Monday, February 1, 2010

Things I Don’t Understand: The Handkerchief

So I’m in a local bookstore last week, waxing poetic on my laptop about midgets and JD Salinger, when this slightly-older-than-middle-aged gentleman and his equally grey female friend grab the table next to me.

He is eating a sandwich, napkin by his side. Paper napkin. He chews loudly which makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

He talks while he chews which makes my stomach turn. Then he does something I just don’t understand.
He pulls out a handkerchief from his right pant pocket, blows a bunch of snot into it, and returns it to his pocket. I don’t want to say what this makes me do, but let’s just say the search party has not found my scrotum just yet.

Can someone explain this to me?

I mean really. The guy had a NAPKIN next to his plate. Wouldn’t you forego the whole snot-in-your-pocket routine if you could? And don’t tell me he was being green. Oh and Mr. Hanky (not THAT Mr. Hanky!) did it 5 times. In 30 minutes. That borders on some sort of nasal drip, no?

Since my grandfather’s generation, we have (almost) lost the traditions of the pipe, the cloth diaper, and the bow tie (except among guys named Tucker).

Doesn’t this make more sense than any of them? Okay, cloth diapers are just gross. But the idea of blowing mucus into a cloth that you continually refold and twist and turn and return to your pocket is astoundingly disgusting.

Where is the TODAY Show expose on the grossest possible things you can do?

“Hey Al Roker, did you know every time you flush the toilet you are spewing tiny fecal particles into the air, so shut that lid!”

“(Fill in corny Al Roker comeback here, which spurs guffaws by the kiss-ass camera and production crew of the show)…Oh Ann Curry, I don’t know what it’s like in the Orient, but here in the states we love to blow snots into a raggedy cloth and put that it back in our pocket. And old women often put them up their sleeves.”

“Oh , Al, You so funny.”

“Ann, I’m serious. Look, here’s mine! Hey, Bon Jovi’s out on the plaza today. I wonder if he’ll deposit some DNA in my hanky?”

“We all can dream big,” a bored Meredith Vieira says, missing the joke because she’s counting her money.

“Is DNA is punk rock band?” Matt Lauer says, wondering where in the world he is at that moment.

So I’m calling for the end of the hanky. Maybe we could have a hanky recycling day where we trade them in to make snot-stained t-shirts for the ravaged children in Haiti. Or more cloth diapers (“Now self-sticking!”). Pre-soiled sheets for college dorm rooms.

Either way, we must end this practice of essentially snotting up our pockets. I can just imagine this poor man’s wife washing his pants. Reaching in to clean out his pockets? Cue the mouth vomit and search party.