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Jeff Whitten: Swabbed up the old nose
editor's notes

The nice lady with the face shield on said it wouldn’t really hurt much.

“It might sting a little at the end,” she added, “but we want to make sure we get a good sample.”

Then, after a, “we don’t want to have to do it a second time, do we now,” she bravely began fishing around up my left nostril with her swab, looking for a chunk of whatever-it- is-I-prefer-not-to think-about lining my nasal passage way up there next door to my brain.

She was right. It didn’t hurt.

And, after weeks of hearing how painful the process was, I was so grateful it didn’t kill me or poke one of my eyes out from behind (I heard that happened in one in three cases of swabbing) I forgot to ask for my lollipop.

Or at least ask if I could see what the swab looked like once it had been extracted from my septum’s sanctorum.

But as I drove home the whole COVID testing process kind of made me think of bottom fishing, because in both exercises the deeper you go the more interesting the thing you’re apt to find on that hook at the end of your line when you reel it back in.

In fishing, you either eat it, throw it back or run away from it. In a pandemic, you send it off to a lab to find out what it is.

Oh, and all this happened to me Friday, Aug. 28.

The Friday before, I had lunch in Pembroke with some important people who shall not be named. That led to an email from one of them five days later delivering the news he and his better half had tested positive for COVID and those of us at the table needed to get tested. So, I did. And learned 3-5 days later I was negative.

Now for some thoughts on the exercise: No, getting swabbed wasn’t the most fun thing in the world, and I highly doubt it will replace beer pong as a drinking game of choice for the hipsters.

I also doubt developers and bankers who enjoy dressing up as pirates and wandering around with beers in their hands chanting “Arrrr Matey, walk my plank,” will change costume to face shields and scrubs, but hey, whatever floats the old boat.

Finally, what it’s worth, I am finishing out my last days of quarantine. That is a good thing, because my wife is about ready to run me out of the house.

According to her, this is what a typical hour with yours truly on the loose is like: Me: “Hey, check this out. I put a catcher’s mitt in my pants. Does it make me look like I have a butt? Be honest.”

Five minutes later.

Me: “Can I have a ferret and why not.”

Five minutes later.

Me: “Do we have any sprinkles?

I want to make cupcakes. And while you’re at it, do we have any already made cupcakes to put under the sprinkles?”

Five minutes later.

Me: “Your turn to pick what we binge watch this week on TV. Your options are Three Stooges and Benny Hill. Up to you.”

Five minutes later.

Me: “Hey look what I found in the upstairs commode tank! I think it’s a turkey burger patty. What do you mean, why was I in the upstairs commode tank? I’m an editor. It’s my job.”

Five minutes later.

Me: “I think a skink is lurking in my closet. Something is back there rustling around, making skink noises. Will you come get him out?”

Five minutes later.

Me: “We need some helium. That way I could inflate the neighbor’s cat, which, by the way, I just let into the house.”

Five minutes later.

Me: “Hey, I double-checked. It wasn’t a turkey burger patty, it was an old bowl biscuit. Now I’m definitely taking this thing to work.” Five minutes later.

Me: “I think I got a jar of Chinese mustard on the new bedspread.”

Five minutes later.

Me: “Do you always get this many packages from Amazon while I’m at work? Bless my heart, i’s not even my birthday yet.”

Five minutes later.

Me: “I seriously think we need some gerbils. Don’t you want some gerbils? Five for you, five for me.” Five minutes later.

Me:: “Well how about that. It turns out your Secret deodorant really is strong enough for a man but made for a woman. My armpits are glued together.”

Whitten is editor of the Bryan County News.

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