It's usually not a good sign when you see a group of 5th grade boys surrounding a kid in the middle of the playground.
As I approached the group, I heard snatches of comments coming from the group:
"How'd he do it?"
"It's almost out!"
"He really got it up there!"
"Here, maybe he can use this stick to get it out"
Me: What's going on guys?
Kid: He put a rock up his nose!
Kid: Yea! He said he's done it before!
The circle opened to reveal "rock sniffer" bent over at the waist gingerly picking at the left nostril.
Sure enough, I could just see the pointed tip of the rock peeking out. It wasn't a smooth, rounded pebble but from what I could see what looked like a small jagged chip of sidewalk concrete.
As to WHY he put a rock up his nose, his response was: "I wanted to see if it could fit."
The kid wasn't panicked or crying, but his nose looked red and tender as he continued his attempts to reposition the rock for a smoother exit. I wasn't going to wait and see.
"Come on, Dude we're going to the office now and get some help!"
Before we got more than a couple steps, he managed to extract the rock. He was holding it up proudly so his friends could see it. It was his next comment that made me wonder how this kid was going to survive his childhood.
"I wonder if it will fit on the other side?"
(At this point I took his rock away.)