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Need another reason to ditch the elevator for the stairs? Two words: nose grease.

November 19th, 2010 · 67 comments

Our submitter, April, fills us in on a little background: The CMB building on the UT-Austin campus is home to Austin’s local PBS station, KLRU, and NPR affiliate, KUT, as well as classrooms for the University’s Radio-TV-Film department.

Apparently, one of the jokers frequenting this building is fond of pressing his or her nose on the surface of the stainless steel elevator doors — or at least that’s the conclusion drawn by the exasperated author of the following screed.

Hey guy who draws on the elevator doors every day with his nose grease. I just thought I'd drop you a line and tell you about the sunshine that you bring me every day. Y'know sometimes I come in to work with a frown on my face because of the heady political and social times we are living through. I'll be all cloudy and stormy as I walk into CMB but then, what do I see? I see a wonderful and original work of art that's drawn on the stainless steel doors of both elevators. Yes, it doesn't even matter which one I get on because you (as a true artist) have taken full advantage of every canvas that is offered to you.

related: Some suggestions for elevator small talk

FILED UNDER: art · Austin · elevator · most popular notes of 2010 · that's disgusting · TL;DR · WTF?

67 responses so far ↓

  • #1   allthatglittaz

    Don’t those budweiser dudes sing a tribute to this guy in a commercial? “Guy who draws on the elevator doors everyday with his nose grease”

    Nov 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm   rating: 47  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   The Elf

      Bud Light Presents “Real Men Of Genius”

      Real Men of Genius

      Today we salute you, Mr. Nose Print Artist Guy.

      Mr. Nose Print Artist Guy!

      Your uncessing devotion to the art of random nose prints on shiny elevator walls will never land you at a reputable art gallery.

      Look at the nose prints!

      The average person might draw an alien face, once, but you my friend, you are a visionary! Sure the custodians have to work hard to scrub that grease off, but we don’t care your art makes us smile and choke slightly on our vomit at the same time.

      How can it be so greasy?!

      So crack open a nice cold Bud Light, o secret artist of elevator. For YOU are an asshole.

      Mr. Nose Print Artist Guy!

      Bud Light Beer, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, Missouri.

      Nov 23, 2010 at 11:32 am   rating: 152  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   clumber

      OMFG… i suck so much… i could hear your entire post in the Men of Genius announcer voice(s).

      Well then, off to strangle myself to death now, what! (don’t worry, I thumbed ya’ first!)

      Nov 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   t^rex

      I too, could hear the post in the announcer voices with the back up choir.

      Good job.

      Feb 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #2   iam.jlj

    Now this is what I call passive aggressive. I am a bit put off by the note though, as I am a very greasy faced gentleman whom enjoys a little face-to glass/steel/paper time when so inclined. I didn’t know it made people so sad. I’m sorry.

    Nov 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Francoise

      Perhaps it’s a giant bunny
      whose nose is very runny.
      You might think it’s funny,
      but it’s not.

      Dec 9, 2010 at 12:14 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #3   Woman on the Verge bang

    Way to give guy who draws on elevator doors every day with his nose grease ideas. Now he’ll start drawing on elevator doors with his ass hole.

    Nov 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm   rating: 64  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   jadefirefly

      But that’s GOT to be way more entertaining to his fellow passengers.

      Nov 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   Madrias

      WotV, that was epic! I fell out of my chair laughing.

      Nov 20, 2010 at 12:36 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   Woman on the Verge bang

      Thank you, Madrias. I try. And I didn’t even use any nose grease.

      Nov 20, 2010 at 8:56 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   Aelwyn

      I was going to say: At least it’s not poo. When I worked at Micky D’s we had the regular poo-painters in the men’s washroom. And then, over a decade later, my friend’s elevator was drawn all over with poo.

      I’ll take nose grease, thank you.

      I don’t look closely enough at elevator doors to notice that, really.

