#20: Narrowly escape encounter with a neti pot
I encountered something unexpected this evening in my brother-in-law’s bathroom. No, it wasn’t the empty toilet roll or the grimy shower tile. It was a neti pot. Just sitting on the counter, innocently.
Now, I’ve never seen a neti pot in person. My only encounter with one was on the show, Six Feet Under. Crazy old George is in love with his neti pot, having used it every day since youth to keep colds away. Ruth is not so much in love with the neti pot, particularly when she discovers it in her kitchen cupboards. She freaks out in that characteristically neurotic and endearing way of hers. Not exactly great advertising for the ancient nasal irrigation method, but at least those of you who’ve seen the show know what I’m talking about. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
My brother-in-law lives in a house with several other young twenty-somethings, making their way through life with music, two dogs, a couple of six packs of beer, and each other. They’re sweet, hippie-leaning guys (and a gal) but of the five of them, I can’t even begin to guess which housemate the neti pot belongs to.
The longer I hung out in the bathroom with it, the more I became sort of obsessed with the fact of it just sitting there, left out for all to see. It reminded me of an argument I once had with a dear friend about whether it was appropriate to leave a tub of Metamucil out in the office kitchen. She claimed it was a food and she had every right to keep it there. I argued that it was medicine and suggested the reason her coworkers might be uncomfortable with it sitting out in a public place is that it reminds them of pooping rather than what they’re doing in the kitchen, which is eating. We never saw eye to eye on that one.
Perhaps I’m a bit of a personal hygiene prude but I don’t expect to see wart remover, hemorrhoid cream, or athlete’s foot powder sitting out in a bathroom. If you had asked me before tonight, I would have put a neti pot in the same category of unmentionables. But here’s the rub: in person, a neti pot is irresistibly adorable. An angelic cream-colored ceramic exterior, smooth as a baby’s bum, and a lotus flower for adornment . . . who could resist it?
It was hard but I was able to escape without touching the pot. I snapped a few photos of it while I cooed about how cute, weird, and awesome it was (much to my embarrassed husband’s chagrin). But I didn’t touch it. And boy am I glad: have you seen how it works? All I could think about when I saw this video of it in use is me, hacking up a lung the way I do when I get water up my nose at the public swimming pool, or snorkeling in the ocean, or even sometimes when I’m not paying attention in the shower.
Lesson learned: I’m probably way too uncoordinated to use a neti pot for its intended purpose. But I wouldn’t mind having one for a watering can or a gravy boat. They’re just too darn cute.