Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Last week's Seinfeld moment

Remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry is itching the side of his nose while in his car at a stoplight, and the lady in the car next to him thinks he's picking his nose? Well that happened to me last week, only I really was picking my nose. It's taken me this long to finally be able to admit this publicly.

So we were sitting at a stoplight, and I noticed that as I breathed through my nose, there was something obstructing the regular flow of air. Like any normal, oxygen loving person, I wanted the obstruction removed. As it was only Jenny in the car with me, I felt no inhibition putting my finger up there for an exploratory dig to see what was up. The culprit was soon found and extricated, though it was right at the moment of extrication that the lady in the car next to us looked over. According to Jenny, her facial expression matched the one of the lady that saw Seinfeld rubbing his nose- utter shock and horror. I looked over at her too, and instead of being really embarrassed, which would be my normal reaction, I started laughing. So we've come to it. I no longer care what people think about me- at least the people I don't know. Is that a good thing?


Jenny said...

I would just like to say that I don't encourage nose picking, but it's one of those battles that will have to wait for later ... And the look on the lady's face really was quite amusing--her eyes were wide open and her nose was wrinkled in disgust and she had her mouth open in a small little circle that indicated either a sharp intake of breath or an "ooo" of disgust. She actually looked worse than Nick did.

JonnyF said...

I'm not sure it's a bad thing that you don't care what other people think of you. On the other hand I think there is something to be said for having minumum set of manners while in public. Whether your car counts as public is certainly debateble. Allow me to illustrate my point with an anecdote. (I just wanted to say anecdote.)
About a year ago I decided to go to the bookstore to get a book. I took along my quadrapalegic brother-in-law, Dan, since he didn't have anything better to do. I parked his van in one of the "van accesible" parking spaces (with the striped off areas to the side of the space so you have enough room for the wheelchair lift in the van to come out). Before we could let down the lift, I had to move a couple of shopping carts out of the way from the Wild Oats that shared the parking lot with the bookstore. When we came back out after our purchases, I once again had to remove a shopping cart out of the striped area so we could get the lift down. As I was strapping Dan's wheelchair into the van, with the side door still open, a middle-aged woman deposited a shopping cart in the striped area. Dan, who has always been outspoken, said, "You know, that's not where it goes." She replied, "Fine, then you can move it."
In this lady's defense, she probably didn't realize what that striped area was for (I didn't until I had to deal with it) and she probably didn't realize that she was talking a quadrapalegic until after she had said it. It's disappointing, though, that her gut reaction was to be rude to someone she didn't know.

erin said...

Hee-hee! I really enjoyed reading that. Isn't it funny how shocked we are when people do what everyone does? Thanks for sharing that, Nick.

I have a job where I get to travel around Wyoming a lot, which is funner than it might sound. Today I'm heading up to Jackson Hole to eat a bear...if you never hear from me again, you'll know he got the better of me. In the winter, the roads are pretty sketchy, but in the summer it's going to be fantastic--great camping and fishing instead of these stale hotels. I invite you all to come camp with me this summer. If you want your 20 mile hike, Nick, Wyoming's the place for you. Alison and Morgan can testify to some of the untamed beauties of the region. Heck, we can build a log cabin! Or one of those muskrat dens! In Wyoming, there are no limits, as long as you can draw faster than the sheriff.

erin said...

I also want to point out that I wrote that last commen BEFORE Jon's was posted. I don't go around getting chuckles out of people being rude to quadrapalegics...unless I'm supposed to. Nice point, Jon, and funny story Nick.

Nick said...

So I guess I would have to revise that to "not care about your image" as in being caught nose picking, or dressing weird. Impoliteness is an arena in which I definitely don't want to be caught with my figurative finger up my figurative nose.

erin said...

Nick, you are figurativly fabulous!

erin said...

Speaking of this, did anyone hear the bit on NPR just now about no pants on the bus?

"Imagine your on a bus and a guy gets on...with no pants. Next stop, another guy gets on--also no pants. This continues for several stops until the bus is filled with people with no pants. Finally, one person comes barreling down the aisle of the bus...selling pants."

There is also a program on right now about showing human cadavers in public. Plasticized bodies. I saw an exibit like this at UCLA and it was fascinating. I didn't think there was any disrespect involved. This is a very interesting program and it kind of relates to picking your nose in public--to quote what was just barely stated, "all bodies are different, and inspecting the human body is the best way to show that." I think that you may be a pioneer in science.

Jenny said...

I've heard about the no-pants on the bus group out there trying to jog us all out of our complacency. And here I am with my very own avant-garde body artist crusading against societal ennui at every stoplight!

(I'm just hoping Jon's point about maintaining some manners in public isn't totally lost ... but then again, it brings up the question of degrees of rudeness. Is there some way in which a rude physical act [bodily picking, scratching, etc.] is somehow more permissable than a rude manner? Why? It's easy to laugh at physical rudeness because we all inhabit physical bodies and therefore we all experience their, umm, fulness. But it's hard to find rude manners that amusing when they are grounded in insensitivity, even though I'm perfectly aware that I can be as insensitive as a beast and history has shown that tendency to be universal. I guess another way to look at the question would be to learn how certain physical acts came to be considered rude....)