A Man Of Many Talents
I have often watched Japanese variety shows on television, and been amazed at the banality, the stupidity, and the inanity of the various games and quizzes. This does not mean, of course, that I do not watch them anyway. One reason I still do endure them is that they sometimes prove themselves to be useful, in the most unexpected of ways.
A couple of years ago, I was at my in-laws house with our children. While no one was looking, my daughter, who was four at the time, somehow managed to remove the plastic cap that served as the antenna portion of her toy mobile phone. By the time anyone had noticed, the cap had found its way into her nostril. This was brought to everyone's attention by my daughter herself, who informed us that she felt it a bit inappropriate to have such an object jammed quite so firmly in her nose. A brief examination of the situation revealed that the cap was indeed firmly jammed, in such a position that it would be difficult to grasp with a tweezers or any other instrument. My in-laws were getting more and more excited in their attempts to keep my daughter calm, and this was beginning to freak her out.
I then had a flash of inspiration, remembering a television program I had seen some weeks before in which several low level personalities ( - known as "talents" in Japan, tried to make themselves sneeze in a race to be the first to do so. To this end, they had rolled up tissues very tightly, and were sticking the pointed ends they had made into their nostrils and lightly stimulating the inner surfaces of their noses.
I grabbed a tissue, rolled one corner into a sharp end, and told my daughter to keep very still. She asked me if it would hurt, to which I replied; "Only if you laugh too much!"
Within a few seconds of me sticking the tissue into her nostril and gently twirling it around, she pulled back and made that face people make when they are about to sneeze. I removed the tissue and covered her other nostril with my thumb. That same moment, she sneezed, and the offending plastic cap was launched across the room to bounce on the coffee table before landing on the sofa. When my daughter realised what had just transpired, she burst out laughing with delight, and her grandparents soon followed, as much out of relief as from amusement.
And so our little crisis was resolved: I was relieved that my daughter did not have to visit a hospital to have the cap removed safely, my grandparents had another reason to believe I am the most wonderful son in law in the known universe, and my daughter was doubly pleased; she had gotten the plastic cap out of her nose, and also had a great new trick to show her friends at kindergarden!
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