Combat Zone


                     roger hargreaves

(originally published on on 3/28/2011 and edited for this publication)

The word toddlers worldwide choose not to acknowledge was uttered in the wake of countless attempts by an ungainly two-year-old girl with a tangle of brown curls covering her head to wreak havoc on the living room and all it’s occupants.


Mommy had spoken!

With a stomp of her foot and a severely down-turned lower lip, Little Miss Scary blew a gust of upset and unhappiness out nostrils clotted with ropey, greenish-yellow snot.  With results no decongestant can produce, a lumpy spray of gunk exited her nose holes and speckled the sleeve of her mother’s blouse and the side of mommy’s made up face.  Spying me, Scary made a move toward my perch on the edge of a too-soft, stained sofa, sizing me up as she approached.  While it was likely that much of the nasty congealed contents of her snout had already been purged, I was regretting my decision not to don a HazMat suit before heading out for my work day.

Scary stopped just short of me, tilting her head back as if to take aim.  Her nostrils appeared to pulsate with her desire to share her discontent.  Taking in a big breath, she expelled it forcefully out her nose.  Two things happened.  I quickly moved my things and as much of myself as possible out of the line of fire and Little Miss’s lower face was covered by what burst forth from her nose.  She had a look of triumph on her face when she leveled her head again to meet my gaze, nose goo hanging from her chin.

Relieved not to have been slimed by nasal mucus, I looked her square in the face, smiled and continued my conversation with her mother.

(reason #213 for not missing this job)


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