my cheeks. I remember nibbling a bit at one, pulling another completely apart to see what was inside. And then I remember the sudden urge to plunge one up my nose. Next thing I know, there are eight of 'em crammed in there, feeling uncomfortably fluffy and itchy and forcing me to breathe through my mouth. The first four came out pretty easily. The fifth was a bit of a struggle. and then... and then panick as I realized i couldn't reach the other three. I remember jumping up and down vigourously, trying to dislodge them. I remember pounding hopefully on one side of my head then the other. And trying to wiggle them out by rolling my fingers down my nose, like squeezing toothpaste from the tube. No movement.

The fuzzy buds whistled wetly in my nostrils and I began to officially FREAK. I remember running frantically down the back alley to the doorstep, wheezing wildly, so terrified that I was going to be smothered to death that I managed to suppress my fear of what my mother would say about the stupidity of having plunged pussywillows into orifices in which they clearly did not belong.

My mother reacted much like mothers do in crisises of this nature. "What?!! What?!!" she shrieked as she dragged me by the elbow to the bathroom and lifted me on to the vanity so she could get a clear view up my nose."You stuck what up your nose? Why? Why would you do something like that? Idiot child! Stoppit! Stop squirming, let me see!"

She poked and prodded, twisting and pulling my wretched little nose until it throbbed an angry red. "dammit!" she said and disappeared, returning with a flashlight and a pair of tweezers. With me screaming in snuffling protest, she managed to work one pussy willow, all slick with snot, part way out and directed me to "Blow! Blow harder" into a tissue. Out it popped along with a twin.

But the eighth pussywillow was well and truly entrenched, and was proceeding merrily up my nasal passage, intent on wedging itself in my marshy little brain where it would flourish and grow, I was convinced, sending branches bristling out my ears.

So I was bustled into the car and off we went to the clinic. The doctor laughed uproariously at my predicament to my ever burning humilation, but retreived it quickly and painlessly enough and gave me an orange lollipop in the end (along with a stern warning not to insert anything else up there), so it all worked out okay, I guess. But for months afterwards, whenever my parents misplaced something, the car keys, a wallet, shoes, my brother... they would tease me by tweaking my nose and asking if I'd shoved it up there. This is not nearly as amusing as you're thinking it is. It may have scarred me for life.

Speaking of being scarred for life, I sent my husband off to work with a violently violet shiner on Monday, a really black eye. But despite what you may be thinking about me, and my strange propensity for poking at facial features various and sundry, and despite whatever ridiculous stories he told his co--workers who have no doubt heard many a tale about me and my wicked ways, I was in no way responsible for him going to work looking like he'd been attacked by Boy George's make-up artist. It's the wolf's fault.

See, Sunday night Jack took the wolf out for her evening stroll as he always does and it was snowing big time, flakes as big as my head wafting down like feathers. Whimsy struck as it occassionally does and Jack decided to make the Wolf a snowman. He was down on all fours, in the process of rolling the big ball for the snowman base and the wolf had worked herself up into a gleefully frenzy, bouncing exuberantly to and fro and batting away at him with her paws when tragedy struck. The Wolf dived in for a little nose nibble, but it was ill-timed and the top of her little pointed head collided neatly with Jack's eyesocket, driving the frame of his glasses into the crease of his eye and leaving it eggplant hued and swollen.

Poor Jack, he had to watch Alias with one eye closed beneath a bag of frozen peas and endure many a frightened glance all week. I keep telling him it makes him look tuff, but in truth he just looks like a Flock of Seagulls reject with moderately better hair.

The wolf was just fine, in case you're worried, albeit a little disappointed that the snowman never quite materialized.

And should you be seized by whimsy this weekend, think twice. Is your medical insurance up to date? Have you already reached your alloted extreme humiliation quota this week? Do you have an appropriate cover story? Be warned, be armed, and for goodness sake...BE CAREFUL!

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