Bigger than Boogers

I am obsessed with cringe-writing… I love the reactions I get from my readers’ facial expressions. To make someone go from a resting face to a contorted mess is my passion.

This piece is inspired by Writer’s Digest weekly prompt.


“‘I never would have married you if I’d have known about your nose-picking habits.’ This was a thought I constantly had whenever I caught my new wife with one of her fingers inches-deep in her beak. She seemed like such a simple, pretty woman. Being with her for so long made me feel like I already knew every single thing about her. How did she manage to hide this from me all along?

I get a squirmy feeling in my guts; a wriggling, squiggling sensation. I definitely am not a clean-freak, but there’s something about discovering the crusty yellow bits under her nails aren’t from the sandwich she made for lunch… that just ain’t right. I tell myself to look away, but sometimes she struggles so hard- wrestling with something obscured in one of those two little caves of hers; I find myself captured in revolt. On one hand, I want to see if she can hook whatever she’s fishing and reel it out, but at the same time, I just want to dab my eyes with bleach.

There was this one time when I was in the shower; I left the water running to check my phone in the bedroom. I suppose she didn’t see me coming. I caught the end of what she was doing: drawing out a big’un. She was so impressed by it, that she had to pull the curtains open and hold it up to the light, whilst she squished and stretched it between two fingers. It was a bile-yellow colour, with a consistency like those big sticky hands on a rope that you used to get as a kid; the ones that you can slap against windows or your friends’ faces. I crept back into the shower and spent extra-long scrubbing my body, trying to rid it of the filth I felt.

I don’t let her cook anymore, because I’ve not seen her wash her hands after her little gold-digging sessions. I don’t quite fancy a spaghetti with questionable parmesan, or even an extra-chunky peanut butter sandwich.

Am I making this bigger than it should be? How is this ruining everything we’ve been building over the last six years? How do I make it stop? Her nasal-cavity contents are controlling my life. How do I become bigger than the booger? What would you all do? I just can’t take it anymore… Pauline, you need help, you’re tearing our marriage apart.”

With Jonathan’s intervention speech over, Pauline, both of their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and the entire wedding reception took turns awkwardly shuffling in their seats. Jonathan was a well-known lightweight; after five watered-down American beers, he’d earned a ticket to the doghouse for sure. The entire room was stiffly quiet. Jonathan approached Pauline, giving her an understanding look as he placed a hand on her right shoulder.

“I’m gonna stick this out for you…” He whispers, drunkenly.