Don’t Eat Your Boogers

I’m bursting with fatherly wisdom because I have no children. Advice and instruction get all backed up inside you. Eventually, you just go grab a random kid and say, “Don’t eat your boggers; flick ’em to the dog.” But that’s not satisfying. It just makes you want to give more.

Recently, I have longed to pass on the more useful concepts of physics. Especially those I discovered under the influence of research. For example, air circulation is only one application of a ceiling fan. Don’t underestimate its potential for mechanical applications such as banana slicing, distribution of dog treats, and motion sickness.

My worldly knowledge also burns to express itself in the higher functions of probability physics as well. For example, I’m going to toss this sock into the spinning fan blades. The probability that it will land in the philodendron is presumably a mathematical function of the inverse square of the radius from the fan to the pot, the angular momentum of the blades and the diameter of the pot. I’m not going to figure in the atmospheric resistance because I’ve done this experiment many times. It always lands in either the aquarium or my beer. If we’re serving pancakes at the time, it will land in somebody’s maple syrup. No theoretical physicist would have told you that maple syrup has its own gravity. That’s what The Fred Effect is here for. Maple syrup has, like, black hole gravity.

At this point, I know what the kid is thinking. What if I flick my boogers into the ceiling fan?

Yeah? What?

Will the dog catch it like he does when I flick it directly to him? Or will it land in the aquarium again?

Oh, you left out a bunch of stuff. First, you must calculate the probability functions. To do that, you have to record the mass of the booger in milligrams (I’ve seen only a few boogers in my life that exceeded a gram [See figure]). Milligrams will let you work with integers instead of decimals. Then you have to record the moisture content of each booger specimen. Since most kitchens don’t have the apparatus for measuring the moisture content of such small samples, you have to invent your own. I recommend a graduated scale of ten with “Snot” being ten and “Crunchy” being zero. You will eventually be able to correlate consistency with moisture content and then just plug in the mass in milligrams. You will find yourself discarding most samples above a “Snot 3” or a “Snot 4” because they will just stick to the fan blade or the ceiling. Or your finger.

What then?

Well, you formulate a hypothesis based on your equation. Then you just start flicking boogers and recording the data and comparing it with your hypothesis.

What if I run out of boogers?

Use your brother’s.

I just have one more question.

What’s that?

Why flick ‘em to the dog? Why can’t you just eat ‘em?

For the same reason you can’t marry your sister.

Huh?

It’s an old rule from the Bible. See, way, way back in Adam and Eve times, guys had to marry their sisters because there weren’t enough cousins to marry yet. Once there were enough first and second cousins to marry, God said, “Okay enough. No more marrying your sisters.” Same thing with eating boogers. See. People had to eat their own boogers sometimes because they weren’t very good at hunting yet. That’s why you have boogers in the first place. God put it there so you wouldn’t starve. The word booger actually comes from an ancient Babylonian word meaning “nose meat.” Boogers actually kept the human race from dying out. See?

Sure!

Good. But as soon as humans developed arrowheads and spearheads, they could kill mammoths and stuff. That’s about the time that booger eating became taboo, just like marrying your sister.

How did you learn all this stuff?

Went to college. Did seven years, plus.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Peg

That seems like an awful lot of work to flick a booger.

Seriously, where do you come up with this stuff. Hilarious!

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Nichole

I almost just snorted out my macaroni when I saw that you actually illustrated your point. I do suppose that makes it easier to teach to the kiddies. 🙂

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Fred

Thanks, Nichole. It would have been better if I had had an actual photograph, but I lost the only one I had from college.

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Jana

Have you posted a lesson plan for this? hahaha

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