Today, my pride was held hostage.
Just to explain: The flu is macking on me. Sitting in a meeting with bigwigs from one of SA’s top companies, a rogue snot droplet decided to saunter down my left nostril.
I had no tissue.
The boardroom was too quiet to sneak the sniff which would have banished Drippy (let’s call the droplet Drippy) into the eternal gunk of my nasal cavity.
I digress. So there I am, coolly taking notes as Mr Bigwig and his colleague politely answer my questions. But they knew not the raging war within.
I begged Drippy. “Please! Not now!” Do you think he listened?
His cold footsteps inched closer to the end of my nostril, eager to introduce himself to the waiting world.
In a desperate, improvised response, I had to pull “The Thinker”: a simple but effective backward tilt of the head, coupled with a raised finger to the mouth.
It worked… until I had to re-establish eye contact with the bigwigs. Darn it! This is where I hate manners.
It’s rude to glance up at the boardroom’s ceiling, feigning a thinking expression while a bigwig is pitching an innovation to you. You can only ‘think’ for so long until it looks… well, weird.
So I looked them back in the eye, suppressing all outward panic as Drippy restored his momentum down my nostril. The situation was tight.
“Listen, Drippy,” I said in the calmest of internal voices. “I know we haven’t gotten off to the best start…”
It was useless. Drippy didn’t give a flying sneeze what I said!
“Please Drippy! PLEASE!” I begged. I wasn’t going to pretend I wasn’t fazed anymore – at least not for that cocky little snot droplet. I was so vulnerable as I let it all pour out (not literally – just in the sense that I wanted Drippy to feel sorry for me and slow down, for goodness sake).
“I promise I’ll keep you there forever, Drippy. Just slow down.” On and on the bigwigs spoke and my negotiations with the snot droplet became more frantic. I started making ridiculous promises to Drippy.
“I’ll even let you dry up in there, get comfortable and have a crusty little family! Please!”
That’s when it happened.
As I jotted more notes, I felt a cold, gooey presence rest on the rim of my nostril. The pride of my sinuses was the tormentor of my dignity.
Drippy had done it. He had found the end of the tunnel and was watching all, taking in the plush furniture of the boardroom and greeting the world – but not fully exposed.
One mistake from me and Drippy would be unleashed unto the slippy-slide of my upper lip, whooping in elation as my shame engulfed me.
But that didn’t happen, thank the Lord. Drippy was at the nostril’s ‘entrance’ (kids who pick their noses will know which point this is), but had they seen him?
It was quite a big boardroom and maybe, just maybe, they didn’t notice.
And THEN, just as the agony of my struggle felt like it entered a third year, Mr Bigwig said something about “the gist of it”. It was all over!
They had no idea why I smiled as I thanked them for their time and – in the split second they stood to come shake my hand – I exploited the groan of one of the chairs and indulged in a lightning-quick, almighty *sniff*!
Drippy was no more. Banished, he was.
What if he had responded and held me to my word on my promises? Better a leaky nose in the boardroom, than everlasting crustiness in my nose, I say.
That was the madness of my day.
Good to be back blogging after SUCH a long time, but this site will get a major overhaul as part of something really beeeg and really awesome.