Ms. Manners didn't really want to weigh in on this subject, but now that it's come up, she feels compelled. Let's get one thing straight, however: We will not refer to this as "nose picking." It shall be known, for our purposes here, as numie harvesting.

The proper techniques for harvesting your numies in public depend, in large part, on the numie itself. Here are the different types of numies known to exist in North America:

  • The crustacean. Very hard and self contained.
  • The flipper. Somewhat hard in the center, but with a slimy residue.
  • The oyster. Completely runny, and almost impossible to manage.

Now, if one is removing the crustacean one can simply turn one's head and pretend to cough. With a supple insertion of the index finger (assuming nails are at perfect numie harvesting length) and a gentle twist, one can have the crustacean out and flipped to the floor before anyone notices anything amiss. As for nail length, do not even attempt to remove this most mild-mannered of all boogers with those artificial spears that some girls wear these days. You could easily perform a frontal lobotomy on yourself. (Not that this wouldn't be a good idea in some of your lives, but I don’t care for a lawsuit here.)

The flipper offers a more challenging removal technique. One must act as if one has swallowed the wrong way, and turn one's back to the people in the area, coughing just enough to make it seem as if you need some "room to breathe." This strain of numie usually calls for the index finger, as well. Slide the fingernail under the hard portion of the flipper and pull it out quickly. As soon as it is out in the open, quickly twirl the residue around your finger to form one solid mass. Then act as if one more cough will do it, lean over, and wipe the thing on the bottom of your shoe. Wipe it on the portion of the sole of your shoe just above the heel, so that it will remain there until it dries and falls off. This is only good manners; you do not want to leave this on a nice carpet in your host's home, do you?

Now, the oyster is a different animal altogether. I hesitate to tell you this, but the oyster is going to require the warehouse blow. This is when you press one nostril tightly closed, lean over and, with all your might, force as much air through the remaining nostril as you can muster. The oyster will usually exit the nostril at approximately 400 MPH and stay wherever it lands until the end of time. Obviously, you are going to have to wait until the loud portion of the opera to which you are listening comes around. I would suggest just after the homosexual swordsman discovers that his overweight pseudo-wife has been in a dalliance with the yardboy. Once you've performed the warehouse blow, preferably into a potted plant, do not wipe your nose. This will only convince those who thought they saw you do this that they were correct.

Next week: How to wipe your ass on a cruise ship.