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Japan Diary

Oddities in Surreal Times #3

By April 9, 2020May 21st, 2020No Comments

Welcome back to the third and possibly final installment of “Oddities in Surreal Times.”

If you didn’t know, there exists Oddities #1 and Oddities #2.

I encourage you to click on the links and read them both along with this one to get the scope of the surreal-ness of life in the time of “C.”

Well without further adieu-ness …


Let me first ask you a question. What comes to mind when you read the title, “Farmer’s Blow.” Porn comes to mind for me. Then again I have a tendency to get guttural very easily. To be honest, that is the only thing that comes to mind. Perhaps I have been sequestered too long inside and … okay let’s not go there.

Actually, “Farmer’s Blow” is akin to the yoga breathing exercises called “Nadi Shodhana” or alternate nostril breathing, which entails pinching one nostril off and breathing through the other, then switching sides. The benefits, to relieve stress and promote calmness.

If you want to know more, here is a link – Calm Yourself

This is NOT what Farmer’s Blow is all about, at all. Well maybe just a little, I guess.

Let’s start with the definition of Farmer. Of course you know what the word means, you have an image in your mind right now. I am 100% sure of it.

Did you know that there is another meaning of farmer? Actually the term is Farmer’s Blow like the title, except in Minnesota we’ve shortened it to Farmer because that’s what we like to do, keep it simple doncha know!

I will be using the term Farmer from now on, but do keep in mind that it is related to the title Farmer’s Blow. Farmer means to block one nostril in order to forcefully exhale and expel through the open nostril snot that has been built up. I call it blowing out the blockage. You can see where it is as I said before, akin to the yogic breathing exercise right?

Now the only time you would do this is when there is no tissue or hanky available to blow one’s nose. Given the kind of lifestyle I lead I rarely have a hanky. Most of my time is spent on the bike as in bicycle and well you can see where it would become difficult to stop and blow into a hanky when your fellow cyclists are riding at breakneck speeds of up to 30km + / hour. The only option, the Farmer. It is an efficient form of expelling and one that I have used running, cycling and cross country skiing.


There is a problem these days, and that is with the uninvited presence of the pandemic. Get the picture? The Farmer if used in the context of exercise, hell anytime, is a new unintended weapon. That’s right! Imagine riding your bike behind someone who may be asymptomatic and out of habit decides to farmer. Riding too close you suddenly feel a wetness across your face. In fact, anyone riding behind him may receive unseen droplets. The result, the farmer has become a “Super Spreader.” Fast forward 14 days and everyone in the group begins to show symptoms.

While this has not happened, and in fact our group rides are now down to solo or two riders, we are well aware of the farmer technique of expulsion and we have all stopped doing it knowing full well that something so simple could take a life.

Be careful, wear masks, distance yourself and don’t forget to smile once in a while.

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