For years I worked in an office complex with a dozen or so others and Bill. He was on the board of directors so we couldn’t really say anything, but every morning he came to work with one or more nasty comments for whoever happened to be standing near the door, and there was more throughout the day.

At first we thought it was just his nature, and later we decided that he must have a bottle of nasty pills at home, and mixed them in with his morning vitamin pills by mistake. But now I understand. It was the nasty gland.

Detroit Tigers great Ty Cobb, sliding into home plate with spikes high. He was the best player of his era of Major League Baseball and his reputation for nasty and cantankerous behavior has endured for generations. Courtesy image

As a result of multiple instances of nasal probing in the on-going search for COVID-19 viral infestations, science has discovered a heretofore unknown gland in humans. According to a recent issue of the Science Tailings Newsletter, this gland is located in the posterior palatal section of the nasal cavity, not far from the twin centers of speech and autonomous defense reaction in the brain.

The gland has survival value, and is just one in a series of similar glands found in many species across the whole range of carbon based, DNA/RNA controlled life-as-we-know-it. Among humans, it seems to offer one path to social self-promotion and political power, but the nasty gland is not unique to humans.

In some snakes and other reptiles, it produces and controls venom injected via the dental system. Among fish and arachnids, poison is often administered through the mandibles or spines, while in flying insects, flowers, and plants, poison is dispensed through a stinger or bristles or spiny dorsal projections. Stink bugs and skunks are quick to let you know they object to being criticized or molested, while the occasional mushroom simply defies you to eat it. None of them speak our language.

In the human, the nasty gland introduces critical, contentious or simply nasty words and phrases into what otherwise might be considered normal speech or conversation, and physically causes the clenching of fists combined with sharp jabbing motions of the shoulder, forearms and feet. Whether or not the nasty gland paves the way to chairman of the board or president of the corporation has not been established, but there is some evidence that such may be the case.

The Russian people are aware of this feature of human speech behavior.

They have a saying that responds to it quite directly, and they use it as a social guideline: “Ktaw brahseet gaahvnaw vahnyayit.” Folks who throw poo smell bad.

I believe one can find the nasty gland among all of our human varieties.

Orrin Frink is a Kennebunkport resident. He can be reached at [email protected]

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