Friday, October 3, 2008

How to inherit a nose nightmare

Parents always hope their children will inherit their best characteristics. For our part, we aren't conceited enough to think that Sonny stands to gain much from us, but we can certainly wish that he is spared some of our worse features. Which is why Pa had a mild fit when he first met Ivy the Fan.

Ivy is a purple and plastic, battery-powered fan that comes with a clip to be fastened to the hood of Sonny's stroller. Mum's idea was to provide some better-quality air circulation for when the little fella is on the move. Pa, however, has a great physical weakness: His nose. It has a tendency to commence sniffling with a vengeance once the air currents around it get too robust. Once an old-style tropical fan or (horrors) modern air-conditioning is added into the mix, Pa's nose can be reliably expected to sound off, then begin overflowing embarrassingly.

It remains to see whether indiscriminate exposure to aggressive drafts will firmly implant in Sonny's nose the great weakness with his father's. The medical case for such a worry could well be highly suspect, but Pa's struggles over the years with his nose has left him jumpy: At various times, doctors have fingered a crooked bone, iffy sinuses and a lack of fitness. So, with Sonny, Pa is always ensuring that the little fella is sufficiently wrapped up, out of any stiff drafts and with socks or long pants deployed if the air-conditioning is on.

For all that, Sonny's nose is showing ominous signs of being an eeny-meeny clone of his father's. He is often to be found snuffling energetically, though it doesn't seem to sour his mood or cramp his style. With no sign that he has recognised a potential enemy, he spends quite a bit of time staring at Ivy the fan when it's switched on, though it's probably because of the little lights that come on as the blades whirl. Careful observation has revealed no link between Ivy's use and any accelerated nose activity.

Still, perhaps having to come to terms with an inherited affliction like a chronically overflowing nose will help build Sonny's character. A grain of sand in an oyster is what brings about a pearl, as they say. Though a pearl doesn't sniffle.