My wife and I grabbed dinner the other night at a local LA eatery called “Grub”.  As we finished our meal and were waiting for the waitress to return with our credit card, in walked 2 women dressed in full Harry Potter regalia.  Each donned a black cloak and Gryffindor striped scarf and tie. That night, I happened to be wearing a blue and gold striped cardigan sweater that was eerily reminiscent of the Gryffindor garb, albeit with one different color.  I immediately felt their eyes on me wondering whether I was one of them. I did not meet these women, but here is the conversation we had while in the restaurant.

HERMIONE #1: Excuse me.  Are you going to the meeting?
ME: What meeting? 
HERMIONE #1: Oh.  Our mistake.  We thought you might be a fellow wizard.
HERMIONE #2: You mean YOU thought he might be a wizard.  It’s because she’s colorblind.  Clearly those colors are not Gryffindor colors.  I knew you were either an imposter or just someone who likes striped sweaters.
ME: Turns out it’s just the sweater thing.  I know zero magic.  Not even the quarter behind the ear trick.  So what meeting are you going to?
HERMIONE #1: It’s a dramatic reading of the final book of the Harry Potter series. 
ME: That sounds awesome…and also incredibly time consuming.  Isn’t that book like 900 pages?
HERMIONE #2: 784 actually.  Look - we’re really not supposed to be discussing this people like you.
ME: People like me?  What the hell is that supposed to mean?
HERMIONE #1: She means muggles. 
ME: Muggles?  So you’re saying because I am have non-magical blood that I can’t go to your little reading. 
HERMIONE #2: That’s what we’re saying.
ME: That’s racist.  You two are racists. 
HERMIONE #2: We’re not racists.  It’s just a very exclusive organization with very strict rules.
ME: Oh well that makes it ok.  I have this thing at my country club anyway.  Mitzy and Fluffy are waiting for me.
HERMIONE #1: How droll.
HERMIONE #2: What if I use my invisibility cloak?  I can sneak him in and nobody will be the wiser.
HERMIONE #1: If you want to do that, that’s on you.  I’m not getting in trouble with Dumbledore for this.
HERMIONE #2: I’ll take that risk.  What do you say?
ME: Well I would love to see what this is all about.  And I HAVE always wanted to be invisible.  On the other hand, I’ve never read any of the books and I kind of don’t want to ruin the next movie by knowing what happens.  I think I’ll pass.  Thanks though.

(Immediately after making that statement, I was transformed into a snail)



Driving home from work at approximately 6:15pm the other day, there was a considerable amount of traffic. As my mind wandered while listening to “This American Life”, my pinkie finger wandered up my right nostril and attempted to dislodge something that was clearly not supposed to be there. During my attempted excavation, I happened to glance to my left and see a woman sitting in her SUV looking directly at me. I did not meet this woman, but here is the conversation we had while sitting in traffic on Barham Blvd.

ME: It’s a perfectly normal thing to do.  Everybody picks their nose. Just like everybody poops.
DRIVER: I didn’t say anything.
ME: No.  But you were staring. And judging. Staring with your eyes and then judging with your eyes. You have very judgmental eyes.  
DRIVER: I’m a judge. 
ME: Like with a robe and gavel?  Do you have your gavel with you?  I would carry it on my person like a concealed weapon.
DRIVER: I have a travel gavel that I keep in my purse.  It’s a novelty thing.  Doesn’t make a very loud sound but it’s fun at parties.
ME: So tell me Your Honor…what do you do if you have to pick your nose when you’re on the bench? 
DRIVER: I hold it in. 
ME: Hold it in?  Like you do with pee?
DRIVER: Yea.  You never HAVE to pick your nose that bad.
ME: Sure you do.  Nostril blockage is not something to be taken lightly.  If it clogs your airway, that will prevent oxygen from reaching to your brain, resulting in brain damage – or worse.
DRIVER: I’ve never heard of anyone dying from a booger.
ME: Well it hasn’t happened yet. But all it takes is one occurrence and then the whole world will change their collective mind about looking down on those who extract unwanted particles from their nose with their digits.
DRIVER: I think that’s the part that grosses people out. If you didn’t put your fingers up your nose and then use those same fingers to touch things that everyone touches, then people would be more forgiving.
ME: Funny you should mention that – I’m actually developing an apparatus that you carry around with you and use instead of your fingers. It is not only more sanitary but more efficient in performing the task. You could put in your purse right next to your travel gavel. 
DRIVER: What if you made them look like different things so people wouldn’t be so embarrassed to carry them around?  If you made one that looked like a gavel, I would certainly buy it.
ME: “Your nostrils demand justice!” I like it.