      Dec 30, 2010 at 7:38 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #4   Woman on the Verge bang

    Do you think McDonalds will sign him as a spokesperson like that obnoxious Subway dude?

    Nov 19, 2010 at 4:29 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

  • #5   trentblase

    “touched daily by God knows how many hands”

    Who touches elevator doors? It’s not like they have doorknobs.

    Nov 19, 2010 at 4:42 pm   rating: 44  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   park rose

      The nose knows. He’s been touched by God too.

      Nov 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #6   atxnative

    That’s a letter from John Aielli. Nobody else in that building could possibly be so fucking long-winded.

    Nov 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   lolsuz

      atxnative, you ain’t lyin. If I ever meet Aielli in person, I’ll… I’ll… I’ll draw an alien smiley face on his forehead in nose-grease.

      Nov 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Melanie

      See, I was thinking David Brown, but Aielli works, too.

      Nov 22, 2010 at 7:54 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #7   cuffed

    This is genius. Best PAN ever…

    Nov 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

  • #8   Harmy G

    In my office building, the cleaning person leaves cleaning supplies in the elevator when they start doing their nightly rounds. A greasy mop handle could be the culprit.

    Nov 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   gupaul

      Is this just a facetious accusation meant to be over-the-top, or does the writer really think the “art” was made by “nose grease”? That’s one of the last things that would cross my mind.

      And who touches an elevator door, anyway? With anything? Ever?

      Nov 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   WMDKitty

      Well, let’s see, some people might have to brace themselves against the door for balance. Or maybe he was just resting his head on the door while the elevator was in motion.

      Nov 20, 2010 at 3:23 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #9   Conners

    I would love to be friends with both the PAN author AND the guy who draws on the elevator doors every day with his nose grease.

    Nov 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #10   Oink

    Superbly well-delivered. 10/10.

    Nov 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Sesquipedalian

      I’d only give it a 6.5/10. The sarcasm is much too thin, and breaks into overdrawn yet uncreative insults far too often. Moreover, I doubt the legitimacy of the complaint; who could do such a thing every day to two elevators without fail for a protracted period of time? I wasn’t half way through the letter before concluding that the explanation for the “nose grease” marks probably lay elsewhere.

      Nov 19, 2010 at 7:44 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   wright1

      “…doubt the legitimacy of the complaint; who would do such a thing every day to two elevators without fail for a protracted period of time?”


      I guess you’re new to this site (no offense intended, truly), to have such a refreshingly innocent view of human nature. Trust me, as obsessive-compulsive behavior goes, this example is relatively SFW / public hygiene. There are obsessive-compulsive practicioners immortalized (or at least publicized) by this site that are MUCH creepier.

      Human beings are seriously messed-up balding apes.

      Nov 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   Sesquipedalian

      Not really, no, and this site is hardly a grand bazaar in shocking behaviour. But if a human being were as stringently OCD as required to perform this in two elevators every day for months as the writer suggests, their identity could hardly have escaped notice for so long. Moreover, since the writer has never witnessed the commission of the alleged act (as evidenced by the fact that this is an open letter), how do they even know that the markings are caused by “nose grease” rather than, say, a mop handle or human hands?

      Nov 19, 2010 at 10:14 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #10.4   wright1

      A point, true. More data is needed to determine the veracity of the note’s hypothesis.

      Plus, like a lot of PANs, this one says at least as much about the author as the guy / gal they wrote it for. Some impressive simmering in a tightly-sealed container going on, there. Wouldn’t want to be in the same elevator when the steam starts coming out of notewriter’s ears…

      Nov 19, 2010 at 10:30 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #11   Meredith

    I’m disappointed that there is no nose grease drawing picture to accompany the note to be able to analyze it better.

