Dime up the nose

by Glenn Rigby from Kanata, ON
Nov 2, 13

The world of a 9-year-old boy can be a savage one: When I was nine we all did our best not to stand out and turned viciously on anyone who dared to be different. Conformity was the warm embrace we all sought and the best possible way to fit into our peer group.

Lloyd Donaldson was one of those kids who did not fit in. He would do anything to change that.  

His common sense was simply no match for peer pressure, which is why he was always fun to have around. If a freezing pole needed to be licked, a dead squirrel needed to be touched or the bra strap of an Amazonian eighth grader needed to be snapped, you wanted to have Lloyd Donaldson with you. 

So when Adam Clayton dared Lloyd to see if he could stick a quarter up his nose you just KNEW he was going to try it.  

I don’t know if you've looked at a 9-year-old’s nose lately, but the idea that a quarter could somehow fit in there seems entirely unlikely. Nonetheless, Lloyd gamely picked up the coin and started it on its journey up his nose.

Oh how he tried.

But no combination of angles of approach or facial contortions could get that quarter rammed home. With growing desperation Lloyd looked around at the disappointed faces around him and in a moment of pure genius he said: "I’m trying a dime first.”  

It seems foreboding that our dime features the image of a ship, even more so that that particular ship is called the Blue NOSE but, I digress.

Pinched between Lloyd’s fingers, the dime slid in easily. With a goofy grin on his face, Lloyd turned the dime 90 degrees, flaring out his nostril and disfiguring an altogether unremarkable face into something that a group of nine-year-old boys could appreciate; he looked monstrous!  

After a few minutes of giggling and looking supremely proud of himself, it was time to extract the dime and move on to the next inanity.

As I mentioned, Lloyd was not the most coordinated fellow, which explained his parents’ insistence on Velcro shoes, his inability to play most sports and his complete inability to extract that dime from his nostril.  

Not only could Lloyd not remove the dime, his trembling fingers managed to push it even deeper towards the dark recesses of his nose.  

The further it went, the more upset Lloyd got, until he finally said, “guys, somebody, help me pull it out!”  

Sadly, the look of disgust on our faces confirmed to Lloyd that he was well and truly on his own and that spectators we would remain. 

As the tears started to well in his eyes he doggedly continued to push the dime further and further into his face and then, with a full two knuckles in, he unclenched his face, opened his mouth and uttered the horrible words: “Oh my gosh, it’s gone.”



None of us knew a thing about the physiology of the sinus system, but we all knew that the disappearance of the dime meant a lot more than the loss of 10 cents.  

Surely, any minute, Lloyd would fall stone dead to the floor and WE would be in more trouble than we ever knew.  

Just like that, without even having to say a word, the assembled gawkers turned heel. We fled. Leaving a stunned but not entirely surprised Lloyd Donaldson who, 10 cents wealthier, was utterly terrified.

To this day, I have no idea if Lloyd Donaldson ever recovered that dime or if he carries it around still in his sinus cavity, a reminder that fitting in … can be an expensive prospect.