Pick a Little

Little Bean has adopted a new habit. She’s gotten really into picking her nose and coming to show me her finds. LB will go digging for a while, paste a look of concentration on her face, then waddle over to me and say, “Ewwwww.” She will hold out her pointer finger and wait until I remove said treasure from her finger with a Kleenex. Yesterday, after about fifth time she did this, she took matters into her own hands and decided to clean the mess herself. She walked into the bathroom to dispose of her boogies on a piece of toilet paper. When I went into the bathroom ten minutes later I discovered that Little Bean has no knowledge of how to tear off a piece of toilet paper. She had unraveled the entire roll and put it all in the trashcan, which was now overflowing with the stuff. Of course, she also couldn’t disconnect if from the cardboard roll, so the toilet paper was stretch from the wall to the trashcan. I had no choice but to be frustrated with only myself for not coming to help her. This whole situation reminds me of an instance that occurred during my third week in der Schweiz

It can be kind of cute and charming when little ones behave like this, but adults I cannot forgive so easily. I have never been faced with a case of such complete lack of inhibition than by a certain gentleman sitting directly across from me on the train home from Zürich. He was probably mid-sixties and some investor-type fellow. Incidentally, he appeared nothing too out of the ordinary. His behavior spoke to the contrary.

The train had just pulled out of the station and people were pulling out newspapers and iPods to occupy themselves. As we were riding along I happened to look to the window, which has taken on a mirror-like quality since it was now dark outside. I noticed the man across from me was knuckle-deep into his right nostril. No, this was not possible; now way could this man be overtly picking his nose in front of all these people on the train. Then, much to my horror he proceeded to eat whatever little nuggets he managed to find up there. Absolutely, this was not to be believed. At this point I didn’t even know what to do. Should I send out some kind of mental SMS hoping the Polizei will hear me and remove this offender from society? I was barely able to get through this thought when he did it again, repeatedly, throughout the remainder of the train ride. I was mystified as to why this person had an appetite for boogers. Granted, it was dinnertime, but still, I was almost positive there were more appealing options for him at home.

Of course worse things happen in the world. People are dying and starving and suffering from abominable diseases. I recognize and respect these awful tragedies. But, this behavior is inexcusable. This salt-and-pepper haired gentlefellow subjected masses of us to his fetish. Who knows what other passengers, on countless other trains, viewed this? I just could not excuse this man for his revolting behavior. Thankfully, my stop came up quickly and I could leave this guy and let him eat in peace.

That is, until two nights later when I was sitting on a completely overcrowded train and was thankful I even managed to find a seat. I was exhausted, you see, from a day spent ravaging the remainders of a gigantic H&M sale. After dropping my sore body into my aisle seat I rested my head on the back of the seat and let the remaining dandruff of the prior occupant annihilate my scalp. I turned my head and looked into the window, which had once again taken on a mirror appearance. I took notice of the patron sitting across from me and think, Hmmm, looks familiar. Low and behold the man goes digging for treasure straight up his nose and I know where I’ve seen that mug before! It’s him, the same nasal miner from two nights ago. I was once again forced to endure this man’s disgusting habit for another ride home. I am not exactly sure what I had done recently to anger to gods so, but I felt that justice had been served. I immediately apologized for my unknown transgressions. Needless to say, this digger is on my radar and I will not find myself by him again.

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