Waiting in a long line for a roller coaster, writing your ninth grade math exam, riding to work on the commuter rail, it suddenly hits you: that slippery Shake, Rattle, n’ Roll way, way, way up your nose.
You tap your pockets, check your purse, but no luck. You’ve got no tissues. You’ve got no napkins.
You’re all alone.
It twitches and it tickles and it drips and it dribbles and before you know it you’re shoved onstage as the curtain rises and floodlights blind your eyes. Yes, it’s the off-off-broadway production of That Drippy Emergency and you’re the star of the show.
• Act 1: Sleeve Sliding. Welcome back to sixth grade. You slide your slick and slippery faucet right across your dirty, fraying sweatshirt sleeve. Congratulations! You just bought yourself twenty-five seconds of sweet relief before the pipes burst again.
• Act 2: The Big Snort. Get your head in the game. Here’s where you pull a Zack Morris-like Time-Out, pause the world around you, and just yank your head up real fast while snorting as stiffly as possible. You smell dirty dust in the air and the crisp winter breeze zooms in to chill your brain. The Big Snort isn’t always pretty, but you’re just reading the lines.
• Act 3: Wet Lips. Eventually your tired face stares grimly in the distance. You give up for a moment and just let go. Two little garden hoses drip down your mustache groove and salt up your lips. Don’t deny you’ve gone this route before. Sometimes you’ve got no choice.
• Act 4: The Replacement Player. Blow, blow, blow into whatever you can find that seems closest to a tissue. Scratchy brown paper towel, piece of paper from the laser printer, squeezed-and-folded toilet paper roll, or maybe just the ol’ Bare Hands With A Sink Nearby move.
If you’ve ever performed the entire production of That Drippy Emergency, then you know it’s not a great gig. Nope, the pay is bad, the hours are terrible, and you’re an embarrassing slobbery mess for a few minutes.
That’s why it’s great when someone tosses you a tissue.