You see one of something and suddenly you're surrounded....... After my last post it seemed everywhere I turned there were moustaches! All better looking, you'll be happy to hear, than the last one.
I had an appointment last week in St.Petersburg, home to a museum of a very famous moustache. I gave myself two hours to get there, just to be on the safe side. Several distractions conspired to make me miss my exit: enjoying the sun glinting on the expanses of glassy water on either side as I crossed a long bridge; dreamily noticing how blue the sky was with its scattering of white, fluffy clouds; admiring the noticeably more tropical vegetation,(than further north where we live) and doing a double take at a billboard of his tell-tale mustache, advertising the Salvador Dali museum. Graphic designers are so clever.... I would have loved to stop for a photo but that might not have been a good idea in the middle of a multiple lane highway! I couldn't even find a good photo of it on Flickr... I'm not much of a Dali fan myself. I'd have to be on some pretty potent drugs for his art to appeal to me --- but, obviously, I am in the minority. Fan or no, the new Dali museum is itself a work of architectural art. Alas, no photos. I was not going to the museum. After driving in panic-stricken circles for ten minutes, with the clock ticking, I finally got back on the right road and skated in to my appointment with seconds to spare.
The first person I saw had no beer belly; no shoulder droop either. He was slim and fit, with brown hair slicked back from a high, tanned forehead. His long sideburns and mustache-goatee combination looked like it must take at least an hour of man-scaping every morning. Judging by the photos on the wall, this was something he did to finance his real love, fishing. He was a neural diagnostic technician, which, after a few beers, he said, becomes a "nerve dude!" He and I were in the same room because he was going to administer some tests, and I was the testee. He taped wires to various places on my hands and arms and gave each place a series of shocks, starting with barely perceptible ones and gradually increasing in intensity to "ouch" level. It was uncomfortable, but not unbearable.
I asked if he had always wanted to be a nerve dude, or if he'd started out wanting to be a fireman.
Without missing a beat he deadpanned that he'd always enjoyed torturing things when he was growing up! That left me speechless, a rare occurrence. I think he was joking.I hope he was joking. I can just imagine the career counselling brochures: If you like to torture small animals (or big ones) you might enjoy a career as a neural diagnostic technician. Hmmm.
I felt like a puppet. Zap! and my finger would jump; zap! again and my arm would twitch. But, he informed me, the tests he was doing on me were tame compared to other tests, that (he said) were really fun. I was glad I wasn't providing him with that much fun!
The next Mustache was the doctor who came in to read the results of Nerve Dude's tests, and then administer some of his own. No beer belly, no shoulder droop. He was nattily dressed in khakis and a dazzlingly white shirt with a beautiful blue tie......No, I didn't rip the tie from his neck to make a little silk bag. I'm quite good at behaving myself when I'm out. His beard and mustache were neatly trimmed, though it didn't look as though he spent quite as much time pruning as Nerve Dude!
For someone who hates needles, with the exception of sewing and knitting needles, this was getting down to some real torture. I tried not to be a sissy as the doctor poked needles into various muscles in my hands and arms. He didn't just poke them in, he probed around with them while they were deep in the muscle, all the while encouraging me to relax! Right! But I breathed deep (thank you yoga!) gritted my teeth---and still my face was wet when he finally finished with the last needle.
The good news is--- no slicing or dicing in the immediate future. I admit that I was apprehensive. The trick to keeping carpal tunnel from getting worse is, apparently, to hang your arms limply by your sides as much as possible; bend your fingers, whenever you can, in the direction opposite that needed to perform most daily tasks/movements, and most importantly, not to sleep with your elbows bent and your hands near your face. Ideally, you should give up writing, sewing, personal hygiene, computers, telephones, lifting things, opening things, cutting things, chopping things etc. But, if I did that I'd have to cut my wrists anyway! So, moderation in all of the above and I might last for another few rounds!
Note: Interestingly enough, none of these incidental mustaches were wearing shorts..... Not, that is, until later in the day, when I was home from my travels, and The Bean breezed in, complete with goatee, mustache....and shorts!