2011.09.14 Nose bubbles of the future

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The good thing about a Monday holiday is that it gives me an extra day to produce a newspaper. The bad part happens the next week when we’re one day short to make another paper. That’s why I’m not even going to think about coming up with something to write here. Instead I’m just looking backward 20 years to 1991. 

I’m often rather puzzled by what I dig up out of the past, and this week is no exception. 

Sept. 11, 1991

What’s this world coming to? I’ll tell you: wider nostrils, meaner insects, weirder kids. All of these factors will alter life as we know it during the next decade or two.

My son Ben, who serves as a third grade bathroom monitor, was stung by a phantom insect while picking up a volleyball Saturday in our side yard.

Whatever it was—probably a bee—must have worked its way under the tongue of Ben’s shoe or into his sock. His ankle was still swollen Monday morning. 

A couple of hours after the bee sting, he got jumped by a spider. I mean jumped. The thing left the ground a few inches and landed on Ben’s finger, probably an act of self-defense. The next day I saw Ben on the couch with an ice pack on the top of his head. Weird.

He had some interesting news to report. He said he blew a gum bubble from his nostril Friday night and it measured about three inches. I was amused, pleased and so very proud. During all the years that I was a kid, I don’t think I ever stretched gum over my nose and blew a bubble.

Nose bubbles are probably one of the requirements for becoming a school bathroom monitor. Just what does a bathroom monitor do? Make sure everything is going straight? Count flushes? Check hand washing? If Ben had been serving as a home bathroom monitor, he wouldn’t have had those run-ins with the bee and spider.

His allergy to bee stings brings to mind a friend whose nostrils flare when she’s stung. She places chewed bread on the sting to draw out the poison, or at least to take her mind off the pain. Her lips swell, too, making it difficult to chew the bread, but it’s the flaring nostrils I’m thinking about.

My wife was told by someone recently that people living up here toward the northern part of the world have longer noses to better warm the cold winter air as it heads for the lungs. Those living near the equator have short, wide noses with flaring nostrils.

My theory is that nostrils are slowly changing due to global warming. Tiger mosquitoes, fire ants, killer bees—you never used to hear about those guys. Now they’re moving northward as the climate slowly warms. And with that will come an ever-increasing size of nostrils, a genetic change that will seriously alter the appearance of family portraits in the next century.

Perhaps we can obtain a grant through the Nose Division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to study this trend. Our findings will be titled “The Incidence of Spreading Nostrils in Post-Glacial North America.”

My wife is apparently somewhat of an animal trainer and perhaps our warming future will please her as it brings in a new array of creatures.

She read in a library book instructions for hypnotizing a frog. Shortly after Ben’s spider attack, we found a toad and handed it over. We gathered ’round for the show. This was going to be good stuff.

She bravely picked it up, turned it on its back and began to gently rub its tender belly. The toad began to pee. And pee. And pee. I thought only a deflated carcass would remain when it finished. We all tried to give it some hypno-suggestions, but it continued with a behavior that only a bathroom monitor would find interesting.

The future is looking wet, warm and weird. And by the year 2020, with ever-widening nostrils, the kids of Morenci are going to be blowing some excellent nose bubbles.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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