    Nov 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm   rating: 33  small thumbs up

  • #12   the Librarian

    Dear Guy I Clotheslined as You Went by on Your Bike,

    You don’t know me, but I’m the guy who broke your collarbone. Now, I’ve asked myself over and over, “Why did I clothesline that guy?” Perhaps I watched too much slapstick as a kid and expected you to get up after being violently assaulted. Imagine my confusion when you did not, although I was not so confused that I’d actually hang around.

    In all fairness, it was pretty funny. I mean, the last thing you’d expect as you were riding merrily by on your bicycle is that someone you didn’t know at all would stick out his arm and crush your throat.

    I mean, you really should have seen it. It was just like WHAM! BAM! Anyway…

    In closing, as you lay there convalescing in your hospital bed, I’m forced to wonder, “What were you doing riding your bike on the sidewalk anyway? Huh, ya asshole? SideWALK!”

    Maybe sometimes we bring heartache upon ourselves.

    The Guy That Collapsed Your Trachea

    Nov 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm   rating: 44  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   wright1

      +1 from another KITH geek. Even though (aside from the wordiness) I don’t see the relevance to the PAN in this thread.

      Nov 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   the Librarian

      The relevance is just that it jumped into my mind while I was reading the nose grease letter. No real connection, just a wild synapse in my brain.

      Nov 20, 2010 at 7:28 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   Woman on the Verge bang

      This is pretty much the time to dust off the old unitard and pass it on to a new generation.

      Nov 20, 2010 at 9:13 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #12.4   Heavenly

      Seriously, every time I hear the phrase “open letter” I think of KITH.

      Nov 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #12.5   Donna Martin Graduates!

      WotV — indeed.

      Nov 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #12.6   goose

      The relevance is that there is no relevance – OKAY?!

      Nov 21, 2010 at 7:44 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #12.7   Scallionaire

      Wow I thought you were genius at first but it turns out it was KITH.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #13   Janellionaire

    Sigh. I couldn’t read the whole thing. Was it funny?

    Nov 19, 2010 at 8:31 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   FeRD bang

      Horrors — couldn’t read the whole thing??
      Were you taken hostage by a gang of surly, intimidating thugs while reading the note? Have they bound your hands and feet with duct tape and forced a heavy, rank-smelling hood over your head, leaving you unable to see or hear what’s going on or where they’ve brought you? Do we need to quickly raise a large sum of money in small, unmarked bills, to be placed in a duffel bag and left underneath the specified park bench before 3pm today, if we ever want to see you alive again!?!?

      O noes!!!!

      Nov 22, 2010 at 10:51 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   The Elf

      I always wonder how people like that get by. I’d read the menu, but it had more than four items on it, so I got bored. That magazine cover story looked so interesting, but I only looked at the pictures and read the headline. My boss gave me extensive written instructions for this upcoming project, but I “couldn’t” read it, so I’ll just wing it. Hope that doesn’t come up on my performance eval!

      Nov 23, 2010 at 11:17 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   Scallionaire

      My dad is one of those people. He’s about 65. He often sends me a business-related email with 5 or 10 questions which I then pointlessly answer. It’s pointless because he won’t bother to read the reply, and will simply ask me the questions again in a future email.
      I think he wants me to somehow transmit the information directly into his brain, alleviating him of the requirement of actually reading and thinking.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #14   blinker

    I think this is pretty brilliant. And I’d say the face print points to the original work of art being nose grease as opposed to a mop handle or finger. Plus nose grease is way funnier than finger grease.

    Nov 19, 2010 at 10:45 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #15   We shall speak anon

    Nose grease is the word, is the word that you heard
    I spread it on walls, doors and ceilings
    Nose grease is the slime on my face — it’s my lotion
    Nose grease keeps my dry skin from peeling

    Nov 19, 2010 at 11:13 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   park rose


      Nov 20, 2010 at 8:50 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #16   bowloftoast bang

    Why assume it’s his nose? Maybe he’s just very tall.

    Nov 19, 2010 at 11:36 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   Woman on the Verge bang

      bowloftoast, I love you.

