Booger Nights

     'How thoughtful of you," said Mrs. Juniper, looking longingly at Cal's flared left nostril. She clasped her hands tightly together. "And so very, very clever."

     "Yes, it's just beautiful," whispered Denise reverentially, although she pronounced it boogerful.

    "It's not," boomed Mack.

     "Of course it is," snapped Mrs. Juniper. "That's essentially what product is."

      Mack's whiny argument that the composition was all wrong sent the group into a slow, appraising caroussel around Cal's artwork, their flecked forefingers jabbing defiantly to make points. Murmurs of appreciation included recognition of Cal's liberal use of scrapings from both septum and external wall.

     "And look how he captured the fir trees' texture with those rare bristled loogies," explained Harvey, a professional pianist whose long, tapered fingers were the secret envy of the group. Stocky, smiling Mitch Mackles, a legend for his ability to dig with two digits simultaneously, added that Cal's work was even grander than his own Stereo Stabs.

    The group's awe soon silenced even Mack, whose criticism dried up like mucus in the sun.

    "You'd make more money in picking pockets, though," he grumbled.

    "Perhaps," agreed Cal cheerfully. "But imagine the fun we'd have." He looked slowly at the faces and noses surrounding him, looked to the ceiling, and spoke passionately.

    "And maybe, just maybe, we could turn a light on our compulsion and turn it into a craft. We could bring it forth from behind the potted palm, the wheel, and the room divider; bring it from the shadows of shame and into the light of pride. We could turn it into an art form."

    "A regular Pick-asso," sneered Mack as the group burst into soggy applause at Cal's eloquence.

   Mrs. Juniper, who could hardly contain her impulse to french-kiss his nose, managed a high-pitched thank-you.

    "Yes, why not?" cried Rodney Dibley. "After all, even smokers were once respectable."

    "A mural," mused shy  Denise Rowland. "And we'll call it Everyone Nose Art."

    Cal beamed at her.

The End

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