Helping the Unhelpable

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I like to listen to the radio. It’s comforting to me at times, since I live alone, to have some background noise. I can’t play it if I’m trying to write, but if I’m just puttering around my house, doing the never-ending cleaning-up-after-myself tasks, I like it on.  (I don’t know how one person can make such a mess. I think it’s that homeless person that lives in my purse; he sneaks out at night and leaves the dishes in the sink, the newspaper strewn around and flip flops in every room.)

I listen mostly to the Oldies station but on occasion I do switch to all news and smooth jazz stations. Even a little classical. I especially like waking up to the radio; it seems far less intrusive than that annoying “BEEEEP! BEEEEP! BEEEEP!” on just plain alarms. I’ve been having a little trouble falling asleep of late (could it be the fact that I am battered and bruised still from the fall last week?) so I’ve taken to setting the alarm to make sure I get up earlier rather than later even though I’ve heard the rooster crow. Today I woke up and I heard someone  talking about a totally bizarre thing. I thought at first I was dreaming, but then I realized it was the radio and I did hear what the man said correctly. It was a commercial for (and I swear that I am not making this up!) “The Center for the Cure of Excessive Sweating.” Really, cross my heart. It was a full minute (at least) describing all the awful parts of your body that perspire and how the Center could fix it. I hadn’t really wanted to start my day with the first thoughts in my head to be of sweat rings under people’s armpits. (The announcer actually said “Aren’t you tired of wearing black all the time?” Well, actually, I’ve never associated people dressed in black as being overly moist. More often than not I think of Italian Nonnas who would hit you upside your head if you even suggested that they sweat.) But there it was. A visual I would not have chosen to have with the first morning light.

However, it was nice to start the day with a laugh but then, so often happens with these bizarre things, it began to knock around in my head. I started thinking about the fact that people might actually go to such a place. And if they went to get their sweat glands back in order, where else might they go for other maladies? So, as only someone with as warped a mind as I have could or would do, I began to envision other facilities to fix the things that bother us that perhaps most people don’t talk about. Like excessive sweating. So, here’s what I came up with, in no particular order.

Nose hairs. There are times that I meet someone and I find I am only looking at whatever fur is protruding out of their nostrils. I don’t hear a word they are saying because I am so drawn to the fact that someone could have the equivalent of the tail of a racoon hanging out of their proboscis and not want to at least trim it. Usually that same person has ear muffs inside their ears. Or at least it looks like that. So, there should be the Institute for the Removal of Distracting Hair.

Speaking of facial hair, what about women with moustaches? This is a sensitive subject with me in more ways than one. Before I discovered the “joys” of waxing, when things would get a little too noticeable above my lip, the ex would say to me “Either bleach it or twirl it.” I am very sympathetic to women who have this issue and don’t really take care of it. I would roll pennies if I needed money to have my friend Kim slather warm wax all over my face, slap muslim on it, put her knee on my chest and pull against the roots so that I won’t look like the bearded lady in the circus. I love Kim. She always says to me “What a rip off!” after she strips my face down to just a totally bright red dermis where once my cheeks, upper lip and eyebrows were. I always come out of the salon wondering what I look like. I won’t even venture a peek in the vanity mirror. I just know I won’t like what I see and I’m afraid it will discourage me from continuing the process. I go directly home, no errands that day. I’m sure other women have issues with enduring the pain of removal of unwanted hair. Therefore, I propose there should be The Counseling Clinic for Women Who Wax.

Lastly, I will deal with a topic that seldom gets discussed (unless you are a twelve-year-old boy) but I expect any day there will either be a google ad popping up or a banner running across some website asking “Do you have uncontrollable gas? Do you flatulate when trying to infatuate?” Have you ever been in a room where someone loudly cuts one and everyone pretends not to hear it? It is a complete nightmare to me. I snort, sputter, spit and finally just burst out laughing, usually til tears run down my cheeks.

When I was taking my Lamaze classes for my first child, there were only four couples in the class. My Ob/Gyn’s wife, who was an RN, taught it in their home on the upper West Side of Manhattan. (We were living in the Bronx.) The last class had us all lying on the floor, shoulders and heads resting on our husband’s laps. This lesson was devoted to the day of delivery. She demonstrated how we should  grasp our thighs, hold our breaths, bear down and push. (This happened 39 years ago and I still remember it like it was yesterday.) Guess which one of the four pregnant woman had stopped to satisfy a craving by devouring two Sabrett’s hot dogs, complete with double sauerkraut and onions,  from a pushcart on the way there?  So, always wanting to please, I gave it my all in this final opportunity to show Mrs. H that I was ready to do this without drugs. I held my breath, assumed “the position” and well, you guessed it. It wasn’t a pretend baby that came out. It was a stream of melodious notes let loose from my alimentary canal because of  my ernest desire to show how I would get my child into the world.

No one said a word. No one even acted like they’d noticed. I was mortified and thought that maybe they hadn’t heard anything. Mrs. H, maintaining discipline and not to be deterred from her goal, instructed us to do it again. And I did. I think that round I broke a world record for length of time one could…do what I did, and not even on purpose.

That was it; all the couples totally lost it, so much so that two of us had to run to the bathroom lest we need to change our clothes from an unexpected gush…oh, heck. We were afraid we’d wet our pants between the big babies hanging low in our bellies and the gales of laughter. That was a night that I would have gladly checked myself into The Facility For Flatulators or The Place for Pregnant Pushers.

I think I’ve spent too much time thinking about these things. I think some of you should think of some. What else do we need to tend to in this world that no one talks about and is deserving of a radio commercial? Or better yet, have you heard one for anything as weird as the Sweat Studio?

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