Monday, 6 February 2012

Going the pick in public

Sitting on the train on the way home, I chose a group of three seats.  Before long a man sat beside me and another man sat down in the third seat which was facing me and the first man.

The third man had his ear phones in and seemed engrossed in whatever he was listening to.  No sound was bleeding through so I couldn't tell whether he was getting down and funky, listening to a podcast, or an audio book.  He was sitting side on to me, so I wasn't part of his visual world.

Soon he started to rub his nose a little bit.  He'd rub, tug and then twitch. Rub the nose, tug and then twitch.  He repeated this a few times, but clearly, it wasn't getting the job done.  The twitching escalated.  His top lip became involved.  Something up there was worrying him.  His next move was to abandon the subtleties and just put his finger right up his nostril.  He swirled it around and dug a bit before withdrawing it and studying what he had mined, before rolling it in a little ball between his thumb and fingers...I'm not sure what happened after that.

If you've spent any time watching primates at the zoo or on television you will have seen the grooming behaviour on display.  Humans do this stuff too, but usually we choose to do it in private - unless we do it driving in the car.  Many times I've stopped at traffic lights, looked at the car beside me only to see the driver with their finger well up their nostril. Or squeezing their pimples.  Or plucking their chin hairs.

It's as if people forget that the windows are clear and they can be seen.

Perhaps it was a similar effect with the third man on the train today.  He had his ear phones plugged in and so therefore he was invisible.  Well, I have news for him: he wasn't invisible!  And neither was what he harvested from his nose.  Please don't go the pick in public!

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