Friday, June 08, 2007

Tip me over and pour me out

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[Click the above for a short film featuring Dan actually flushing out his own sinuses with his new neti pot. You know what rhymes with "neti pot"? Snot. Enjoy! --Dan]

Someday, some company will pioneer safe and affordable head-removal technology. You’ll be able to snap off your head whenever you like and reattach it in seconds. Imagine the possibilities. You could rest it on the counter for awhile while your body does the dishes, or set it on the dashboard if you’re tall and drive a small car.

Easy head removal will also make for very disturbing games of Keep-Away at elementary schools nationwide. But think how simple it would be to clean your sinuses!

Until that glorious day, I have the neti pot to clear my head.

My wife saw something on “Oprah” about this old Hindu remedy, described by Dr. Oz — you know, that guy who’s always conspicuously dressed in blue hospital scrubs, as if the producers just yanked him out of the operating theater?

A neti pot is like a small, long-spouted teapot that you fill with warm saltwater. You jam the spout into your nostril, tilt your head over a sink, and pour the water into your nose. Assuming you don’t drown yourself or have water spurt from your ears and belly button, the water comes cascading out your other nostril in lovely waterfall of mucus, pollen, dander, bits of duck feathers, shredded leaves, sprigs of hay, and anything else you have clogging your sinuses.

I started to use a neti pot this week. My seasonal allergies have driven me to the edge of insanity, and then way, way past it.

Oak trees send me into sneezing fits. This year’s record so far is seven in a row. Grass clippings go straight for my lungs. Pollen works its way into my nostrils and eyes, and itches like a thousand miniature lobsters doing the Hully Gully. And I get no relief until fall. You know those once-a-day allergy pills? About three of those mixed with gin stop me hawking up mucus for about a half-hour before spring’s foul, death-like grip closes swiftly around my throat.

Before I slipped on a gas mask and went to the store to buy one, I watched a video demonstration of a neti pot online. has a particularly helpful one starring a blonde lady whose face is frozen in the expressionless gawp of the zombified. Actually, watching it again, I’m not convinced she isn’t a ventriloquist dummy with a garden hose rigged up inside the face.

Lifeless, Canadian-looking, carved balsa wood figurine or not, the lady breathed better than I did, so my wife and I headed out to health stores to buy our own neti pot. There, we learned two things: One, health food shoppers pay double for bananas, even if I cough pollen and saliva all over them. Two, neti pots are sold out everywhere. That’s the power of being on “Oprah.”

I eventually found one on eBay that I’m about 65 percent sure has not been up anyone else’s nose before.

I waited two days for it to come in the mail. That’s 48 hours of itching, clawing, scraping, hawking and snorting; 2,880 minutes of gentle spring breezes prodding all manner of crap into my flared-up, burning sinuses; 172,800 godforsaken seconds of sneezes that wracked my entire body with agony, and watery eyes that made everything look like I was wearing beer goggles but without the nice feeling of invincibility that comes with them.

So I borrowed a sports bottle from my wife — the kind with the squirty top. I topped it with warm water and a dash of salt, poked it up the schnoz, and squirted.

A little weeping, a few pounds of tissues, 10 ounces of water and mucus, and the deed was done. I had flushed out my sinuses.

Cleaning out the inside of my face sounds goofy, and I look goofy doing it, but I emerged from this experience with clear, clean, refreshed nasal passages. Plus, with the salt, everything started to smell like the beach.

I’ve since gotten my actual neti pot, which is much easier to use than a sports bottle and doesn’t leave that odd Gatorade aftertaste in my throat. My wife bought one, too. While I sort through the embarrassing photos I took of her using it, here are the answers to some common questions you may have:

Q.: I don’t like weird things. The neti pot sounds weird. Is using the neti pot weird?

A.: Pish-posh! What could be weird about rinsing out the inside of your skull with saltwater? Next!

Q.: I have high blood pressure and salt is bad for me. Can I use something else?

A.: No, the salt is necessary to the whole nasal-flushing process, as it becomes bland and flavorless without, you know, a little oomph. And before you try it, putting Mrs. Dash in your neti pot is not recommended.

Q.: I used my neti pot recently and became very disoriented. My speech was slurred, I was tired and moody, and I called random people I used to know to tell them how much I loved them. Where did I go wrong? Also, do you prefer olives in your neti pot or those little onions?

A.: You have made a very common beginner’s mistake with your neti pot, which is to fill it with martinis instead of saltwater. They are both clear fluids, I know, but they’ll have different results. To answer your second question, olives.

Q.: I’m in a place right now, emotionally, where I can’t fill my neti pot with warm water. Can I use cold water?

A. Warm water is strongly recommended, as cold water will give you a wicked bad brain-freeze, and hot water is just stupid. Also, cold saltwater attracts sharks.

Q.: Because of the popularity of Oprah, some shysters are selling neti pots for double or triple the retail price! Are there cheaper alternatives that work just as well?

A.: Using a garden hose could work, but more importantly, would be frigging hilarious. Feel free to have a friend document you doing this on video. For best results with a turkey baster, keep yourself at 350 degrees and repeat the treatment every half-hour so you don’t get dry and stringy. Another alternative I can think of is, if you’re having an allergy attack, visit a clown and ask to borrow his seltzer bottle. Actually, if you just walk up to him and say, “Give it to me,” he’ll give it to you, all right.


H.Ambler said...

A douchbag AND a fucktard!
Thanks for the video Dan.

New England Bites said...

Oh man, that was hysterical. I especially love the appearance of the Shaw's Iodized Salt. I have the Stop & Shop version myself.

I havent't been able to find the Neti Pot anywhere, but your reaction made me glad that I never came across it. SICK!

Dude, you crack me up.

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