Getting ahead in life isn’t always great
It's nice, so I've been told, to have a good head on your shoulders, or at least a head. My problem is that it looks like I might end up with two heads on my shoulder.
What started off as a small fleshy growth on my left shoulder -- known in the better Departments of Epidermis as a "skin tag"-- has grown alarmingly into what is looking like a second noggin. They say two heads are better than one, but I doubt they meant two heads on the same body.
I monitored the new appendage with a mix of scientific curiosity and horror, the kind of horror that can only be generated by a seasoned semiprofessional hypochondriac. It was like I had not only a second head growing, but a little devil and angel sitting on my shoulders, too. The scientific angel said, "This is cool. Let it grow and let's see what develops!" The hypochondriac devil shouted, "Are you mad? Kill it in it's crib! It will take over the world!"
To buy time I considered other options, like drawing a little face on it with a Sharpie pen. Give it a personality. Maybe even a name, like Buster.
I recalled Señor Wences, the great ventriloquist on the "Ed Sullivan Show" who talked to a character named "Johnny" he had drawn on his cupped hand. Senor Wences would say in his Spanish accent, "Ees all right?" and Johnny would answer, "S'all right!" Maybe Buster and I could have a career on stage.
I did a little research on the Internet and discovered it was possible to safely get rid of skin tags simply by snipping them off with fingernail clippers. I was poised to do that in front of the bathroom mirror, but the little fella looked so happy as I moved in for the kill I just couldn't do it. Why'd I have to draw a smile on him? Besides, I read that when you snip off a skin tag, the wound bleeds heavily, and I can't stand the sight of blood, especially my own.
So I approached my wife about doing the deed. I said we'll have a few chardonnays, and then when I'm adequately, er, relaxed, you decapitate Buster. I explained that before modern anesthesia, chardonnay was often consumed as a sedative before medical operations, usually by the doctor. I figured any good wife would jump at the chance to conduct minor surgery on her husband, but -- can you believe it? -- she turned me down.
The next procedure I discovered was to tie off the protuberance with a piece of dental floss. This allegedly restricts the flow of life-giving blood to the growth, forcing it to die and eventually fall off. So I tied off the thing with dental floss, but the effect was unnerving. Now it looked like Buster was wearing an ascot.
I consulted a real, honest-to-God doctor I met in a bar, and he said, yes, the dental floss strangulation method was the safest, most entertaining way to perform self-amputation. Not knowing exactly when the bean will drop will keep you in suspense for days, he assured me. So the three of us -- me, the doc and Buster in his little ascot -- toasted our adventure with a glass of chardonnay.
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
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