“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”
- Robert Heinlein
In an earlier chapter of my life I was a violin teacher. I had forty young students, each of whom was positively edible. I adored them all. One of them was a cherubic five-year-old named Stephanie, whose name suited her perfectly, with her cornflower eyes, honey-coloured curls, pink cheeks, and rosebud lips which arranged themselves in a dreamy smile whenever she played her violin. She had a Zen-like approach that was unusual in a five-year-old. I loved that little girl, and would gladly have made her my own if her parents had only seen reason, but I guess they liked her well enough, so I let them keep her. I looked forward to her lesson every week.
One day Stephanie arrived looking sweet enough to eat with a spoon. She unpacked her violin and stood before me, pleased in her Zen manner that she’d mastered Go Tell Aunt Rhody. Her mother sat nearby, bursting with pride over her little Paganini’s achievement.
Just before putting her violin on her shoulder, Stephanie stuck a chubby finger up her nose, blessed me with that smile of hers, and proceeded to wipe the contents on her shirt. Then she got on with the business of Go Tell Aunt Rhody.
Resting on her tummy not twelve inches from my face was a peanut-sized booger.
Paralyzed except for my gag reflex, which worked overtime for the next half-hour, I somehow got through the rest of the lesson. Her mother, unaware of the situation, brimmed with aforementioned pride.
My association with Go Tell Aunt Rhody was forever changed by Stephanie’s booger. But still I would have made that little girl my own, if her parents hadn’t been so unreasonable.
(Somehow placing “booger” and “edible” within picking distance of each other only adds to the grossout factor, doesn’t it? Writing tip for the day.)