This past spring I spent three afternoons on Broadway, near Times Square, holding a handmade sign that offered a free nose-picking service. In three days the service "grossed" eight dollars in tips, all of which was given to me after I killed the $1.00 fee.* Originally I thought it would be fun to never talk about this experience; to keep my memories really private. But then I told Katie (immediately) and a couple other people (eventually) about the service, and now (8.5 months later) I'm telling you. Here's a screenshot of a blogging stranger's account of my first day:
I've thought of some ideas for expanding and diversifying this nose-picking service but all I've done so far is let time pass. Now I don't know if I'll ever go back to it. I might be done with public nose picking, but I might not be.
Here's another shot from the first day. I got into the habit of asking anyone who took my picture to email me a copy:
In October 2005 and again in October 2006 I failed to convince Katie to let me set up a nose-picking booth at her second- and third-annual Fall Family Fests.**
*For the first five minutes of the first day I advertised a cost of $1.00. Five minutes into the first day, a smiling policeman approached me and asked me to stop charging money—charging people would make life difficult, he said—so I crossed out the "$1.00" and wrote "FREE" on the sign using the policeman's pen. I was told to keep the pen.
**Fall Family Fest is an annual, free, church-sponsored, non-evangelical, crowd-pleasing community event involving pumpkin carving, potato-sack races, candy, smiles, and dozens of religiously diverse Park Slope families. Katie invented it in 2004.
Click here for a bigger picture.