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The Idle American
"Looking Down the Nose..."
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 • Posted April 24, 2013

When sensory body parts were assigned, growing evidence suggests that noses got a raw deal. They haven’t made much noise about it so far; what can they do—snort, sniff or maybe drip?

Noses stiffened in protest—to date, anyway—have either been ignored or shushed. Even the “see no/hear no/speak no evil” monkeys—depicted in eighth-century China—ignored noses.

There have always been permissible “time-outs” for eyes, ears and mouths. Not for noses, though; their intake valves are forever open, 24-7….

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References to noses typically are negative. Some are “bent out of joint.” Many are bodily ski slopes for eyes peering downward. Noses in the air—and “blue noses”—paint pictures of arrogance.

Except maybe for babies—some of whom have “cute” noses—rarely are they included in positive remarks.

When’s the last time you heard a guy ask another, “Wow, did you get a gander at her beautiful nose?”...

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For noses, there are no places to hide. Ears have their muffs—and eyes have their shades—but noses remains bared, always out front. And we all are admonished to follow them.

Certain luminaries have made peace with noses that happen to be XXXX-large. Jimmy Durante joked about his “schnozzola,” and Bob Hope milked his “ski nose” for laughs. Steve Carell stands behind his ample protuberance, without a threat of rhinoplasty—but comedienne Phyllis Diller had hers cut down to size. Noses did nothing to curtail careers of Karl Malden, Walter Matthau and Pinocchio.

A friend who was a longtime collegiate basketball coach has a nose with wide-angle air passages. He’s kidded that “if his nose were full of nickels, he could retire.”…

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Madison Avenue, adding to its rush to produce ads for assault on our eyes and ears, now is making billboards that produce aromas as well. So far, steakhouses are faring well pushing wonderful aromas along with sizzles.

Some fairs are running billboard-bearing trucks that emit the sweet smell of cotton candy.

Can ballparks, public transportation and arenas be far behind?...

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Saying this to say that noses— in all probability—will press on.

No matter what most marks the air—fair or foul—they’ll take it—wishing, dadgummit—they didn’t have to “take the good with the bad.” The latter includes tiring suggestions that we keep our noses out of other people’s business.

Noses for news, a kindly description of certain news folks, offer but faint praise….

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What are noses to do? Obviously the Chinese passed right over the opportunity to add a fourth monkey holding his nose.

Options are few. There aren’t many calls for nose models used in mask-making at Halloween time. And those bulbous noses clowns choose for their facial treatments rarely ever wear out.

Nose transplants are never in the news. Putting in for transfers could, however, be noses’ next requests….

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They’ve enjoyed better days—when roses, honeysuckle and new-mown hay called for slowing of steps to accommodate deep breathing. We stopped; we smelled.

Most folks can only dream of the freshness of falling rain in a pine-filled forest. And pleasures now are rare of aromas from apple pies and sage-stuffed turkey dressing wafting from ovens.

Heck, even if stove-makers continue to turn out ovens, there is talk they may eliminate the “wafters.”…

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Protuberances, then, are like the love-struck couple peering bravely forward from the very tip of the Titanic. Or Rudolph with red-raw nose chosen as sleigh leader for Santa’s annual flight.

Noses are “front and center,” taking on whatever comes next. They’ll keep sights and tastes separated, hold up eye-glasses and provide barriers for mustaches to rub against.

Noses—stuck out or not—routinely pass smell tests. They can’t hide; they can’t run—OK, but only in place….

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Thankfully, we are free to appreciate our noses if so desired. Maybe we should cut them slack about post-nasal drip, allergies and congestion. And, shouldn’t we give them passes as they relate to our appearance?

Woodrow Wilson, back when presidents had time for such, penned (stole?):

“As a beauty I’m not a great star. There are others more handsome by far. But my face, I don’t mind it, because I’m behind it. ‘Tis the folks in the front get the jar.”…

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Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Speaking inquiries/comments to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Twitter: @donnewbury. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com.

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