There’s Gold in Them There Hills

I try to stay out of saying women are better than men at certain things and vice-versa. My usual exceptions to this are that women are better at giving birth to children and men are better at being lazy pieces of crap. If I were to break this down into the most basic reason why, I’d say it’s because one group only suckles while the other also produces the milk.

Which brings me to this. There are two types of nose pickers. Those who do it consciously and those who do it unconsciously. From what I have seen they are always male. Always. Women will brush their noses with the part of the finger that is between the hand knuckle and the central finger knuckle. I have yet to see one do the full monty. Well, one that’s above the age of ten. The ones I’ve seen do it under the age of ten are just obnoxious, leaning towards feral.

Before I moved to New York, I’d see it happen most often when stopped at an intersection. A guy in another vehicle would be lost in thought and then up went the finger. Very rarely would I see what happened next because the light would change. I assume it went out the window or under the seat. Now, I see it on the street or on the subway train. At first I thought it was a cultural thing. Some guys were coming from places where tissues and paper were expensive and not plentiful. So doing things like blowing your nose into nothing but air was normal. The next step from this would be digging in the nose and then pulling out what one finds.

Now, the next step has to be getting rid of the item. The number one method of doing this is eating it. Adult males. Picking and eating. And the really fastidious ones take care of the contents of the second nostril after they do the first. Mind you, I’m not talking about emergency situations. It is usually on a commute or just standing on the sidewalk.

One Saturday morning on my way into Midtown, a young Asian man picked and flicked beside me. The moist object landed on my exposed calf. “You got that on me,” I said. “Oh sorry,” he said as he wiped it off me and put the darn thing under the seat. On the one hand, at least he did that. On the other…***shudder***. It was on me. I had 20 more minutes before I got to my destination and could wash. The rest of the ride consisted of me imagining his booger germ army crawling up my body and into my eyes.

Seems like the more educated fellas will dig their ears and flick the wax. The elite version of nose picking. As if to say, “look what my brain produced.”

I spent brief tenures in Astoria and Inwood. There’s a lot to love about both places. One thing I don’t miss is how the guys would hock phlegm and spit it on the sidewalk. Not even bothering to hit a trash can on the corner or near the curb. Usually right in front of my feet, forcing me to hop over or around the deposit. There’s something territorial about spitting. Like an animal feeling threatened. Again rarely necessary. Maybe if there is acid reflux involved, then yes. But put the contents out of the way, dude. And if they just took the time to blow their noses, this probably wouldn’t have to happen anyway. Unless, they are trying to keep their enemy back.

On weekends, men will use most things that are not moving as a place to piss. Alleys, walls, Washington Square Park, exposed telephone booths, 5th Avenue. It’s a rite of passage. I feel bad for women because it has to be tough. I saw a woman get in between subway cars and squat while the train went round some bends as it pulled into the 4th Street station. She was drunk and probably had to keep a certain stance to keep from falling over so it must’ve gotten all over her. That was one woman compared to the hundreds of men I’ve seen do this.

I’ve worked several day jobs at places with highly educated, very successful people. 80% of the men do not wash their hands after peeing. 10% do the one-second, water only flick with two fingers under the faucet. Then they fling the water, with the dribbles of urine on the ground. I’m talking about guys with Harvard educations and good six-figure incomes. 10 to 20% do not wash their hands after defecation, based on my observations. It’s like they get lost in thought as they fix their hair and then leave. Or just walk out.

Okay, I know there are countries where people don’t have toilet paper and use their hands with some running water. But at least there it’s bad form to offer to shake hands with the hand that does the hygiene work in the back. I don’t as yet have a bead on how many pickers are also the ones who don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom.

The Dept. of Health requires signage reminding employees to wash their hands after using the restroom in restaurants. I believe this should be put up at all office buildings as well for the guys who think they are too good to have stomach-flu causing germs in their feces.

I guess the alternative would be using more water and killing more trees so we’re better off with men continuing to prove their inferiority to women. Way to go, guys.