You Can’t Do That In My Sinuses

Sorry for the lack of comics last week, but the above panels pretty accurately (and rather unfortunately) illustrate what my life has been like for  7 or 8 days now. I thought I was just getting an allergy attack, but after several days it seems to have gained a malicious sentience and begun a full scale assault against my ability to not feel like a giant pile of undulating grossness. I assume that came across in the tone of the comic.

Nothing says, “I bought you some stuff from the Internet,” like buying people stuff from the Internet. 

The Doctor Is In T-Shirt, Funny Doctor Who Parody Shirt, Charlie Brown, Sci-Fi

I made the terrible mistake a few days ago of thinking, “I’m starting to feel a little less shitty, so I should get out of the house and have some fun!” I might as well have injected monkey pox straight into my eyeball. After my prematurely celebratory Friday night out I not only went back to sickness square one, but I seem to have super charged my cold/sinus infection/techno-organic anti-life virus into overdrive. Now, I’m basically sleeping all day and only waking every 12 hours or so to drain my face into a bucket. A sadness bucket. A sadness bucket full of hateful face juice. I am not kidding when I say this shit resembles Nickelodeon Gak in both color and consistency. I am scared that if I went to a doctor they would turn me over to the government, who would permanently detain me in an undisclosed location and harvest my mucus for spaceship fuel. Or at least industrial comet polish.

Ok, enough gross out, health related nonsense. When I was a kid I had a tub of Gak. I remember it smelling like burnt tires and carcinogens. It just reeked of petroleum and poison. I always wondered if the unpleasant odor lead them to develop “Smell My Gak.” I never saw that particular variation up close and personal, but I find it hard to believe that the “hot dog” scented variety was an improvement over the original recipe. I also get the impression that “Glow In The Dark Gak” was simply them giving up on trying to make Gak NOT glow in the dark. Like they had exhausted the world’s supply of cadmium attempting to mask Gak’s natural radioactive properties, so they had to introduce it as a feature.

I had grown too old for amorphous weaponized chemical gel-based non-toys by the time Floam and Sqand were introduced. I didn’t even realize that the “Here, kid, play with this biproduct of an industrial accident,” trend continued with products such as Smud, Gooze, Skweeez (with three E’s), and Zzand. SPUMG seems to fall right in line with these fine products. It’s terrible, it smells bad, it tastes worse, it’s is most definitely poisonous and you DO NOT WANT TO KNOW HOW IT IS MADE.

COMMENTERS: Continue the Nickelodeon product line! All you need is a few odd consonants and an improperly placed vowel or twelve. Something like SKROBZ. What does SKROBZ look like? How terrible does it feel? What is it supposed to do and HOW TERRIBLE DOES IT FEEL? Did you own any of the actual NICK family of chemical warfare play things? I had a GAK inflator. One time I made a stop motion movie using my friend’s camcorder of the GAK crawling out of its tub, oozing over to the inflator, blowing itself up then popping. In retrospect, I wonder if it was actually stop motion, or if I had simply managed to video the moment it became self aware.

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  1. I never had any of the Nick goop stuff because my dad taught me to make non-Newtonian fluid with cornstarch and water. Hours of fun, none of the carcinogens!

  2. I had that, too. I think I made it go away by breathing ginger-steam. At least, I know that every time I did, it made my nose drain and then feel amazing for about an hour before it re-filled. I recommend it since it's cheap and there's no doctor.

    Here's what I did. I filled a big soup pot with water and dropped in 5 slices of ginger and a teabag. Then I brought it to a boil and kept it at a low boil all day, occasionally refilling it. Then I would go and stand over it, breathing the steam deeply through my nose for about five minutes, about four or five times a day. When I couldn't get air through my nose, I just stood there anyway and the steam would go up my nostrils and sometimes unblock them anyway.

    The extra moisture would thin the goop enough that could blow my nose GENTLY (be gentle so you don't tear anything and get a secondary infection!) and clear it. Then I could go get some sleep and actually breathe.

    I don't know if the ginger and tea actually made a difference, but it smelled nice, and ginger is a "warming" agent that is supposed to be good for phlegm. It sure didn't hurt. If you don't have ginger, plain steam is fine. Be careful not to accidentally burn your nose!

    If the symptoms last less than 2 weeks, it's viral. Longer than 2 weeks and you have a secondary bacterial infection and should get antibiotics. You don't want this to become chronic. If it does, you could be stuck on antibiotics for months before it goes away, and the whole time you will be tired.

