Yeah, could I get a pair of friggin’ nostril corks over here?

It’s –16° F. with wind chill here, and we’ve had this hellishly cold weather off and on for over a week. Yesterday during my 20-minute walk home from the train, the entire end of my nose went numb in a scary way that it’s never done before, and I grew up in Chicago, so I know from fucking cold. Thoughts of frostbite and Tycho Brahe-style silver noses were running through my head, and then I thought, "Hey, that wouldn’t be so bad; maybe I could get a silver nose in a more distinguished shape than my boring own nose, and MAYBE THE SILVER TYCHO BRAHE NOSE WOULDN’T FREAKING RUN EVERY GODDAMN MINUTE THAT I HAVE TO SPEND OUTSIDE!”

I swear, if the weather continues like this I’m making myself a pair of nostril corks out of dental cotton rolls because I can’t. Stand. The constant RUNNING! I know there are places in the world where it’s much colder than here, but there’s nobody on this planet whose nose is running more than mine is because it’s not even theoretically possible for a nose to run more often than “always.” I hate every single thing about winter, but this business of life as an incessant snot factory has to be the very worst.

I was reading some article about a terrible blizzard in Montana where it got so cold that the cattle were frozen in place, their heads linked to the ground by icy columns of snot and maybe drool. I’m expecting something like that to happen to me any day now: Frozen Corpse Found Encased In Glistening Ice Sculpture of Own Nasal Mucus Only Steps From Commuter Rail Stop.

I walk around snuffling and snorting like some kind of disgusting wild boar rooting in the forest, but annoyingly enough, (WARNING: TMI!) the snot is so thin and watery that I can’t get any snorting traction on it, so it just keeps running. Incessantly.

Yeah, I could just walk down the street with a Kleenex permanently clapped to my nose, but it’s awkward to walk that way, and holding my arm up like that allows the bitter wind to find the gap between my oven-mitt-sized polar fleece mitten and my cuff and then go howling on up my sleeve to freeze the very marrow in my bones. Plus it looks stupid.

Stupider than nostril corks? No, probably not, but nostril corks are no stupider-looking – and maybe less stupid-looking – than the incredibly dorky ganked-from-my-husband fur-lined aviator hat with MOTHERFUCKING EARFLAPS that I’m already wearing because I have no pride at all when it’s this fricking cold.

Plus nostril corks would solve the whole Kleenex disposal issue. As it is now, I’ve been forced to select the left pocket of my coat as the Designated Snot Pocket where dead Kleenices go to die. Then I have to remember at all times not to put anything else – like my wallet, my keys, my left glove, or, God forbid, my bare left hand – into the D.S.P., and that’s a real pain in the ass. Plus gross, and I’m tired of washing my hands all the time what with their constant exposure to snot; they’re already desiccated enough just from the cold.

So in conclusion, Nostril Corks = Convenient, Sanitary, Reduces Paper Waste and Snot Pocket Litter!

Next up for a pitting, the second-worst thing about winter: That feeling when your sock falls down inside your boot, sliding forward and clumping up around your forefoot like a big fat caterpillar with the heel bulge all wedged underneath the arch of your foot in a way that’s so incandescently annoying that it makes you want to do violence!

First, applause

Second, kleenices may just be my new favorite plural EVER.

And on the alternate side, you could, like me, have no nasal discharge. None at all. None whatsoever. Because it is all packed firmly and dryly in the space that once was my nasal cavity but is now just a form-fitted block of dry cement, pounding my brain at the slightest head movement. Because, like you, I choose to live in the Boston area and where, like you, I have been subjected to windchills of -352 or so, and the heat has been on in my house approximately 24 and a half hours per day for the last week. Forced hot air heat. With nary a molecule of moisture in it, it dries with the force of a thousand…well, you know. And where is the relief? Not outside. No, the air is arctic yet arid. As is the heat in my car. And in every building I have entered. The snow is even dry. I am beyond dry. I am parched, cracked, sear, barren, baked, anhydrous, depleted, desiccated, torrid, unmoistened, and shriveled. In a few days I will be reduced to dust. Maybe I could bond together enough of what’s left to be your nose corks.

