The Tinsel’s Silver Glow
Before I returned to university to complete my BEd degree I was employed as a Youth Counsellor at a juvenile detention centre. Essentially, I was a guard. It was a casual, six month position after which I was laid off. That suited me just fine.
It was a few days before Christmas and I was working with the older boys. As I recall, there were 18-20 boys in the dorm. My eight hour shift was spent ensuring that they were following the routines and not fighting with each other.
“Hey, Mr. Caines, watch this.”
The fellow who gained my attention was now standing before me and had his hands cupped beneath his nose. We were next to the Christmas tree that had been decorated several days earlier.
I wasn’t sure what he was up to but his actions were accentuated with a combination of coughs, snorts and gags. He certainly had my attention.
He then dropped one of his hands and at this point I could see a strand of tinsel hanging from his right nostril. He then reached into his mouth and, after another series of coughs and gags, pulled the other end of the tinsel out of his mouth. I was dumbfounded.
“Watch this”, he said.
He then proceeded to alternately pull on opposite ends of the tinsel. It looked like he was flossing his nasal passage.
He smiled, “Isn’t this cool?”. I think if I had just eaten I would have thrown up.
Honestly, I wanted to laugh but I didn’t want to encourage him. I told him to stop and to remove the tinsel from his head. I thanked him for helping me to find the spirit of the season. I also suggested that he not put the tinsel back on the tree.
This is a gimmick that I will definitely NOT be teaching my grandson.
Merry Christmas to you and yours
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