      Nov 20, 2010 at 8:57 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #16.2   Canthz_B bang

      bowloftoast, I would bow to your wisdom on this, but be sure to keep my lips pursed while doing so! :-P

      Nov 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #17   Pylgrim

    *sigh* another genius misunderstood in his time. He will obviously will die in misery and ignominy but one century from now, his brilliance -both facial and artistic- will be acknowledged, earning his rightful place as the flagbearer of that important avant-garde movement, the nosegreaseism.

    Nov 20, 2010 at 2:06 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #18   Alex T. Valencic

    I owned a custodial company for a long time. I will never cease to be amazed at the marks left on elevator doors. Also, the oil from skin is extremely difficult to remove, even using chemicals supposedly formulated for that purpose. So it is possible that the custodians clean the doors, and then the prints just show up again. (It happened to my cleaning crews all the time.)

    Also, there is no way that a mop handle or other cleaning implement can be mistaken for a face print.

    Nov 20, 2010 at 9:01 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   anglophile bang

      Elevators, especially, seem to have some sort of finish that is extremely difficult to get smudge-free.

      Nov 20, 2010 at 10:39 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #18.2   Canthz_B bang

      Especially hard to clean sometimes after the breaks fail, Glo. But it’s a gray (grey, ok?) matter.

      Nov 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #19   Mo®

    The cheese that had been his oeuvre had lost the oomph he was looking for.

    Nov 20, 2010 at 10:25 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #20   Not Jen

    Without a picture of the grease paintings, it’s hard to judge whether this is a true PAN, or just a weird rant.

    Nov 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #21   Canthz_B bang

    I wonder if “nose grease” is a euphemism for something which would be stickier to describe.

    I’m hoping it will come to me, but ‘snot gonna happen. It’s still a running thought though!

    Nov 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #22   ashmeadow

    No, it doesn’t beg the question.

    Pretentious fail.

    Nov 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #23   Non-Mommy

    I thought this was brilliant. I know it’ll make the guy probably do worse things, but I think it is awesome haha.

    Nov 21, 2010 at 9:45 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #24   Laguna Beach Fogey

    Probably one of those African or Mexican workers American universities use these days. It’s definitely a political or racial act.

    Memo to White students: pay attention. And retaliate.

    Nov 21, 2010 at 9:34 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #25   ammali

    How does the note writer *know* it’s nose grease?

    Nov 22, 2010 at 7:55 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #26   People are Funny


    Nov 23, 2010 at 7:54 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #27   Lhyzz

    How does he know it’s his nose? Wouldn’t it be far more likely that this guy is drawing on the elevator doors with his finger?

    Nov 23, 2010 at 11:53 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #28   Le lac

    Nose grease is a very odd conclusion. More than likely, this isn’t the work of any one person, but just the hundreds of students who put their hands on the doors every day as they cram themselves into the elevator.

    They ought to come over and see the awesome “nose grease” pictures on my stainless steel refrigerator.

    Nov 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #29   clumber

    Couldn’t the elevator door be rigged with some sort of liquid nitrogen contraption, thus catching the artist by his very “brush” ?

    And a live webcam. Please. I’ll take the day off.

    Nov 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #30   Nyan

    I’m guessing the note author reads “Open Letters to People or Entities who are Unlikely to Respond” on McSweeney’s Internet Tendancy.

    Nov 24, 2010 at 2:50 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #31   arj

    The offices of KUT would have a hyper-literate cleaning staff

    Dec 7, 2010 at 11:30 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #32   Funniest (not necessarily passive-aggressive) notes of 2010 |

    [...] Elevator Nose Grease [...]

    Jan 4, 2011 at 8:11 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #33   Amanda

    You know, here in Austin, TX, we have a phrase to live by: “Keep Austin Weird.” Whoever wrote this silly letter needs to keep our city and its credo in mind. :D

    Mar 14, 2011 at 5:26 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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