The last time someone referred to me as “delicate,” it wasn’t a compliment. I’d just come out of the field with frostbitten toes, and the specialist I went to surmised that I hadn’t been taking in enough calories in an effort to “appear ladylike in front of the boys.”
An informal survey of the other participants on the trip confirmed that I had not, in fact, appeared ladylike. If they boys were impressed, it was because I out-ate them. This was not the first time I’d gotten such feedback.
Even with old-fashioned notions of womanhood set aside, I’m not exactly the poster child for polite behavior. I say whatever’s on my mind, usually—ironically enough—without thinking first. I curse like a sailor. I have trouble determining what constitutes “mixed company.”
This leaves me well-qualified to advise you, dear readers, on one of my favorite subjects: the snot rocket. Without further ado:
1.Check your surroundings to make sure someone will see and be dazzled by your rocket. Make some throaty retching noises to ensure that a crowd gathers.
2. Which way is the wind blowing? You want to make sure your hair looks good, but not so good as to distract audiences from your artful expulsion.
3. Take a deep breath. No, like, a really deep breath. Nothing screams amateur hour like having to blow twice. Especially with snot running down your face.
4. Plug a nostril. Just one. This is very important.
5. Blow with all your might. If you can muster some kind of honking sound, all the better.
6. Switch sides. This is your big finale.
7. Do some damage control. I’d say about one in four of my snot rockets goes out totally clean, but the rest require a cursory wipe. That’s what sleeves are for, right?
8. Educate the public. Those horrified looks you’re getting are an expression of curiosity. Today we fight vasomotor rhinitis, tomorrow the patriarchy!
The perfect snot rocket is more art than science. It takes practice, a strong stomach, and, most importantly, a healthy disinterest in what’s considered polite. Go forth and be free of the oppressive Kleenex-industrial complex!