My work these days takes me to George Washington University several days a week. (I ride Metro to get there, and I nominate for the Annual Puerility Award the train conductor who gets such glee out of announcing, "Train now arriving at... Foggy... Bottom!")
A few days ago, it was raining quite hard. I stood out in front of an administration building, under an awning, keeping out of the tempest, waiting for a colleague. A rather large group of people was waiting in the lobby -- East Asian businessfolk, perhaps Japanese. They milled around, waiting for something. (It turned out later that they were waiting for an escort to another building.)
A middle-aged gent stepped outside -- black wool suit, glasses, hatless. Leaning over a flowerbed and closing a nostril with his thumb, he blew a gigantic snot-rocket into the foliage. A couple of monstrous honks satisfied him that his projectile had indeed cleared his sinuses, and he turned and went back into the lobby. Slightly embarrassed, I turned away as if I hadn't seen anything.
A few minutes later a second gent came outside, and occupied the same spot where his colleague had stood. I am quite sure he hadn't seen the earlier cannonade. He regarded the flowerbed with interest -- clearly, the impatiens, bedewed with the steady rain and his countryman's mucosal ejecta, had evoked thoughts of the evanescence of existence and the fleeting nature of life. Out came the camera, and he started snapping away at the flowerbed -- aiming it directly at the spot where the phlegm-fusillade had struck not three minutes earlier.
I turned away again, but this time to hide the contented smile that comes to one's face when one's day is made.