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Hit Me With Your Best Snot, er Shot
by Ken ReCorr on 11/1/2005 (0)

Free and Clear.
My weekly trip to the bank yesterday almost ended without incident had it not been for the woman behind me. As I approached the exit this lady, let’s call her “Joanne”, steps across the magic line on the floor that separates the bank employees from the common masses. What transpires after that moment will haunt me for the rest of my days. Well, maybe not for that long, but it there is certainly a strong possibility that it will ruin one of my next three meals.

The scene sets itself like so:

Pleasantries are given by the teller: "Hi Joanne, how are you doing today?"

Joanne: "I've got snot."

I paused at the door and let the phrase "I've got snot" rattle around in my brain for a little while. I honestly hoped that it would settle out after a few seconds and become a different phrase, like on the Beach Boys song "I Get Around".

I heard: My buddies are mean, they're gettin' meat well done The bad guys know this and they leave us alone.

The lyrics are: My buddies and me are gettin real well known Yeah the bad guys know us and they leave us alone.

Anyway, I waited for "I've got snot" to perhaps transform itself into "I'm doing just fine, thanks for asking."

As I stood there at the door, hand outstretched, the phrase stuck and began to reverberate in my skull.

There are numerous problems with that rebuttal to such a commonly asked question.

Number one, when someone asks, "How are you today?" you are supposed to say "I'm fine." That’s mainly because no one cares if you aren't. I know it is a cold, hard fact but that's just how society works. If the question were an honest one and people really wanted to know how you were doing nothing would ever be accomplished because at heart we are all whiny hypochondriacs.

Two, even if you aren't feeling well and you would like to make that fact known, do it in the least descriptive way possible. "I've got snot" is anything but benign. The actual word "snot" is one that leaves nothing to the imagination. You know exactly what they're referring to when someone says "snot"...and it isn't pleasant. If you insist on making viscous fluids that leak out of your orifices I highly recommend that you stick to clinical terms. In this case “mucus” would suffice.

Three, if you are going to use that phrase why stop there? At least give some details - "I've got snot...because of my head cold." And if making people think that you are mentally unstable is your thing throw in a texture, color, and/or flavor. “I’ve got snot. It’s got a ______ish hue, but it is ________enough to gather on the edge of my nostril without dripping. Although I can’t taste anything right now I’d swear that when I suck it back in there is the slightest hint of ________.”

It is important to know that whatever you say after that don't just stop at snot and leave the person on the other end of the conversation hanging like so many nose goblins.

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