hey maddog this question is even more interesting than chocolate chip cookies. How come every time you pick your nose more boogers end up in your nose. What makes these things keep coming back
Jamie Garvey

Dear Mad-Dog, Why is snot (as opposed to clear runny boogers) and pee yellow? I mean, like is there some connection then? Be that the case, why do we call people shitheads or say we get shitfaced.

First, some notes to the writers of these letters...

Jamie: A complete sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with the proper punctuation (i.e. a question ends with a question mark. They look like this "?"). Nothing is more interesting than chocolate chip cookies.

Medea: Why are snot... and pee yellow? It's plural, dear. Also, for the record, the most current conventions for proper usage name snot as the clear runny stuff and boogers as the dry, colorful products of sinus mining. But that will all be explained here in...

Snot is important. Snot is your friend. On average, we humans, as a snot-producing species, produce and swallow almost a quart of snot each day. That's probably more snot than beer on a daily basis. Beer goes better with pretzels, though.

Snot, unlike most beers, is made from mucus and a special bacteria killing chemical. It coats your nose and nose hairs (technically referred to as "vibrissae") and keeps nasty airborne germs from reaching your lungs where they would build condominiums and charge outrageous rent.

Snot is almost as vital to our systems as cookies. Your schnozola is always busy producing snot (if only we could produce cookies and pick them out of our noses...). Because it would be decidedly unpleasant if all this snot simply poured out of your nose constantly, we are equipped with little teenie-tiny nose hairs called cilia. These cilia are in charge of sweeping snot back away from our nostrils and down your throat. Yum. The snot (which by this time it is full of all sorts of unspeakable filth that it has filtered out of the air) then slides to your stomach where you digest all that nose offal.

Who needs Cheez-Wiz?

Sometimes, however, your cilia stop working. Like when you go from a warm place to a cold one - you know, when you have your head in the refrigerator for a half hour looking for that last can of beer...The cilia stop swishing and your nose starts running. Don't drip in that leftover casserole!

Likewise, if your sinuses become blocked for some reason (like your finger is up your nose) the snot can't drain. It sits around in your nose and gets filled up with junk which makes it a nasty color. It then runs out of your nostrils because it has no other place to go. Poor snot...

It is customary, in some Eskimo tribes, for mothers to suck the snot out of their baby's noses. Sort of makes changing a diaper look like a dream job, doesn't it?

Sometimes, as we breathe in dry air, the mucus which is on active duty in our noses dries up. This is where the fun begins. The mucus starts collecting all sorts of garbage (dust, dirt, bacteria, skin cells, Slim Whitman albums) out of the air. That's what makes your boogers have a swell yellow-green color. The color is actually bacteria. (Urine, since you asked, you sick little monkey, is made from water, salts, vitamins, and various pigments. It is not colored by bacteria like snot is.) Then the snot starts to dry up. Then you are the proud owner of a real, honest-to-goodness booger. Lucky you.

Get a booger.
Pick it. Flick it.
It's your booger, but
Please don't lick it.

I wrote that poem. Your nose is constantly producing mucus, which means a never ending supply of boogers (Nose motto: "Pick all you want... we'll make more"). This is a good thing, because 70 out of a 100 people admit to picking their nose. Three percent out of those seventy admit to eating what they pick. Let's guess which population isn't invited to many social events... As for the question about shitfaced/shithead, look for my forthcoming epic Mad-Dog: In Deep Shit.

Mad-Dog: Master of the Universe
123 Ball Hill Rd.
Milford, NH 03055
Mad-Dog e-mail hotline:


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