These instructions were simple by comparison, but contained strongly wording warnings about how much of the seasoning packet - sorry, solution - I should use. Too little was bad, too much was worse, so I had to experiment. With the liquid I was pouring into my head. Through my face.
Why did I not have to show my license before I was allowed to buy this?
So I read the booklet about the tiny plastic kettle, only slightly horrified by the pictures of smiling people jamming them in their nostrils.
I knew that's what I intended to do, but why were those people so cheerful? Nothing about the process seemed enjoyable. All the videos I've seen on the internet of non-pod people using a Neti Pot involved expressions of grim determination that wouldn't look out of place on trapped miners.
Furthermore, the Neti Pot how-to pictures belong to a series I like to call, "You Know Someone Had to Audition for That." Portfolios were examined, interviews were held, and some lucky girl called her parents that night to say she got the modeling job. "We're so proud of you, sweetheart! What's the shoot for? Clothes? Jewelry?" "No! I'm holding a little watering can in my nose. Isn't that great? Mom? Dad? Hello?"
Bracing myself for the worst, I brought the Neti Pot to nose level. I bent over the sink, trying not to look in my own eyes because of the shame.
Salt water raped every part of my face, inside and outside, then shot out from wherever was convenient. I choked, gasped, and heaved, water spewing from places I thought were sacred. Tears streamed down my face continuously, and for a moment I thought the Neti Pot had irrigated my eyes. If I had to describe the experience using as few words as possible, I'd call it a nose enema, or self-waterboarding.
In support of the Neti Pot, my sinuses were pretty clear when I could draw more than a single ragged breath without coughing up solution. My roommate - who has also been laid low by Mummy Rot - told me his instruction book had better pictures; in his booklet, the model's elbows weren't held high like she was having tea with the damned Queen. This distinction almost killed me.
It'd be a shame to drown in my bathroom, given all the trouble I went through learning to swim.