Monday, July 12, 2010

A nose by any other name – would it smell
as sweet(ly)?

Like the ol’ proverb* says, a crinkled nose is a happy nose. But what makes a crinkled nose so much better?

Why, it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

Crinkling is fun! And most often, it’s caused by really fun things. Like water gun fights, potato sack races, or turning cartwheels when you’re thirty (or forty). The corners of your mouth can’t contain the smile that belongs to these magical moments. Like snowbirds in summer, your grin goes north – rounding your rosy, cheery cheeks and resting atop your cherry, crinkled nose!

Of course the greatest crinkling comes from laughter. We see it best in the faces of children, maybe because they can still harness the unabashed joy that adulthood hasn’t messed up yet.

Crinkling is also infectiously good natured. It wins friends, and influences people. Even the bitterest enemy is charmed and disarmed by a good crinkle. If only the Hatfields and McCoys had known about crinkling. A crinkled nose, knows no foes!

But even if you’re feeling spiteful – toward your face or anything else – cutting off your nose is never a good idea. Crinkling provides a great alternative. You don’t want to cut your nose off, but if need be, you can crinkle it up and still get it a little bit closer to your head. Hopefully, this crinkling is voluntary. In the case of poor Michelangelo, not so much. His nose got crinkled by a sucker punch from a rival painter; for the rest of his life it just kind of stayed that way.

I think crinkling would be especially helpful for people with noses that are kind of gigantic. Take Thomas Wedders for example. Wedders is said to have the longest nose in history; from top to tip, his schnoz measured a whopping 7.5”. Usually winning by a nose is a close victory, but in old Tom’s case, his nose wins by over a half a foot.

Speaking of feet.

In the realm of crinkling, I think the toes have long gotten more glory than they deserve. Everybody should know that a crinkle in the toes, starts in the nose. After all, where do happy thoughts come from? It only makes sense they’d make it to your nose first.

But the nose gains some ground against the foot, so to speak, in the oft-used saying, follow your nose. We typically follow with our feet, so here our feet are being led around by the nose.

In the same expression, feet in cyberspace don’t lead the way either. Heck, they’re not even implied. Here’s a great example: “Follow your nose to, where you find the best deals on creative, clever, customized party invitations, photo birth announcements and holiday photo cards.” (Now don’t look down your nose at my subtle, shameless plug. Come on, these people pay me.)

It’s worth noting that rhinoplasty, the proper name for a nose job, comes to us from the Greeks, historically famous for the stately (and enviable) shape of their noses. Too bad rhinoplasty wasn’t available during the Renaissance to help out guys like Michelangelo. It’s pretty popular today, though, especially with Hollywood types. For a chance to look thinner, younger, or more beautiful than the rest of us, these folks will pay through the nose.

As for me, I still prefer a good, old-fashioned crinkle.

*Circa early 2010.

~ By Jean Bowick