Maurice Versus the NetiPot

I had this posted on one of my various social media outlets before this blog went up, and I thought I’d re-post it here for posterity. I would advise some discretion on the part of readers who find a device that clears out clogs in your nose disgusting. This post probably isn’t for you if you have a low tolerance for that kind of thing.

For those of you who have an overdeveloped sense of Schadenfreude… well, you’ve come to the right place. This one’s on me; or, well, perhaps that’s too literal. Anyway, I hope you like it.

Having been in sinus agony for three days, I took a sick day last summer and consulted my doctor’s office. The nurse practitioner took an appointment for me that morning and I discussed in graphic and gory detail the problem. I won’t repeat the stuff for the problem itself; if you’ve had a sinus infection, you know what it entails and need no further explanation. It sucked, and it hurt, and I wanted it to go away, thank you very much.

After expressing this to the nurse, she did what I wanted, and filled out a scrip for Z-Pac. Not my favorite, but it would do (I look at Z-Pac as the bobo brand of antibiotic). The nurse went a step farther though. She told me that sometimes, especially if an allergic reaction ushers in a sinus infection, you can use a Neti Pot to flush out the sinus.

For those of you unaware of the product, I’ll show it here:

Try to ignore the fact that this device’s spout bears more than a passing resemblance to what I imagine a Smurf’s dong looks like.

What does this device do? Well, I knew what it did, but for the unenlightened, I’ll expand upon the purpose. A Neti Pot gets all of the gunk, allergens and crap out of your nasal passage (in theory), by using good old fashioned water physics and gravity. I had not used one before that day, but I had an impression building up in the back of my head of what it might look like in practical application from previous explanations:

Yes, this device will make you herp the derp.

It should be telling to most that my consideration of using such a device is somewhat drastic. Such was the pain from the Pug-induced infection, that I consented to use such an abominable device.

Having sent the scrip to the pharmacy and having procured some food, I headed home. I asked my father (thanks dad!) to pick up the goods at the local Walgreens and wrote him a check to cover it. I descended into torpidness while I awaited his arrival, medicating myself to the best of my ability with what I had as well as liberal doses of mind rot a la XBox 360. My father arrived with Mucinex, antibiotics, and the Neti Pot.

I took the antis immediately as I have faith in this proven and tested science. I took a Halls cough drop (accept no substitutes) and thought about this Neti Pot business. I paid for the goddamned thing, but I was also afraid of it. Ask anyone who’s seen me swim and and they’ll tell you the lengths I will go to to NOT get water up in my schnoz.

After about two hours, I developed the testicular fortitude to use the thing. With great trepidation, I opened the lid and poured out the contents of the box onto my counter. I find myself drowned in advertising materials, what appears to be 40 little packets of saline mix and a little blue teapot looking thing that has a spout that looks, no shit, like an uncircumcised dong. Freud would have a fucking field day with this thing.

“You put what, where? Dude. That’s messed up. Now tell me again about your mother.”

Needless to say, I was not thrilled at what I saw. But I had spent the $11.95, dammit. I was in for the duration.

The contents on the counter also revealed the instruction manual, which I picked up and read through. Seemed simple enough. I set about going through this business and headed into the bathroom so as to not spew saline solution across the entirety of my kitchen. It went according to plan – mostly. But, let me tell you in no uncertain terms, they left some steps out of the instructions.

Here’s how the instructions should read:

1: Rinse teapot with dong attachment thoroughly and fill with filtered/previously boiled water. Seriously, if you use hot boiled water, don’t say we didn’t fucking warn you. You’ll have much worse things to worry about than congestion when you have third-degree burns up your nose. When that sucker is up to the 240 milliliter mark, stop.

2: Cut open saline mix at top of packet. Try not to think about how it just looks like regular table salt and put it in the pot. Place lid on top of pot. Cover dong, er nozzle, with a finger, as well as the little hole on the top of the pot’s lid and shake for a couple seconds to ensure everything is mixed well. You don’t want little grains of salt left behind in the emulsion, or this is really going to suck. More than it already will.

I wish to interject at this point that there’s little exaggeration up to this point, and I’m good at reading subtext. Here’s where my instructions would diverge. Not all of these things happened to me – but I can seriously see it going this way for the casual victim of this medical malefactor. To prevent my own dignity (or lack thereof) from harm, I will not say which of these things actually happened to me, but feel free to use your imagination.

3: Come to your goddamned senses yet? All right, you paid the twelve bucks, get ready, and don’t say I didn’t warn you. By get ready, I mean get a shirt you don’t care about, a box of kleenex, and a Gilette razor. That’s right, men, if you have a moustache shave that baby off. You’ll see why in a couple of minutes.

3a: Better yet, take off your damn shirt, body issues or not. I don’t care about your man boobs or your disapproval of your genuine articles, like ’em or not. Get that shirt off. Trust me.

4: Stand in front of your bathroom sink and look with loathing at the plastic tea kettle thing. Pick up the Neti Pot with your right hand, leaving your left hand free. Do not plug your other nostril with your left hand. Gently place Papa Smurf’s erection into your right nostril (my Neti was blue, so I imagine you can replace Papa Smurf with the cartoon reference of your choice – Bananaman, the Incredible Hulk, Scooby Doo, whoever).

5: Stop laughing. You need to get the mental image out of your head. As a matter of fact, you may just want to close your eyes for this part.

5a: Seriously, stop laughing. Repeat this step a couple of times. Really. Close your eyes, you really don’t want to see this.

6: When you have controlled yourself, tilt your head forward slightly and to the left, then raise your right arm to begin draining the solution into you-

7: Oh shit oh shit oh shitting fuck this is weird!!!!

It doesn’t really look this dramatic. But it certainly feels as dramatic. And it lets me use this image again, which is pretty goddamned funny.

7a: Oh shit, you opened your eyes in panic. Tada! You look like a circus freak!

7b: Choke and laugh at the same time. Spray solution out both nose and mouth (see image above if you need assistance). You look like some sort of a side show involving a garden hose and unfortunate victim of the knife throwing man.

7c: Realize that since you didn’t follow step three, dumbass, that your moustache has created a runnel, leading directly onto your shirt, which you also didn’t take off. Smooth one, Einstien. I told you to take off both the shirt and your fucking moustache. Listen better next time; you got what you deserved.

8: Panicked, remove the spout from your nostril. Say ‘holy shit!’ as many times as you need to – the preceding act was unnatural and no one will blame you.

9: Realize that you paid for this experience, and that you didn’t even get through half of the pot like you’re supposed to. Do steps 6 through 8 again, and try to be a man about it this time.

10: Try not to look at yourself in the mirror once half the pot is gone, because it’s not pretty. And for god’s sake throw that shirt in the laundry. It’s ruined now. Also try to make sure that you didn’t spray/spill/snort water on the floor.

11 You may feel some effect other than revulsion at this point, but we’re not quite there. Empty the remaining solution into the wash basin, and put the pot somewhere you can’t see it. Try not to think about what you’ve just done. You’re almost there.

12: Blow your nose. Relief! It’s a lot to go through, but you can breathe now.

13: (optional) You may feel shame or self-loathing at this point, but don’t worry. Clean yourself up and order a pizza, have a cigarette (though this defeats the point of the whole clearing-your-sinus bit), play some XBox – anything to take your mind off of the horror and violation you have experienced. Pray this need not ever repeat itself.

And that about sums it up. If I haven’t scared you away from this product by this point, feel free to use my helpful guide. The good news: it works to an extent. Will I use it again… this remains to be seen.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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