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In Defense of Boogers


I think it’s about time we have an honest discussion about one of the most taboo subjects in the history of civilization. I’m talking about boogers. Snot rockets. Nuggets. Roly-Polies. Nose candy. Crusty cake. I promise you, dear reader, that there are a number of folks stabbing their keyboards this very moment trying to get away from this article. That’s fine. That means there’s more information for the rest of us to digest.

‘Booger’ is just a fancy way of referring to dried nasal mucus. Let me tell you how a booger is born. Throughout our day we breathe in copious amounts of tiny dust particles that get trapped by mucus-covered nasal hairs called cilia. A good portion of these dust particles happen to host a wide variety of pollen, bacteria and other such microscopic matter such as dried urine, floating feces and dead skin cells from about every part of both human and animal bodies. There’s no need to freak out and plug your nose. If you breathe through your mouth you actually inhale 1000% more of the particles mentioned above. In this sense, mouth breathers really are stupid. Be healthy and keep your trap shut.

The reason why some boogers are sticky and slimy while others are crusty and slightly salty is quite simple. As we breathe through our nose (I would use the word ‘nasal cavity’, but that sounds creepy and painful), the mucus dries out and begins to petrify the material that at one time was minding its own business, happily floating in the air. If you happen to be prospecting for gold and run across a booger, you’ll be able to tell in an instant what its consistency is. Personally, I prefer dry over wet. They flick farther.

But all this talk about boogers would be incomplete without the controversial discussion on whether they can be consumed. I’m sure you’ve seen a little child sitting in church or in the bleachers during a soccer game or just watching TV, and they bury half of their forefinger up their nose, retrieve a big honker and then casually pop it in their mouth. If boogers were deadly, society would have never made it past the Mesopotamian era. If boogers killed, you wouldn’t be reading this and I wouldn’t have written it. You would like the world to believe boogers have never passed your lips, but we all know different, don’t we? That’s alright. We’ll just call it our dirty little secret, my holy roller friend. Stop gagging. You’re making it difficult to continue reading.

Look, it’s a known fact that ingested boogers can actually boost the immune system and prolong life. You actually can’t help but suck a few loosy-juicies into your stomach. The average human swallows about a quart of mucus a day. In fact, your sinuses produce about 2 liters of mucous a day. Think about that next the time you get a 2 liter bottle of your favorite beverage. It’s completely natural. When your allergies act up or you get a full-fledged cold, you can really become a snot factory. During these times you don’t always have a tissue handy, so you have no choice but to suck it up. No one’s judging you. He who is without mucus may cast the first booger. Wait a minute. Without mucus, he wouldn’t have a booger. Never mind. I say we should embrace our boogers, we should love them for what they do, we should include them in our food like croutons or tofu. If you really love someone, you’ll eat their booger. I know you’ve thought about it late at night when no one else is around. I mean, we share pretty much every other bodily fluid, don’t we? Why not the occasional boogie? Ok. Here’s a test question: Would you eat your best friend’s juicy, drippy booger for one million tax free dollars? Move over; I’m salivating just thinking about the first thing I’d buy with the money: mouthwash.

If you think boogers aren’t very sophisticated, you’d be wrong. The scientific term for enthusiastically picking one’s booger is Rhinotillexomania. If boogers were the trailer trash of body parts, they certainly wouldn’t have a name like that, now would they?  Actually, my dog doesn’t care one whit about names or phobias or taboos. She’ll gobble a goober in a heartbeat and not think twice about it. She’s actually quite handy to have around if I’m too engrossed to get up, retrieve a hankie or tissue and tackle the mucus mountain myself. She thinks they’re treats. The cat is too finicky for such cuisine, though. He doesn’t know what he’s missing.

Ok, even I have my limits. It’s not easy typing while retching. I just had to stand up for those little guys, those poor outcasts of anatomy, those misfits of modern conversation. I don’t think they deserve to be shunned. In fact, I’ve just fired off an impassioned letter to the White House asking the President to designate one day in August as National Booger Day. Why August? It’s the most neglected month of the year when it comes to holidays. What better place to venerate nose nuggets? I mean, it’snot rocket science.

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