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Column Archives

Spring 2018: Lucky Lady

Posted on April 9, 2018 at 2:10 PM

I don’t possess the gene that compels me to go to a spa or nail salon. I’ve always been uncomfortable with strangers grooming me. That mixup back in the 70s doesn’t count. But as I’ve grown older and unable to tie my shoes without tipping over like a drunk frat boy, caring for my feet has become more difficult. Next to a chili dog, my bride Pepper likes nothing more than going for mani-pedis on a regular basis. Like the Cowardly Lion, she sits there on her throne and grins widely as workers at each limb buff, shine and shellac her paws.

“Clip, clip here/and a clip, clip there/we give the roughest claws/that certain air of savoir faire/in the merry old land of Oz.”

When the regimen is complete, she is shiny new, has regaled everyone with hilarious stories--some of which are true--and tipped several workers and a couple of customers.

As spring has done sprung, I reluctantly agreed to accompany her so that I could wear open toed shoes without scaring small pets and children.

“I’ll handle everything,” she said as we walked into her salon.

“Look,” I said to her. “I just want the basic pedi. No bells, no whistles. No portrait of the Mona Lisa on my big toe. No nothing. Just a basic pedicure.”

She sssshed me as the entire shop greeted her wildly. They practically pulled out the pasha carrier, hoisted her up on their shoulders, carrying her through the shop to her cathedra and began working—singing and whistling like the seven dwarfs.

She waved me in her direction, where they set up a spot for me next to her.

“She just wants a pedicure. Nothing fancy. I know, I know,” she said rolling her eyes to her crew.

The technician motioned for me to put my feet in the bubbly water as she squatted at the edge of the tub assessing the situation.

“Oh, ugh, eh, eee, no!” she said in rapid fire succession. I wasn’t sure if she was ordering lunch or commenting on my piggies.

“What?!”

She just kept tsking and shaking her head.

“Very bad. Very, very bad.” She repeated as she pointed to my heels.

“My heels are bad?” I asked.

“Oh, yeah. Bad. Very bad.”

“Well, then I guess it’s a good thing I came to you and not the dentist,” I quipped.

She rifled through her toolbox looking for just the right equipment. I closed my eyes to try to relax and not get caught up in the noise.

I swore I heard a chain saw revving up as she began scraping those barnacles off my hulls. I looked up to see her wearing a helmet and goggles. The whole salon was in the in duck-and-cover position as nails, skin and random debris flew off my feet.

I felt compelled to make some excuse for the state of my hooves.

“I work with horses,” I said.

“Horses?” she asked.

“Yes, you know all those horses that had to be rescued from the terrible fires? I was there rounding them up to safety. Barefoot. Shoes startle them.  All the ashes and dirt and mud and grime and, well, it had to be done. It’s hard to talk about.”

“Hmm,” she muttered. “Horses.”

Desperate, I continued. “And elephants. I was right there when the circus went down. All those beautiful creatures needed to be calmed and transported. Somebody had to do it.”

“Oh. Elephants,” she mumbled.

When Pepper finally finished leading everyone in a second rendition of “Que Sera!” she turned to listen in on my conversation.

“Don’t say a word!” I chided.

She motioned a zipper across her mouth.

“She’s full of it!” she blurted out.

Mental note to self to never get involved in a caper with this one. She would be singing like a canary when the coppers separated us in interrogation rooms.

As the tech massaged my calves and I was close to proposing, or at least asking her out for a drink, she looked up and me and smiled.

“You lucky lady.”

“I am?” I beamed.

“She is?” Pepper piped in.

“Yes! Very lucky, lucky lady!” she said as she carefully examined my gams, rubbing up and down their length.

I assumed she was reading my varicose veins and could see the future or something.

“How am I lucky?” I asked, anticipating a prediction of a windfall coming my way.

She propped her own leg up on the tub, revealing a hairless, bony limb the size of a toddler’s arm.

“See?” All bone. No food in my country. But, you!” she said grabbing a hunk of my burning love. “Lots and lots of meat. Lots of food! You lucky lady!”

That’s it!

I ran out of that place as fast as those “meaty” calves and decrepit heels could take me and never looked back.

“Don’t worry,” Pepper said when we reunited. “I paid her handsomely and tipped even better. I explained everything to them.”

“Everything?”

“Yes. I had to say something to explain your bizarre behavior.”

“You told them I was late for another appointment?”

“Something like that.”

“What. Did. You. Say?”

“I told them you had explosive diarrhea.”

“What?! Why that?! What did they say?” I asked, completely mortified.

“They said ‘No problem. You still very lucky lady!”

-30-

COPYRIGHT 2018 JUDY LANE


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