Option 1: Alpine skier solution. Wear a ski mask (or a scarf up over your mouth and nose). The mask blocks cold air, and your exhalation pre-heats the air you breathe. This solves most of the running nose problem.

Option 2: Cross-country skier solution. Learn to blow your nose with one quick shot off to the side without having to use your hands.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of anything so disgusting yet impressive at the same time.

I will personally send you a pair of said nostril corks if you promise to videotape yourself trying to remove them after the inevitable frozen boogers have cemented them firmly in place.

Now, I may be only a california boy, and my idea of winter “cold” is low 30’s in the morning and NOT getting into the 50’s by the afternoon, so you may disregard my post. However, how aig are your boots and how loose are your socks that they could slide all the fuckin way down your legs, under your heel and bunch up around your toes inside of BOOTS?



It is a common problem with boots that have thick felt liners. The socks are pulled down by the liners a little bit each step until you find yourself sockless. I’ve found that ski socks that rise to just below my knee work well in such boots, but regular dress socks get undressed in a few hundred yards. The boots, however, are wonderfuly warm. Here is an example of such boots: All Men's Shoes, Boots & Footwear | SOREL

This move is also known as “the farmer blow.”

It can also be performed with a thumb covering one nostril in the style of hockey players and Chris Benoit, appropriate for situations where you have one niggling booger that you want to deal with quickly. This is properly known as a “snotrocket.”

Not to be confused with any other creative meanings for the phrase…

I started a thread once about wanting to invent a nose vaccum. You should invest.

Thank you, jayjay, especially for not looking at me blankly when I say “Kleenices” the way everyone else does.

And poor Salem; I feel your pain with the “form-fitted block of dry cement”!We have forced air heat at home too, but I guess that alternating among that, the nasal faucet effect of being outside, and the neutral effect of being on public transportation or in my grossly underheated office is preventing the cement block from forming.

Muffin, I’m going to try your suggestion the next time I go outside (luckily we have a snow day today – YAY!). No, not the snotrocket suggestion, although like WaryEri, I’m simultaneously disgusted and impressed with that concept. Even if I knew how to do it, though, I’m afraid the traction problem I alluded to earlier would preclude it and I’d just get a horrifying splashback of fine spray. But I will try rigging up some kind of facemask.

Hunter Hawk, thanks for that extraordinarily painful mental image, but obviously you have to let the nostril corks thaw before removing them! That, among other reasons, is why I have to say that the nose vacuum proposed by Eat_Crayons totally kicks the ass of the nostril corks.

And GaWd, what Muffin said about the socks-in-boots slippage, but you should count yourself lucky never to have experienced that phenomenon because I’m not kidding, it makes you want to kill someone!

Not a lot to add here, but I noticed you’re in Boston.

You know cold?

On behalf of all my Northern Plains brethren and friends in the Great White North whom know what cold is, let me just say:

Thanks, man. See, this is probably where I got the idea that New York and Boston area are so cold - all the whining and moaning.

{she says as she anticipates walking home in +13°C weather - chinooks rawk!}

Maybe you could use a Dune-style still suit that would recycle all the snot and turn it into useful moisture. Plus it would be a lot more styling (in a geeky sort of way) than nose corks.
Is anyone else getting a little annoyed at the constant upmanship of the Calgary crowd? Every time someone in Boston sez “It’s cold”, they start bragging about gargling with liquid nitrogen every morning. I wish we had a few members from Titan just so that they could be on-upped in turn.

Sorry, duffer; I should have said “I grew up in Chicago, so I know from sort-of-fucking cold.” I just wanted to indicate that I had ever-so-slightly more cold cred than a native Bostonian, because Chicago is definitely colder than Boston.

Also, just for the record, I wasn’t actually bitching about the cold; I was bitching the goddamn snot factory that’s taken over the middle of my face! See:

Thank you, Finagle; the coffee I just snorted out my nose has cleared the snot right out and now I have nothing at all to bitch about!

Yes, yes, I know. But as many here have seen I can’t resist bitching about the cold in months that have at least 16 days in them. Resume the snot-fest.

(I’m having a bit of a problem with that now, in fact)

Or Winnipeg - same thing.