Saturday, July 15, 2006


You know why we have siblings? So we can play the ever-popular ‘name the family body part/characteristic you most hope you won’t inherit’ game. My sister and I had a head start on the game in two ways. 1 we had family pictures (strictly segregated by DNA, distaff to the West, patriarchal to the East) lining our hall and 2 the top of the ‘oh please, not that genetic heritage’ list was as plain as, well, as the saying goes if you know what I mean.

It’s The Nose. It’s a nose with dignity and character, a nose that practically insisted my father become a college professor simply because a nose like that demands a plethora of undergraduates to cower in its shadow. When I was little I used to worry quite a bit about The Nose, and check myself now and then to see if one was developing on my face. It was possible, you see, because of the two pictures of my dad in the hall. There’s one of him as a curled and dimpled toddler – all hand-tinted sweetness with, quite clearly, a small baby-sized nose on its face. Then there’s the high-school cool-dude photo with black slacks, white shirt, casual attitude and, no doubt about it, The Nose. Sometime between 2 and 17 The Nose emerged, and if it could happen to him, well…

I could comfort myself with the thought that if it did plonk itself down on my face in the middle of the night, if I suddenly found myself front-heavy with a prow worthy of Her Majesty's navy (d’ja like that one dad?) I too could join the hallway of fame, what I once called in a far-too-pretentious college essay ‘the genealogical rogue’s gallery.’ The Nose has a history, it hangs gracing the face of my ancestor long before it crawled out onto the visage of my immediate progenitor (darn it. Mention pretentious college essays and next thing you know…).

So for the precious few who have actually seen me (yes, I’m a real person as well as a digital entity) keep in mind that the nose you see, the nose of character and standing, the nose that more than hints at a strongly British heritage (well, that and my near perfect 1 albedo)? That nose my friends, that’s nothing.

P.S. My own offspring have yet to demonstrate The Nose. Kirk had a laughably small nose. In fact, he could squash it down flat until it was broken several time – you know, in the way noses usually are when you’re a teenage boy. Apparently he had some seriously strong genes because my kids have three small, completely inoffensive, utterly unremarkable noses. So far. (Three among them, not three each)

ETA: Am I the only person who uses Google as a modified spell-check? Honestly, I’ll google what I think the spelling of a word is, and if I get a decent return (and no quick ‘are you sure you don’t mean this proper and obviously much more educated version you moron’ comment at the top) I figure I’m golden. Today, Microsoft LOSES on albedo and Google and I by way of Wikipedia totally win. Victory.


Dee said...

When I worked for the Gastroenterology department on North Campus and had to transcribe hand written (on an bumpy airplane written in pencil on a canary legal pad) notes for the department head I often would "yahoo" the medical terms to make sure that I was spelling them correctly. I would also read the web pages in question so that I understood what I was typing up and wasable to further prevent myself from making errors. Did I mention that this doctor was from China and his first language WAS NOT English

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Gastro..kind of...

I was in the health food store today looking for something to gobble down for lunch when there it was. Round bread. Different kinds of round bread. Now, it didn't look like it was made in cans, more like, very tall and very skinny flower pots. The sides sloping just a teeny teeny bit.

I think we need your mom's recipe for round bread. Complete with appropriate can.