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James’ Itchy Nostrils
by William Kitcher

Mr. James was led from the reception area to the CEO’s outer office by Mrs. Drummond. Mr. Carter was already there, sitting and reading a magazine.
“Now, Mr. James,” said Mrs. Drummond, “if you'd just like to have a seat, Mrs. Aaron will be out shortly for your job interview.”
James pointed to Carter, and said, “What about...”
“Mr. Carter is early for his interview. He's after you. Please, have a seat.”
“Thank you,” said James. Mrs. Drummond started to leave, and James added, “Oh, excuse me. Could I have a drink of water, please?”
“Of course,” said Mrs. Drummond, and exited back to the reception area.
James sat beside Carter, and grinned at him in a way that made Carter look at him skeptically. Carter went back to his magazine.
James looked around the room, taking in the paintings, the company logo, and whatever else was there. Then he turned to Carter. “Job interview.”
“Yes, I know,” said Carter, very deliberately. He went back to his magazine.
Mrs. Drummond entered again with a glass of water, which she handed to James.
“Thank you,” said James.
“You're welcome,” said Mrs. Drummond, and left again.
James took a large sip of water and gargled. Carter looked at him, which made James self-conscious, so he spit the water out onto to the lush carpet. Carter went back to his magazine.
James developed an itch on his nose, which he attempted to get rid of by scrunching up his nose. It didn’t help. He wiggled his nose from side to side but nothing relieved the itch. He rubbed his nose on his sleeve but his suit jacket was rough tweed so that made the itch even worse.
Carter watched James out of the corner of his eye, then shook his head and resumed reading.
James scratched the outside of his nose but it failed to resolve anything. He continued to scratch, and he wondered if he would have an itchy nose for the rest of his life.
Finally, he gave into temptation and inserted his left index finger into his left nostril. There he found the cause of the itch: a particularly resilient booger. He picked at it a bit but couldn’t dislodge it.
Carter looked at James with his finger up his nose. He’d seen this kind of thing before.
James took his finger out, and tried not to look embarrassed. He stared straight out in front of him, as if nothing had happened.
After a while, James had an idea. He put his tongue out, and inserted it into his left nostril. After he probed for a bit, Carter looked at him. James looked back. Carter turned away in disgust.
James settled, and everything seemed to be OK. But he knew the offensive body was still there. He dug again with his left finger in his left nostril and finally got the little fellow out. He brought it to his face, studied it carefully, then put his hand behind his head and flicked it away as casually as he could. Problem solved.
He was OK for a moment, but then got another itch, this time in his right nostril. He tried to resist it, but...
He dug into his right nostril with his right index finger. Carter knew what was happening again, but refused to look at James and shook his head in dismay.
James explored, finally extracted another jewel, and studied it. He rolled it around in his fingers. He attempted to flick it away but it wouldn't come off; it was too viscous. He tried several more times.
At that point, the CEO, Mrs. Aaron, entered the room. She approached James and put out her hand. “Hello, Mr. James. I’m Mrs. Aaron.”
James jumped up in horror and froze.
Well, what would you do in this situation? Would you: A) shake hands with Mrs. Aaron and hope she doesn't notice? B) shake hands with your left hand and make her think you're a real idiot? C) bow to her and hope she thinks that you're Japanese? D) point to the ceiling, say "Look at that!" and run away? or E) proudly show her what you've just done? Let's watch.
There was a long pause as James tried to figure out what to do. A million things rolled around his brain. Finally, he got an idea. “Say, Mr. Carter, you've been here awhile. Why don't you go through first?”
Carter got up. “That's all right with me if that's all right with Mrs. Aaron.”
Mrs. Aaron was a little perplexed. “Sure, that's fine.”
As Carter walked past James, James pat him on the back and wiped off the offending object.
Carter looked at him strangely, and James returned the look with a stupid smile. Carter and Mrs. Aaron left the room, and James sat down again.
He was quiet for a moment and then got an itch on his bum...