Neti Pot: The Nasal Exorcist

“Dis iz dizguzting,” I said as a stream of snot and saline poured out of my face.

My wife, watching, egged me on. “Doesn’t it feel great?”

I must’ve looked like a glazed donut melting in the sun. Ooze dangling from lip and nostril and chin. Mustache a bound conglomeration of moisture and mucus. The sound beneath my face was a pitter-patter: the noise of a man with broken kidneys slowly peeing, except here, pouring from nose, not dicktip.

“You wunna hab secks?” I asked.

My wife ignored me.

I shrugged. Her loss.

My wife wanted me to start this blog post with, “My wife was right.”

But I couldn’t do that. If I start ceding ground to her here, what else will I have? She’s already right in the physical space of this house; what happens when I allow her correctness to take shape and form and name here in the virtual nowhere that is the Internet?

Except, shit, shit, shit! She was right. Goddamnit.

She was right about the goddamn neti pot.

I accidentally saw her use it one time. She’d left the bathroom door open a crack, and I saw her shadow at the sink, and I figured, “Oh, she’s flossing or something.” But then the door swung wide and I heard that weak stream of water hitting porcelain, and I further saw that piddling stream pouring out of her one nostril while she tilted something that looked like a mass-produced Genie’s Lamp to her other nasal orifice — and I recoiled in horror. What madness was this? Saline solution somehow poured through the nose so that it… what, comes out the other side? No. No! A thousand no’s, all lined up together, linking arms and forming an impenetrable defense.

I had visions. Visions of burning salt water whirling its way through the bendy-straw passages inside my head — a searing log floom of pain going up into my sinuses, down my throat, behind my eyes, and eventually passing through the space between the two halves of my brain before finally trickling back out the other nostril.

She said I should try it.

I said no.

And thus was that. She would use her nasal irrigation artifact, probably rescued from some Mad Egyptian’s Tomb, and while doing so she would close the door so that none — not even the dogs — could gaze upon the terror. I would go on pretending that the neti pot did not exist, and that the weird little container resting on the sink was for… I dunno, bath-time tea or whatever.

And then I got sick.


My sinuses burned. My throat was seared. My head was clogged.

It wasn’t the worst cold, but Christmas was coming up.

She said, “Try the neti pot.”

I clenched my teeth.

“Will it really help?” I asked.

“You’d be amazed.”

My face throbbed so bad, I would’ve tried a claw hammer if handed one.

“Fine,” I said, relenting.

And thus began what I refer to as “Neti Pottying.” (For extra charm, throw in an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent, so it sounds like “Netty Partying.” Get to the choppa, it’s not a tumor, etc.)

Initial reaction: it’s disgusting. You ever get seawater up your nose? Worse, you ever puke out your nose? It’s like puking sea water out your nose. You tilt the thing back. You feel the slightly burning face-brine go channeling through the nose-works. You can feel it at the back of your throat. You can faintly feel it behind your eyes. And then — drip, drip, drip. It starts. All while you’re hunched over the sink like a scoliosis-bent sink junkie, licking porcelain for the thrill, man, for the thrill.

So, it isn’t precisely pleasant, though it doesn’t hurt, aaaaand –

Holy shit it works.

Actually, let me put that in caps, with no spaces:


I think I actually clipped this cold’s nuts off and took the spunk right out of it. Its power was lessened immediately. The things that came out of my head – the things. Specters! Gibbering plasm! Howling gobs! Milky jade, fungal ochre, infection yellow. Spurt and blubber. It was a nasal exorcism. A purging of foul humours from my facial dimension.

I’ve done it for the last several days. Even today, I thought I was feeling better, I could breathe better through both nostrils, my face didn’t hurt — then I go and use the neti pot and sweet giggling Jesus the things that came out of my nose. Buckets of, of, of… I dunno. The stuff needs a new word. Gnobs! Snorb! Splackets of phlyme! GUTTERS OF FOUL SPLERBWATER AND ASMODEAN JIZZULENCE AND SMOLDERING –

All right. I’ll stop.

