Saturday, 17 January 2009



It's been deemed by the powers that be that biting the skin at the side of your nails is self-abuse. It is, it's a fearsome furious attack that masks the very deepest personal troubles at the heart of low self esteem. It is a cover for years of relentless incestuous sodomy. It's a bubbling up of that subconscious self-loathing towards the very digit that has committed paedophilia. It's the deformity of the damned instruments of death that end the lives of screaming mothers and innocent baby victims of genocide. Or, it might be that you're just a bit nervous.

On this theme, having become engaged, it's my New Yearly Resolution not to pick my nose. Friends look aghast, this is a resolution too far, one no man can hope to achieve, one foolish to even contemplate, one deemed to pitiable failure within two hours. Still, I strive. I have considered going the other way and applying for a grant to develop my nose picking. After setting up the appropriate company and filling out all the forms I was offered one from the National Lottery if I could match the funding, but I couldn't raise half a million pounds.

It would have been in vain in the current climate though, as nose picking follows finger nibbling into being classed as self-abuse. We shall soon be looking ruefully at the desperately sad figure of a child picking his or her nose then biting their fingers. How we will worry and fret that they may be an abused child secretly crying out to be saved, we shall call the police anonymously having followed the family home "I think I know a child that's being abused" "Why's that sir?" "There was a little boy in his push-chair I saw at lunch, when his Dad leaned forward and gave him a kiss on the top of his head, the boy... it's hard to say it..." "Go on sir" "He started... picking his nose." "Are you sure?" "Yes, I'm afraid so." "Are you sure he couldn't have been scratching an itch?" "No, it went in and..." "And what?" "It's too terrible." "What happened next sir?" (almost whispering)"He bit the skin at the side of his finger." "It's all right sir, you've done the right thing. Do you know the identity of the boy?" "I followed them home, I don't think they saw me." "Give me your location, we'll send a car round straight away, don't worry, it can all stay anonymous. If you could just wait till the car arrives and talk to the attending officer. Thank you sir, and I'm sure the boy will thank you one day too."

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