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Tuesday, February 01, 2011


When I was growing up my parents were constantly (or so it seems in my memory) having to scold me for making too much noise. Not intelligible noises, like words or the multitude of meaningful vocalized sound effects that are vital and intrinsic to the play of every growing boy, but the sort of noisy gibberish made for no other reason than to make noise. My mother called it "mouth noise" and the command "stop making mouth noise" was a staple of my boyhood, heard almost daily for some years of it. I have since grown out of the desire and need for making mouth noise, leaving that part of my childhood behind. Well, mostly. I still find myself humming or whistling tunelessly, snapping my fingers to no readily discernible beat or otherwise making some small, unobtrusive yet mostly patternless noise to keep my body busy while my mind is occupied. I guess you could just say that my mouth noise has grown up along with me and now presents in a more mature and reserved fashion from the babbling of my youth. This is not to say that I do not still make a rather unnecessary amount of noise. The reason and source has just changed. The truth is, if I am brutally honest with myself, is that I produce a near constant stream of noise from my nose. I sniff, snuffle, blow my nose, snort, blow my nose back in (you know, where you suck it back in with a kind of "snerk" sound?), and generally make all sorts of noises generally associated with industrial vacuuming devices being inadvisably applied to protected wetland. I have been increasingly noting the alarming constancy and frequency of sound emanating from my olfactory organ and I am beginning to become slightly distressed. I seem to remember a time in my life when I could, in fact, go the majority of a minute without having to noisily rearrange the contents of my nasal passages. I've always had seasonal allergies, but at least in the past they had the good grace to pick just one season instead of all four. In any case, hopefully some remedy to my current state can be found someday, but for now I shall endure it. It seems instead of turning out to be a naturalist, police officer, or astronaut I got to grow up to be snuffleupagaus.

p.s. I tried to find a more apropos title than "ca-cough-onous," but failed to find any sniffling related adjectives or verbs that related to the production of noise, so I went with what I had. I'd love to see any better suggestions in the comments. Go ahead. Build my vocabulary.