by: Dan Holden
His name was Stephen Xavier Battlehorn, but everyone called him Booger. When his mom would wake him up she would say, “Time for school Booger.” At breakfast his dad would peek over the top of his newspaper and say, “How’s my little Booger today?” The kids at the bus stop, the bus driver and the crossing guard all chimed in, “Hey Booger.” Mrs. Singleton, the second grade teacher, called roll, “Ashley Adams, Chip Baden, Booger Battlehorn, blah, blah, blah”
Stephen really enjoyed picking his nose. It just felt good.
“Hey Booger, did you find any gold in there?” His father asked.
“Hey Booger, did you find any gold in there?” His sister Nails asked.
“Noo stupid head.”
“Hey Booger, did you find any gold in there?” His mother inquired
“Hey Booger did you find any gold in there?” Asked his friend Sam.
“NO!” Booger replied and quickly jumped on his back and wrestled him to the ground.
“Get off me man.”
“No. Take it back.”
“Take what back?”
“The gold stuff.”
“Alright, I take it back. Now let me up.”
Booger slowly removed his knees from Sam’s arms. As soon as they were free Sam socked Booger right in the nose.
“Oh dude, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you bleed,” Sam said.
With his hands cupped to his nose Booger ran home and straight to his room. Standing in front of the mirror Booger tilted his head back in order to survey the damage. There was definitely blood, lots of blood, but there was something else that glimmered deep inside his right nostril. He grabbed his flashlight but it still was too dark to see. In desperation Booger jammed his indexed finger as far up his nose as possible. Something hard was up there but Booger couldn’t hook it.
“I’ll have to use tweezers,” Booger thought.
He bolted to the closet and pulled out his Operation game. He had lost most of the pieces but he still had the tweezers. Booger took those tweezers and shoved them deeper and deeper into his proboscis
“Was that metal?” he thought, “Got it.”
He pulled as hard as he could and with a sudden
“Ploink,” out came the tweezers grasping a nugget of gold.
“They were right all along. I was digging for gold. They didn’t have to be so mean about it though. I’ll show them. I’m going to be a millionaire and I’m not going to give them anything.”
The next morning when he went to breakfast with his finger in his nose his father said, “Hey booger, diggin’ for gold are ya?’
“As a matter of fact I am.”
His father chuckled and went back to his paper.
That day at recess Booger found a secluded corner and began mining. In a mere half and hour he had filled his pockets with little booger sized nuggets. Just as the bell rang yanking the kids from their games of four square Suzie Meddleson screamed, “Ungh, Booger you’re nasty. I’m gonna tell my daddy and he works for EF BE I. They are going to arrest you for booger picking.”
“They can’t arrest me for booger picking ‘cause I ain’t pickin’ boogers. I’m diggin’ for gold.”
“Now I’m really gonna tell you big liar.” She ran off with her pigtails bouncing and begging to be pulled.
The rest of the school day was unbearable. Why do I have to learn all of this stuff? All the money I will ever need is right up my nose.
When Booger walked into his house after school he was anxious to get to his room so he could add to his horde of gold, but in the living room with his mother sipping coffee were a couple of men in cheap plaid suits and over-sized mirrored sunglasses.
“Oh Booger what have you done?” his mother managed to say through her tears.
The fat suit stepped forward and said, “Booger you need to come with us.”
“But I didn’t do anything.”
“No buts son. You come with us.”
Skinny suit grabbed him by his arm a dragged him out to a van that was waiting across the street.
“Don’t worry Stephen your father will know what to do,” his mother cried not too convincingly.
“Oh now you call me Stephen,” thought Booger, “What happened to the nickname now? I’ll show you all when I’m rich. I bet I could pay these guys off in boogers.”
“Hey you guys I can pay you a lot of money if you let me go,” Booger said.
“Oh we know, Booger, we know.”
The doors to the van slammed shut and it was pitch black. They drove for what seemed like forever. Booger finally fell asleep.
When he woke up he was strapped to a table, and hovering above him was a horrendous mechanical contraption.
“Booger Battlehorn,” a voiced boomed from a speaker somewhere in the room, “meet the NosePicker XP, NosePicker XP meet Booger.”
“What’s going on?” Booger screamed.
“We have information that there is gold up your nose and we plan on extracting it. We need the gold to fund our giant military industrial complex.
“No the gold is mine.”
“Ha! You said mine. Get it. Mine. Forget it. Now be very still this is a very delicate operation.”
Suddenly Stephen remembered something his Dad had always told him. “You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friends nose.”
“Oh, hey your right,” the agent said, “Gee I hadn’t thought of that. Whatever shall we do? Oh yeah.”
“Click.” A series of gears and pistons begin to move and a pair of tweezers shot forth. In the background Booger could hear people singing.
“The shin bone’s connected to the knee bone. The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone.”
Suddenly his father burst into the room and snatched Stephen from the table. The tweezers missed his nose and accidentally plucked his eyebrows.
“Hurry. Let’s go.”
They ran out to the car and sped off.
“Stephen what was that all about? Your mother said that the FBI came and got you this afternoon.”
“Dad, they wanted my boogers.”
“My boogers. They’re made of gold”
“Stephen, that’s just a joke.”
“No it’s not. Here look.” Stephen dug into his nose and pulled out a gold nugget.
“Why didn’t you tell us?”
“I wanted to keep all of the gold to myself. Everyone was always picking on me.”
“Ha. You said picking”
“Dad stop it.”
“You’re right. I shouldn’t have said that. If I had just listened to you this morning. I should have known.”
“No Dad it’s my fault I should have trusted you guys. I know you love me even though you pick on me. Maybe if we all just picked our noses instead of picking on each other everything would be O.K.”
“You know what Stephen. You’re awfully smart for a booger picker.”