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Thursday, April 15, 2010

The only downside I've found (so far) to scootering to work

The other morning I was approaching an intersection a few blocks from my office.  The light had turned red and there were a few cars waiting in each lane.  Being a scooter, I did what scooters do; I threaded my way to the front of the line and waited next to the lead car for the light to change.

I'm not sure if it was because my scooter is so quiet or if this guy just didn't care... but being a tad higher than the four wheeled folks on the road, when I glanced over at the driver in the car next to me, I could clearly see he was about wrist deep in his right nostril, and scrabbling away so enthusiastically that I imagined I could hear fingernails scraping on cartilage through the open window.

I couldn't very well rev my engine because the automatic transmission on the Vespa would shoot me into the intersection, and clearing my throat wouldn't be heard through my full-face helmet.  I suppose I could have beeped my horn, but I was worried that startling him in flagrante decerpo might cause a sudden brain injury.

After what seemed like an eternity I finally turned to him, flipped up my helmet's face-screen and said (in Hebrew), "You know I can see you, right?"

The guy turned his head slowly towards me (without bothering to remove his digit from his nose) and simply stared.  No signs of embarrassment... no deft feign at scratching an itch... just a deadpan stare.

When the light finally changed I sped ahead of the other drivers, silently promising myself that I would try to avoid using my new, elevated vantage point to peek at the other drivers waiting with me at intersections.


Posted by David Bogner on April 15, 2010 | Permalink


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You didn't know? Inserting your finger deeply enough into your nostril converts your car's windows into one-way glass. You can see out, but the guys on the outside can't see in. [At least, that's what this guy might've been thinking...]

Posted by: Elisson | Apr 15, 2010 7:22:06 PM

Print out some ads for Neti Pots, and next time, just toss one into the window of the car. If the window is up, do the universal cranking motion, which, I think, still works in the motorized window era. If you're brave, hand them out personally at work or in the supermarket.

No need to thank me for the idea. I'm....

Posted by: Barzilai | Apr 15, 2010 7:57:46 PM

That's just the way he applies his turn signal.

Posted by: Yossi | Apr 15, 2010 8:26:55 PM

Ah, nose picking at the traffic lights...

Long, long ago, when I was a mere snippet driving around London in my Triumph Spitfire, I started to notice that at every red light, there was a guy next to me excavating a nostril.

After about a week of this I mentioned it at work and was greeted with disbelief by my colleagues. A couple of days later, however, my boss called me into my office, "You know that nose picking thing" he said confidentially, "Well I was at a red light this morning, and thought I'd take a look. Well, there was nobody picking their nose" he said "Until I realised, that the nose picker was me!"

Posted by: chairwoman | Apr 15, 2010 8:42:12 PM

HIlarious post!

Chairwoman, did you also notice the chicky babes applying eyeshadow at red lights too? I seemed to see them everywhere in London:-)

Posted by: Noa | Apr 15, 2010 9:44:43 PM

maybe it's just that if you dont know each other, he doesnt care if you see him.

Posted by: cyberdov | Apr 15, 2010 11:28:29 PM

Hah! NO ONE in Northern California picks their noses at stoplights!

We're far too busy talking on our cellphones while juggling the laptop and swilling Starbucks. If we actually have a fourth hand, it holds the electric shaver or the mascara brush.

There is NO place in a busy schedule for your nose. That's what vacations are for.

Posted by: At The Back of the Hill | Apr 15, 2010 11:57:33 PM

I wonder what he does in the privacy of his home. Then again, I don't want to know.

Posted by: Yaron | Apr 16, 2010 12:03:38 AM

This reminds me of my favorite New York subway story. Was traveling on a train to Brooklyn, I think, and there was a woman, I am quite sure mentally ill, who was picking her nose wildly and flinging the, um, output, all over her seat. Wiping, swiping, flicking. Clearly everyone else was slowly moving away from her. She got off at a stop, and obviously no one went near her now-empty seat. At the next stop, the doors opened, and another woman got one. In a matter of seconds I saw her eyes sweep the full car looking for a place to rest her weary feet. Her eyebrows popped up in pleasure at the surprisingly empty seat and she quickly made sure to beat out all the other contenders and whipped herself into that empty seat. This being New York, no one said a word. However, be warned. If there's an empty seat on a full train, there may be a good reason for that!

Posted by: Noa | Apr 16, 2010 2:03:06 AM

Elisson... The button must be waaaay up there. :-)

Barzilai ... oh...oh... I just Googled that. And now I can't stop dry heaving! :-(

Yossi... But he was in the left turn lane! :-)

chairwoman... you must have been close. That's the kind of thing we don't even share with spouses.

Noa... or the men shaving.

cyberdov... This is such a small country and everyone knows one another. That assumption doesn't work here.

At The Back of the Hill... If I was in the Bay area he would have explained to me that they were 'free range, organic, artisanal boogers, so would I like to buy a couple of grams. :-)

Yaron... probably has a scrap book.

Noa... That is one of the coldest New York stories I think I've ever heard... like Kitty Genovese cold.

Posted by: Treppenwitz | Apr 16, 2010 8:38:39 AM

Why would you find neti pots disgusting? I use them occassionally, and I enjoy the clean feeling. We're not talking high colonic irrigation here, just thorougly cleaning out the nose and sinuses. I believe your sister uses them as well.

Posted by: Barzilai | Apr 16, 2010 5:29:26 PM

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