Don’t think it’s funny, ‘cos it’s snot

HAVE you ever eaten your snot?

Think carefully.

It’s a practice that disgusts adults, and yet you can observe any small child, at some point in its life, absent-mindedly reaming out its nose and nibbling the bits of its index finger.

Disgusting but true. I have been watching it this morning. I thought my grandson (aged three) was an intelligent little lad, but that’s impossible.

Not because he eats his snot, but because he jams his finger so far up his nose that he must have destroyed a huge proportion of the nerve centres in his brain.

My point is, that if all today’s children do it, then the rest of us probably did it, too.

And I’m not talking Townsville here; or Australia. This is universal. African, Eskimo, Asian, American, European and even Pitcairn Island children surely must all have several kilograms of the stuff in their weekly diet.

And yet adults would have us believe that some time in the past 50 years some cataclysmic event — an eclipse perhaps, or the appearance of a comet — has turned modern children into snot eaters, unlike us older people, who were not subjected to the cosmic rays.

We forget. No matter what we think, memory’s the very first faculty to go as the ageing process starts – at about age 25.

No 25-year-old would ever admit to dining off the contents of their nose. Perhaps because it’s not a conscious act. It’s generally accompanied by an open mouth and a vacant stare while the brain is engaged in some thought involving dragons, possibly; or fairies; or eating something disgusting like… snot.

Surely, if they knew they were doing it, they wouldn’t do it?

I put it to the test. I waited till my grandson put the very same finger in his mouth.

“Do you like eating snot?” I asked.

He grinned and nodded. “It tastes like lollies.”

Now there’s an idea that Cadbury’s hasn’t tried yet.

He offered me some, but I turned him down.

Maybe there’s a good reason for it. I searched the internet to find out. Among the 400,000 answers I got was one that had the ring of plausibility about it.

Austrian doctor Friedrich Bischinger thinks the bacteria we collect in our noses provide our immune system with useful protection when they reach our intestines.

So it’s natural – we’re wired not only to pick our noses, but also to eat it!

Frankly, if the choice is boiling up the handkerchiefs, then turning it into lunch is fine by me.

Another theory is that it’s God’s way of protecting the upholstery, but I don’t buy that. Even with the amount they eat, children still have plenty left over with which to varnish the furniture.

Traditionally parents are forever badgering their kids to give it up, but it’s a waste of time. They can’t be stopped. At least – they can’t be stopped by us.

Age will do that. Probably before they reach high school, and definitely by the time they work out what the opposite sex is there for.

And when it does they will still wipe it on the bottom of the sofa.

Don’t check. You don’t want to know.