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TRACI SKENE has appeared on VH-1's Standup Spotlight, A&E's Comedy On The Road and Lifetime's Girls Night Out, all of which has done her absolutely no good.

Traci Skene


Traci Skene

SHECKYmagazine Chief

Won By A Nose

There are times when I wish show business was as glamorous as it appears in the pages of People. This occured to me recently while I was attempting to rip out a nose hair with my bare hands shortly before a Friday night show. For the record, it was my nose. Also for the record, I would never pull out someone else's nose hair with my bare hands unless they first asked me to do so. I am nothing if not polite. But, I digress. How I found myself in this predicament is a rather uninteresting story, but it is one I am compelled to tell.

The night began as any other. I arrived at the club with approximately thirty minutes to spare, checked in with the manager, asked the bartender for a large club soda and gave my introduction to the emcee. As is my custom, I entered the ladies room approximately 15 minutes prior to my performance to check my teeth for lipstick, untwist my cotton/lycra tights and generally put back in place any contents that may have shifted during transport. It was in the middle of this pre-show checklist that I spotted the offending hair.

At first, I thought it was just an illusion. Much like the phantom boogers that haunt my every waking hour, I assumed the "hair" was merely a shadow so I inched ever closer to the mirror to get a better look. Nope, it was a nose hair alright. I tried blowing it out. I tried pushing it back in. I even tried reasoning with it in the hopes that it would understand my plight and go away on its own. No such luck. What was a female comic to do? It was too late to go back to the hotel to retrieve my miniature scissors which, by the way, are a must-have for any human over the age of thirty. I originally bought them for my husband who, years earlier, had started sprouting fur from unimaginable places. It was funny when it happened to him. Of course, knowing my own fuzzy fate in advance would not have stopped me from my incessant mocking but, quite frankly, that is not the point. For some reason, your mother never tells you about the changes your body will endure once you exit your twenties. Without going into any gory details let's just say that at this stage in my life, I no longer find chia pets amusing.

As I stood in the little girls room studying my nasal shag, I began to wonder if I was a victim of bad nose hair karma. When I was a teenager, I bought my dad a nose hair trimmer as a gag gift for Christmas. This particular instrument-- which, not surprisingly, is no longer on the market-- didn't just trim the hair, but rather ripped out multiple hairs by their multiple roots. My dad, never the Scrooge, decided to entertain us with a little holiday demonstration of this torture device. It was the only time in my life that I have ever seen him cry.

But once again, I digress, which is probably not such a bad thing since I'm writing about nose hair. As the clocked ticked, I figured I had three options. I could leave it alone, do my show and hope no one in the front row noticed (or the back row for that matter.) I could write a joke about it and mention it onstage. Or, I could stick my fingers up my schnoz and yank the sucker out. In retrospect, I should have given more consideration to the first two choices.

I yanked and I yanked and I yanked. I pulled out every surrounding hair. I pulled out hairs from my other nostril. I could be wrong, but I think I even pulled out a hair from the back of my skull. I had no idea that one head could contain so much unwanted fur. After much sweating, the illusive hair finally released its grip. It hurt like hell. Ok, dad, we're even.

When it was over, I realized how awkward it would have been if an audience member had walked in and witnessed my little wrestling match. A few weeks earlier, a woman entered the rest room and caught me picking something out of my teeth. At the time, she was not aware that I was one of the performers, so she properly ingnored me. But when I saw the shocked and embarrassed look on her little face as I bounded onto the stage, I couldn't help but feel bad for destroying her illusions. I felt the same way when I sat in the third row for the Nutcracker Suite and saw that the sugar plum fairy was wearing a knee brace.

Did I digress yet again? Midway through my set, my nose still throbbed and two days later I was putting triple antibiotic cream on the tender spot hoping that it would go back to normal. I'm thinking about contacting the New England Journal of Medicine and have them document my problem. Perhaps they'll call it Skene Nose?

What have I learned from this experience? As usual, I have learned absolutely nothing. But, in the future, I will most likely examine myself closer in the mirror before I leave the hotel room. What have you learned from this experience? We'll you've learned that show business isn't always pretty and that sometimes it's best not to know what the performers are doing before they begin their performance. So, before you judge me, just remember that Jennifer Aniston has probably had the same thing happen to her shortly before a taping of Friends. Only she can afford to hire someone to pull it out for her. And you'll never read that in the pages of People. HOME Back to the Top