On annoying nasal hair
…or my kingdom for a pair of tweezers…
The other evening, I was talking to a good friend of mine in the bar about all things literary, when suddenly the conversation turned to hair. Nasal hair, in fact. Now, I am quite fond of my hair. Not all of it you understand, but there is so little left on my head since the rest of it migrated down south for the winter, that what is left in the upper reaches of my visage is generally well tolerated. Thus, I have spent many years cultivating my eyebrows to the point where they envy Boris Yeltsin’s and my ear hair could literally tie you up in a rope. As for the deviant follicles that decided to set up home on my tummy, back, legs and toes… yes, I am, in fact, a Hobbit… well, I have no time for those; the traitors. So, when my good friend announced that he had a single hair protruding so far from his nose that it interfered with his eyesight, I had to laugh.
You see, periodically I suffer from what is known in trichotomy circles as ‘bristle nose’. Not to be confused with ‘Bristol Nose’, which is generally a reaction to drinking too much home-brewed cider, bristle nose is the condition that occurs when a single hair on the outside of the nasal cavity, or ‘hooter’ as medical professionals refer to it, becomes spiky, unruly and incredibly annoying. One normally discovers that they are afflicted when a casual scratch of the proboscis (not ‘picking the nose’ you understand) reveals a small bump, ending in the aforementioned spiky hair. Having been discovered, the fingers reflexively continue to explore the offending hair, which becomes sensitised, sending signals to the brain to continue exploration ‘ad nauseam’. The sufferer can readily be identified in public circles by a continual scratching and rubbing of the affected region that increases in ferocity until the afflicted person looks like they have a mild version of St. Vitus’ dance.
In my own situation, the discovery of bristle nose produces violent and repeated attempts to excise the offending hair using any available implement to hand, most usually my fingernails. However, due to another affliction, which will inevitably be the topic of a future blog post, I have no fingernails to speak of, merely worn and much-bitten stumps of writer’s keratin that look more like weather-worn tombstones than appendages that should be found on the end of fingers. This inevitably leads to intense frustration and increased scratching, which, in the presence of colleagues, is most disturbing, until I have to politely excuse myself and seek a pair of tweezers from one or other of my female acquaintances.
Nipping quickly around to the nearest set of ablutions with a mirror (blind clawing at the hair being useless – trust me on that), vengeance is mine and the offending follicle is whipped out of its comfortable resting place and washed unceremoniously down the drain. Having dealt with the immediate threat and albeit being marginally less hairy than I was before, I am able to re-join the conversation with only a light and exploratory examination of my bugle, rather than the furious scratching that preceded it.
Now, I don’t know if you suffer from bristle nose and I hope that you never will, but it is an awful affliction, which causes intense social embarrassment and discomfort, especially in males over forty. So, if you do ever see someone so bothered by the problem that I have just described, then please spare them their embarrassment and have a pair of tweezers and a portable mirror to hand.
Of course, if you simply have a single nose hair that interferes with your day to day vision, well, that is just laughable!
If you think you may be suffering from ‘bristle nose’, or know someone who is then please feel free to visit one of the following websites for help and information: