March 29, 2013


            You have never experienced trauma until you have tried to shave your legs in the head (that’s “bathroom” to you landlubbers) of a sailboat.  I usually try to put it off for as long as possible.  Luckily, being blonde, it’s fairly easy to get away with . . . plus, I wear jeans a lot.  But when it reached the point where I could no longer don a pair of shorts without looking like Chewbacca, the time had come.
Now for those of you who have never spent time in a head, it’s only slightly larger than the enclosure which worked its magic on Clark Kent.  Being 6’2” myself, it’s safe to assume that I didn’t exactly approach this exercise in feminine aesthetics with alacrity.
The main thing is balance.  If you are unable to ride a unicycle and juggle simultaneously, you are, as they say down south, “in a heap o’ trouble.”  Oh, and you also need vision rivaling that of a screech owl, because the lighting in a head is about as bright as Jesse Ventura.
There is no shower area curtained off, the way it is in houses.  You just shut the door and turn on the water.  Unfortunately, without the shower curtain and separate shower enclosure, one tends to develop permanent elbow bruises, for all the bouncing off the surrounding wood they do.
And that’s another thing.  It really takes the mental acumen of, say, Mike Tyson, to decide that putting wood in a place where bathing regularly occurs is a great idea.  It’s not . . . unless you enjoy exposing the bone marrow of your fingers by sanding and varnishing every other day to keep the wood rot away.
Fun is.
At any rate, after slamming my elbows a couple of dozen times and looking up to see the guy on the next dock peeking in my porthole (which has no curtains.  The head has wood, but no curtains . . . go figure), I have done everything but shave my legs.  Regretting that I neglected to first attend Confession that morning, and wondering if I would be given last rites anyway, I sighed, bent over, lathered up my legs, whacked my head a treat on the WOOD shampoo/conditioner holder, swore, backed into the WOOD cabinet under the sink, swore, caromed off the WOOD towel rack, swore, and grabbed the razor.
By now, I was completely blind from the shampoo that I hadn’t completely rinsed out of my hair and which had now found a home in my baby-blues – and if pain was any indication, was in the process of remodeling.
I’m now blind, bruised, concussed, and six of my toes are broken. 
And I haven’t even started to shave yet!
I usually try to get through it as fast as I can, but I had waited so long between shaves that I could only take one stroke before having to clear the blade in the sink.  Nevertheless, I pressed on.
By the time I got through and cleared the soap from my now baby-reds, the head looked like something that would have been edited from “Friday the 13th.”  There was gore glistening from every surface, and the coppery smell of blood hung in the air.   The bones of my kneecaps were completely exposed, with flaps of the skin that used to cover them waving in the steam.
I proceeded to disinfect the mess with straight peroxide.
When I came to, I was in the hospital being transfused.
“Good morning, Carson,” my nurse said.  “You waited a little longer this time.  I was expecting you three days ago.”
I don’t know what I hate more; hairy legs or smartass nurses!


1 comment: