Sometimes I think scientists and academics are not the intellectual giants they are made out to be. Sometimes I think they are just crazy people with too much time on their hands, and a lot of free grant money to spend. Why would I think such a thing? Consider the following headline from United Press International, dated April 26, 2013:
Yes indeed, my friends, eating boogers could be even better than Activia, TruBiotics, and all that stuff your health-nut neighbor, otherwise known as “Trent”, mixes in the blender every morning.
According to UPI, a biochemistry professor at the University of Saskatchewan has been spending his days hypothesizing about the potential benefits of harvesting the vast fields of the nasal cavity for their nutritional benefits. The professor’s inspiration is apparently his own children who, and I’m not making this up, “spend an amazing amount of time with their fingers up their nose…and without fail, it goes right into their mouth afterwards.”
This modern-day Canadian Einstein surmises a person’s immune system could be boosted by snacking on snots. How so, you ask? Well, by eating one’s own boogers the human creature is ostensibly introducing a cornucopia of foreign pathogens into the digestive tract; pathogens that were heretofore trapped in his mucous membranes only to be expunged through blowing the nose, wiping the nose on one’s sleeve when one thinks no one is looking, or hacking up this really huge loogie and sending it screaming across the parking lot of the local Walmart.
If you think all of this is funny, we haven’t even gotten to the best part. The professor, by which I mean “the person who was chosen, at random, to instruct University students in the finer points of mining for boogers,” has proposed, with a straight face and a scientific-sounding voice, a foolproof way of putting his hypothesis to the test. He said, and again I’m not making this up, “All you would need is a group of volunteers.”
A group of volunteers willing to put themselves through the public humiliation of allowing the good professor to introduce some potentially destructive pathogens to the nasal cavity, allow for the proper fermentation, then harvest the goodies and have lunch.
Where would you find such volunteers? Well, he could start with your average day care center, where the mucous flows like lava from a volcano. But getting two-year-olds to pick their noses in a scientific fashion would not be possible.
Science, you see, is exacting and very methodical.
A two-year-old in his randomness would be mixing his own boogers with those of his fellow test subjects, along with who knows what else they would pick up along the way. There would be absolutely no way to have a control group among all the day care snot-swapping goings-on.
In a strange and somewhat sick sort of way I hope the good professor finds enough volunteers to complete his study. Furthermore, I hope he proves his theories to be true. Why? Because I also want to see boogers become the next healthy snack food craze to sweep across America.
Forget your rice cakes, forget the same old yogurt everyone else is eating and, by all means, forget all of those leafy green vegetables that taste like grass. None of them have the flavor and texture of SweetSnotz bite-sized boogers.
I can see it now, a SweetSnotz franchise conglomerate with hundreds of locations at malls, college campi, and anywhere else hungry people who don’t take time to think about what they’re stuffing into their mouths congregate, in marketable numbers of course. Maybe even the county fair! Imagine deep-fried SweetSnotz with caramel and powdered sugar. It’s the healthy snack that tastes good and boosts your immune system, too!
For flavors I’m thinking cool ranch, chipotle and sesame seed (yes, ma’am the crunchy parts are really sesame seeds), wintergreen mint, and sweet-and-sour. You could serve them in a small plastic dish with one of those wooden ice cream spoon-ish type things we used when I was a kid growing up in beautiful Lockport, New York.
Let’s stop and take a few minutes to remember the days of childhood my fellow middle-aged adults: we would “scoop” some ice cream with our wooden spoon-ish type thing, turn it upside down, and slowly run it across the tongue for maximum flavor — and splinters. That’s still the best way to eat ice cream by the way — out of a plastic dish with an oddly shaped tongue depressor. Now translate that mind picture, if you can without gagging, to a cup of delicious SweetSnotz.
My friends, I think this is an idea whose time has come. In fact, I would go so far as to say this might even be nasal gold. Boogers as a snack food is something that could be produced at almost no cost to anyone. Except of course the labor cost. You would need to hire an army of seasonal allergy sufferers and move them all to an area with an unusually high pollen count. I’m thinking someplace like Jackson, Mississippi or Greensboro, North Carolina.
I’m not picking on the southern states, by the way, nor am I picking their noses either. I’ve left the picking to WebMD, who says the previously mentioned cities are among the top 10 worst cities to live in if you have seasonal allergies. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, just hire an army of allergy sufferers, pay them to stay outdoors all day and not take antihistamines, then harvest the resulting outflow. You could even offer bonuses to any workers willing to breathe extra deeply on grass cutting day.
While we’re at it, we should have the good professor test his theory on eye boogers as well. Why? Because those allergy sufferers will have a full harvest of taste treats caked to their eye lashes every morning. If eye boogers are just as healthy, and you could gastronomically combine them with snot, you might have a real market winner.
Hey, before you say I’m crazy, just ask yourself, “Do I really like Dippin’ Dots?” If so, enough said. You’re the perfect candidate for SweetSnotz.
So next time one of the authority figures in your life — e.g., a teacher, guidance counselor, spouse, life coach, or Dr. Oz — tells you to stop picking your nose just tell him/her/it the practice is just part of a new healthier lifestyle you’ve adopted. Besides, it’s part of Obamacare. By this time next year everyone will be picking their noses and consuming the results. It’s the only way we’re going to be able to contain costs. At least that’s my theory.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s springtime here in beautiful upstate New York. And that means the fields are ripe unto harvest. Thankfully, I’ve already eaten breakfast.
NOTE: If you enjoyed this post consider purchasing my book, “Disposable Catheters and Other Musings”. You’ll find dozens of essays, similar to this one, that will have you laughing and smiling.