Wiping or Flicking? Who Nose!

I write for a humor blog with two friends, James Malins and Cherie Michiko, called Misusing Big Words. This post was originally published here:

Cost-Benefit Analysis: Booger Flicking vs. Booger Wiping

I don't care what you say about boogers, everybody pulls one out every now and then. Maybe it's that one elusive fellow that doesn't quite come out when you blow your nose, or perhaps you get no greater sense of accomplishment than digging in nice and deep in the morning and cleaning out all the overnight gunk buildup. Either way, from my travels and my study of different peoples, one thing seems to be a uniting factor.

Everybody is a nose-picker.

Some people find nose-picking disagreeable. To you disagree-ers, I disagree. It's a necessary bodily function, like burping and farting (and almost as fun, too!), and it helps keep you healthy and even exercises your dexterity. After all, boogers are all the dirt, dust, and other allergens polluting the air that your nose is able to catch before you breathe them into your lungs. Don't believe me? Check out this article (in easy to read, "kid-friendly" terms) about all the gross stuff that make up boogers.

So, we've established that everyone picks their nose, and we've established that nose-picking is good to get all that stuff out of there. Now, what do you do with it once you've got a fresh one sitting on your finger?

In my estimation and research, there are three options: put it in a tissue and throw it away, wipe it on an unseen surface (such as underneath the driver's seat or under a desk), or flick it as far as possible (I've seen one fly across an entire classroom before). For the purposes of this article, let's assume no tissue is available, leaving only two of the three options available.

Costs of wiping
  • Makes that part of chair/desk/etc unusable, except for booger wiping.
  • Probability someone will notice and be disgusted rises sharply.
  • You miss out on the fun of flicking.
Benefits of wiping
  • You know exact location of booger.
  • Next time you wipe, you can compare sizes, shapes, and consistency with previous boogers.
  • If sitting in furniture of someone you despise, it's a nice way to leave them a small gift.
  • Due to composition, boogers are always wipeable, but not always flickable.
Costs of flicking
  • You don't know exactly where it went (ie possibility of stepping on booger later).
  • Possibilty of someone you know and like being hit by "friendly fire."
  • Sometimes won't work if consistency is particularly sticky.
Benefits of flicking
  • It's fun.
  • If in a moving vehicle, you can flick it out the window and send it back to it's home in nature.
  • Can be used as a subtle attack method against everyday enemies.
I must say I'm surprised at the results. I thought for sure flicking would be the clear winner, but it seems costs of flicking are equal to the benefits, while the benefits of wiping outweigh the costs. It seems, though, that if you practice and can control the direction and velocity (as well as account for wind resistance and aerodynamics), flicking could be a better choice.

What do you think? Am I missing some costs? Benefits? Which do you prefer, and why? Names can remain anonymous, though as we've already established, everyone is a booger-picker, so there should be no shame.
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