Actually, it IS Rocket Science

The Booger Story

So one time I was hit by a flying booger.

There’s no better way to put it.  I can’t dumb it down any more than that.

I was in the 5th grade and it was homework time, wherein the class was silent, for the most part, for an hour before lunch, which was also a thinly-veiled opportunity for our teacher to regain her sanity and get her kids to just shut their goddam mouths for once.  We had this portion of class every day after she had repeatedly asked someone to stop making comments that weren’t helpful to the class discussion, or told someone else that she should stop looking in her compact mirror and “Actually focus, for once… JESUS.”  all while taking place in a Catholic school, mind you.

I’m not trying to down-play the efforts teachers put in.  It’s a lot of work to be a parent, but more often than not given your occupation you get to shove your children off to someone for 8 hours a day as soon as they reach that magical, infuriating age.  People who graciously take your children and deal with them while dragging the majority of them kicking and screaming through education deserve a medal.

Please don’t make me have to go into why being a parent deserves a Nobel Prize too, though.  This isn’t a pissing contest, you guys.

All I’m saying is that every day, before lunch duty and subsequent recess duty, our teacher allowed herself one ounce of respite from the misbehavior and what we thought were “witty quips” which were probably just age old phrases that she had heard year upon year.  upon. year.  So much so that she could probably predict with scientific precision the correct moment when she discussed “dangling modifiers” would register with silenced giggles and allow the proper break for someone to mumble, “Hehe… dangling.”

So one day we were sitting there, either doing our homework or not, she didn’t give a shit at that point, when it happened.  You know…


I only had the chance to look up from whatever it was I was doing and notice something fly across my vision.  The next thing I remember is the feeling of something cold and wet against my arm.  I looked down and there it was.

It’s kind of hard to describe the reaction one has when realizing there’s a fantastic-sized nose-nugget on your bare skin that you don’t know who it originally belonged to.

It’s sort of like, shock?  Then, SHOCK!  Then, is that??  Then, really???  Then, SCHOSTAKOVICH!!! (Super-duper Shock, like, the most supreme shock there is.  If you don’t know about it then you’ve never had a booger blasted onto your arm.)

I was kind of surprised at how it happened.  I mean, what I remembered was something flying by my face at an accelerated rate, which made me even more surprised at how it landed on my arm, I would have thought it would continue its course and landed on someone else.   And even more ninja- I never even HEARD someone make that categorically familiar nose-blasting sound!  That STILL confounds me today.  No headsup, no nothin.  Just, PLOOM! BAM!  Disgusting nasal mucus all over your shit now!  And it wasn’t one of those clean, dry ones, either.  No.  This thing had some viscosity.

So I just sat there, for about 10, I don’t know, 15 seconds?  Watching this thing coagulate on my forearm, when I finally realized that something had to be done.  I couldn’t just sit there for the remainder of the hour, happily writing a journal entry on my favorite dream while hosting this little sniggle-snaggle on my person, but at the same time, I didn’t know what the shit to do with it.  and here’s where it gets REALLY tricky:  although this snog-log was attached to my skin like one of those demonic face things from the ALIEN movie, I couldn’t make peace with the idea of cleaning it off by touching it.  No. nu-uh.  You may have taken my arm, you little shit-rag, but you’ll never take my phalanges.

So I did what ever 5th grader would when encountered with a foreign nose-hoagie.  I stood up slowly (I was still in shock, so allow me the drama) and walked slowly over to my teacher, who looked up at me like I had temporarily become Stephen King’s Carrie, you know, during the prom scene.

“Ashlin?!  What IS it??”

“I… uh… someone…”



“Oh, Jesus. C’mere.”

In retrospect, she probably thought I was about to pull a stunt via Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy.” She probably didn’t expect me to present a giant nose-gold on her.  So she grabbed a tissue in flustered pissed-offdom and wiped my arm clean.  But it didn’t help.  The idea of the booger was still there, and I spent the rest of the day favoring my arm like a pitcher with a rotator cuff injury.

Then when I got home, my parents asked me how my day went, and I answered thusly:

“It sucked.”

“Ashlin, don’t use that language.”

“Well you would say ‘it sucked’ too if you had a booger snot-rocketed onto your arm!”


“YEAH!  Someone snorted a GIANT BOOGER ONTO MY ARM.”

Now, what would you think a normal reaction to hearing your daughter’s person was assaulted in such a way?  You’d be concerned, right?  Maybe call haz-mat, I don’t know.

They laughed.

My parents laughed their goddam asses off throughout my entire explanation to them in horrifying detail my unbearable grief and long-standing agony that I had to live down the pain of being so violated and having to endure the duration of my prison sentence in class by laughing.

When I had completed my tale of woe, they sat back in their chairs, exhausted by their own guffaws, and my mom asked:

“Well.  Did you ever find out who did it?”

“NO!  I TOLD YOU!  It came out of nowhere!!”

Which was apparently SOOOOooooOOOooo funny, because it launched them back into the land of a thousand laughs. I’m being COMPLETELY serious and my parents, my No. 1 confidants, are being total assholes about my predicament.

So finally I was just all, Fine, fuck this shit, I’m going up to my room.  (although words have been changed to reflect what was really said).  Which was when my mom called after me:

“No, sweetie, it’s fine, we’re sorry, it’s just funny.  We’re not laughing at you.”

“No, I know.  I’m just going to go be by myself.”

“Okay.  Hey, Ash?”


“Maaayybeeeeee, take a shower first?”


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  1. Voice of unreason « Actually, it IS Rocket Science pingbacked on 7 years ago


  1. * Sula says:

    I am laughing my ass off right now….Probably as loudly as your parents were when you were telling THEM the story!!!!! Shit! I’m exhausted! :-))

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 1 month ago
    • You know those moments your parents tell you “you’ll laugh about this later”?

      Still trying to get there. 🙂 🙂

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 1 month ago
  2. * Kimberly says:

    I can hear them laughing out loud. Dad just going whole-hog. Your Mom looking at him with her face turning red. Looking at you, trying to compose her face and then still laughing anyway… Ah yes.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 1 month ago
  3. * Yo Mama says:

    And I’m STILL laughing! Seriously? What else could we do? (this was before they had anti-bacterial wet wipes posted around every corner of every classroom or grocery cart!)

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 1 month ago

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