    Good luck 🙂

  3. Fluurtz: The closest I think I can come to explaining it is by imagining Cthulu's earwax while he had a particularly bad infection (so a little bloody and pus-filled) and then mix that with the ooze that seeps out of the Jersey Shore cast. Now imagine the smell of a rotting dog in the midday sun after choking on a bottle of Paris Hilton's Heiress…

  4. Wow, does this bring back memories! I had popcorn-scented GAK and FLOAM, which instantly dried up after I shaped into somethin & didn't IMMEDIATELY put it back in its container. I felt ripped off. As Ren & Stimpy used to say, MEEEEEEEEEEEMORIIIIEEEEES!

  5. Joel, if your nasal muck is coming out green, it generally means a bacterial infection (probably in addition to the original viral infection). Antibiotics should help.

  6. Skrobz is clearly a "fake facial hair" product that is "naturally harvested" using "the most scientific techniques" that gives it a "thick, curly texture" and may or may not be an "incredibly horrifying health code violation".

  7. Is "industrial comet polish" like a high test version of original formula Comet, or is it the product NASA would use to polish passing comets?

  8. You may find a sinus rinse gives you some relief, Joel. I use the NeilMed sinus rinse bottle daily for my allergies, but it's especially helpful if you have lots of mucus from a cold. I wouldn't recommend it if you're totally plugged up (no air movement in or out), but if you're leaking like a faucet it can be an enormous relief to rinse your sinuses with saline. Just follow the directions and use filtered water!

    • Real important to use filtered water as I heard a report on the news about how people in Louisiana were getting infected with brain-eating parasites from using Neti pots with tap water. Apparently, the amoeba is harmless if ingested, but if it gets into your sinuses it causes menegitis-like symptoms and kills you in about 12 days.

      • I read about something similar, but it was kids swimming in ponds and lakes where the amoebae live. If you get water up your nose they can migrate through your sinuses into your brain and kill you. Apparently a handful of people are killed each year in the American South, but there were especially more this year due to the wacky weather we've had.

        Nature is terrifying.

  9. SKROBZ sounds like a flattened out pad of collected and conglomerated scabs. Kids can fold it, mold it, and even chew it for that authentic scabby flavor!

  10. I am reading this as I play with my recently acquired plastic Tardis full of "The Flesh" Goo Pod (actually marketed as a Goo Pod by the way). It has parts of the Doctor in it too…

    I had Gak and Floam. I remember wanting the scented Gak but because the original smelled so horrible my parents wouldn't buy me anymore.

    For the record, the Tardis Goo Pod doesn't smell half as bad as the Gak does, but the smell does not come off your hands. The box actually reads to wash your hands before and after play

    Also, are you planning to be at MegaCon in February? Assuming your'e healthy of course

  11. Growing up poor meant I only got to play with dough that had food coloring in it, but I do remember kids at school having that stuff and pining over it, but I also watched a ton of Nickelodeon so it was programmed into my brain.

  12. I had the "pizza" scented Gak; smelled like a sweaty kid vomited in one of the tubes at Chuck-e-Cheese's. And that awful smell stayed on your hands all day. No amount of soap could rid your hands of sad-birthday-party smell.

    • That sounds almost like the old Stretch Armstrong, if anyone remembers that toy.
      Eventually had to get rid of that one, and one just like it (whose name I forget) because my little brother wound up being allergic to whatever demon mucous was mixed in with the polyurethane to make it stretchy.
      Just touching that toy made you smell like stretchy man arm/leg for days.

    • I must be a little older than you (I was a teenager when Ghostbusters came out) because I remember Mattel's Slime: the ORIGINAL(1976) ooze based toy thing. There may have been earlier incarnations, but that is the oldest one I remember.

  13. I had some stuff called Slime when I was a kid back in the 70's. It came in a plastic garbage can. Lots of kids had it for a while until their moms banned it because it stained couches.

    It was pretty cool, but there's only so many times you can pretend it was snot until the joke got old, even for an 8 year old.

  14. SPUMG made me choke on the Clif bar I was eating.

    How about Drelft…a lot like that scum at the bottom of the lake you used to swim in as a kid. As a matter of fact, that's one of the main ingredients. Smells like swill; kids love swill, right?

    I had the (mis)fortune to actually own not only Gak, but Floam, Smud(which was blue. It looked like Gargamel actually succeeded in killing a smurf by stepping on it) and Zzand(which never ever came off of your hands. Ever).

  15. "I had grown too old for amorphous weaponized chemical gel-based non-toys by the time Floam and Sqand were introduced. I didn’t even realize that the “Here, kid, play with this biproduct of an industrial accident,” trend continued with products such as Smud, Gooze, Skweeez (with three E’s), and Zzand."

    I just spent 10 minutes gasping for breath, I was laughing so hard.

    Not laughing at your misfortune, just your incredible prose.

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