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As a Manner of Fact
I can See You! - And Other Good Reasons to Avoid Picking in Public
March/April, 2005 - Issue #6
"It's been windy." That's the excuse my best friend uttered to me in response to my complaint about recent run-ins with nose pickers. Windy, huh? And what type of weather should we blame for the panty-pickers around town? How about hot and humid? I'm so glad that I will be able to predict gross social faux pas based on Mr. WeatherMan's five-day forecast.

Usually I like to use this space to cattily discuss etiquette issues that may not be common knowledge, but this month I'm forced to state the obvious: It is not polite to pick in public. That means that in the presence of others, your fingers shouldn't be in your nose, near your tush, close to your crotch, or stuck in your mouth. I don't care if you have candy stuck in your molar, a deadly wedgie, or a booger so big it's preventing you from breathing. No picking allowed - ever.

In situations that require you to pick, it is acceptable to temporarily excuse yourself and take care of the matter in private, without an audience. A restroom stall is the perfect locale for fixing undergarments that have hiked too high, and it's also a great spot to "dig for gold," as my father used to call it (Yes, I come from a classy lineage.). When a mirror is required, using a communal piece of reflecting glass, as found in public bathrooms, is all right. However, it's better to fish a piece of spinach out of your teeth with a hand-held mirror, if possible. And for the male readers, I kindly request that all "readjustments" be done in the bathroom, as well.

A little reminder for you: Your car is a public place. Driving without passengers, you may feel all alone, stuck in traffic, no one but an obnoxious talk-radio host to keep you company... And that solo feeling may inspire you to perform acts that usually are reserved for private moments. But do take one thing into consideration: Cars have windows. Four of them, in fact; six if you include the ones in the front and back. When you think about it, cars (at eye level, anyway) are mostly windows! And windows, by nature, allow you to see your surroundings... and more importantly, in this case, windows mean that people can look in and see you.

Now that you know how windows work, I must ask: Why all of the transit-inspired nose picking? And another question that has really been eating at me: Where are you putting what you find? I doubt that people classless enough to be publicly digging into their cranium full-force go to the trouble of putting a box of Kleenex in their cars. If this sounds like you, here's a little poem to remember when you just can't help yourself: "If you must pick, at least don't flick." The same goes to the people that pick while walking around in public.

Public picking is unsanitary and rude. While I'd never claim that picking of any type could tear apart the moral fibers of our community, I will say that it definitely moves us backward, not forward.

Now, if you'll please excuse me... I have awfully uncomfortable panties I must attend to.
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