One of my most vivid memories from the time the CBC asked me to attend a hockey game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames has nothing to do with the hockey players or the game at all. Yes, one of the things that sticks out most in my mind is the men’s media washroom and the amount of boogers stuck above the urinals.
At the time I already felt out of place. I didn’t move like a sports reporter. I didn’t smell like a sports reporter. And I sure as hell didn’t dress like a sports reporter either, so when I realized the wall that I initially thought was covered in a bunch of fruit lies was actually a bunch of boogers it made me feel the gayest I’d felt in a long time.
And that, my friends, is an achievement.
While I’m sure there’s the odd gay man out there who might do such a thing, any self-respecting homosexual would never place a booger on a wall like that. And in the off chance he did, it would be in a paisley pattern or something far more artistic than what I saw in that media washroom at the GM Place in Vancouver.
Why in the hell do straight men do this?
This is not the first time I’ve been assaulted by straight men’s boogers. At virtually every institution of higher learning that I’ve attended and taught at, straight men have left boogers above the urinals. Sometimes they circle the biggest boogers with black ink and add comments like “Whoa, Buddy, that’s a big one” and “Sweet.”
Once while working at the Royal Bank, some guy kept leaving his boogers above the urinals for weeks until somebody complained and then he left boogers on the signs asking people to stop leaving boogers. And what an uproar when the booger leaver left one with a few hairs and people started suggesting DNA testing, which struck me as strange as I though a booger would be DNA enough. But I digress.
On that night at the hockey game, I couldn’t help but ponder which of the sports reporters around me were the culprits. I started to look at people’s hands and then their noses and then their hands and then their noses again. And then I started to look at their pens.
Unfortunately, I have spent far too much time pondering why straight men do such things. I know that pissing is not necessarily the most fun activity, but I’ve never been so overwhelmed with boredom that I decided to pick my nose to pass the time. I mean really. I love straight men and they continue to intrigue me, but this booger business has got to stop. That’s not the kind of sharing I hope for.
Billeh Nickerson performs at Wordfest in Calgary and Banff on Oct 15 & 17, and at the Vancouver International Writers Festival Oct 21-23. Read his previous Xtra.ca columns.