When I was a kid, my oral fixation was gum. Grape or blueberry Hubba Bubba. I used to take my ABC gum and hide it in my dollhouse, under my bedside table, behind my book shelf for “later.” And then I would go on a “treasure hunt” for my gum and when I would “find it,” I would start chewing it again. I was so deep into gum that I slept with it in my mouth. It usually ended up in my hair in the morning which did not make my mother happy. While I thought my experimentation with chewing gum was totally normal, I made a point of making fun of Alex, the kid in my second grade class who picked his nose and ate it. I made up a song that I sang about his nasty habit to my friends:
Everybody knows, Alex picks his nose, his nose
Wipes it on his shirt and eats it for dessert
Eat it, Alex!
I wish you could hear me sing it because the melody is really bluesy and soulful. Anyhow, as it turns out, Alex was doing it right. University of Saskatchewan biochemistry professor Scott Napper is convinced that there are major health benefits to picking your nose and eating it. He is doing some major snot research to back his claim up.
“We were talking about the different types of molecules that are present in mucus, and it’s well known that there’s a lot of sugar groups. And then we took it a little bit further and said maybe your mucus tastes sweet to tantalize you to eat it. Kids who sort of don’t know any better or know any better that picking their nose and eating it may actually be training their immune system to the different types of pathogens and agents that may be present within the air,” Napper said.
Well, that explains why my immune system is so shitty. I was loading up on sugary gum instead of immunity building boogers. And because of that, right now, I am sitting at my desk, fighting off a sinus infection, which I get like every two months, while Alex is probably somewhere enjoying a lifetime of perfect health. I’m sorry Alex. I was a fool. It’s not too late for me. Napper wants volunteers to “get picking.” It’s time.