Still, fuck it. I’m joining the cult.

I hear they’ll be sending me my own Genie’s Lamp in the mail soon. With a little special packet of “magical dust” to help me get acclimated to the process.

Tastes like Kool-Aid, they say.

I say, “Is that a clumsy Jonestown reference? Because, hot damn, poor Kool-Aid gets a bad rap from that, man. Those sad fuckers drank Flavor Aid, not Kool-Aid, so it’s almost slander, or libel, or uhhhh, slibelander –“

Shut up, they say, just irrigate your nasal passages with this shit, and you’re one of us.

One of us.

One of us.

One of us.

Gooble gobble.


  • December 27, 2009 at 8:56 AM // Reply

    This post needs a Gwar soundtrack.

    And I’m bothered that my dog’s name made it in here… “Asmodean Jizzulence,” indeed.

  • There is nothing I could add to this that Snot-Rocket Spidle did not already very well put forth.

    Someone contact Gwar: old music isn’t enough, this needs something new and sex…. new and new.

  • ROFL!!!! There are ways to minimize exposure and uhm discomfort. They have saline solution cans you insert up your nostril, you push the plastic, and it does a gentle mist into the cavities. Then you gently blow into a towel to get it out.

    The Neti Pot sounds like the “it’s too late we have to amputate!” model. lol.

    You’ve grossed me out and made me laugh all within 60 seconds. Good job! Huzzah! ROFL

  • Ok, I used to be married to a paramedic. A long time ago. He sucked. Anyway, one thing that did not suck was that he would bring home bags of saline solution with drip lines attached to them when I was sick. I would place 2 kitchen chairs next to each other perpendicular to the bathtub, lie on my back with my head over the tub, he’d insert the drip line in my nose, and open it up. I’d hold it in my head as long as possible and then flip onto my belly and expel everything into the tub.

    He was ahead of his time.

    But it worked. Dammit.

  • December 27, 2009 at 10:29 AM // Reply

    I use a similar product “NeilMed Sinus Rinse”. It’s a tube that you squeeze instead of simply letting gravity control things. I like it better because it seems to clear more out.

    I must warn you…

    There will be a day when you are getting ready for someone’s wedding. You will use your NetiPot and believe that all is well. Sadly…10 minutes intothe reception, you will feel the eyes of a 100 people on you. Those people will be making faces that defy logic. That’s when you will realize that a good amount of saline was trapped in your sinus…and now it had suddenly escaped. All over your shirt and tie. In full view of everyone.

    This didn’t happen to me. Seriously. Ever. Just be careful.

  • I’m with Paul (not literally, but figuratively, my husband would like me to clarify) on the Sinus Rinse. WAY easier to use than a neti pot, which means it practically shoves itself up your nose.

    Yeast-pus sinus dough chunks. It’s glorious when they slop out. Mmmm, that’s good slop!

    I had sinus surgery and man, you wanna talk about some awesome clot puddles, that gelatinous, rosy, splooge blow is a thing of wonder. And deep breathing.

    (And again, like Paul, a few minutes after finishing the exorcism, take a deep breath and bend at the waist. And throw a towel on the floor under your face. You’ll thank me later.)

  • After the first paragraph, I felt as if the blue-shirted spirit of Billy Mays was speaking from the screen.

    “First you snort it, then you glort it. It’s that easy!”

  • I hate all of you, but I hate you most, Wendig.

    Friends at work said these arcane devices worked, so Suz bought me one. I hid it high atop a junk pile in our hall closet.

    Erm. I’m always plagued by sinus evil. But a NetiPot? I just don’t know if I’m that hard core.

    You all may have swayed me.


    • I am equally unfond of that.

      Though, I find that getting a little of the nasty neti sauce back there actually cleans that area out a little, too.

      But it’s fucking disgusting.

      — c.

Speak Your Mind, Word-Nerds