Friday, July 28, 2006

The Armpit of Woe

The Armpit of Woe

OuchiesSo, what have I been up to this week? Don't ask. Just another night in my Alan Partridge-like existence at the luxuriously-appointed accommodation provided for we migrant workers, and nothing but the normal woe.

Undressing, I caught a glimpse of my muscular, tanned body in the mirror. Ye Gods, what a specimen. Honed to perfection. Not a fault to be seen.

"Hmmm.... that's got rather big", I think.

No, no that, but a tag of skin in my armpit. I've had this tag of skin under my arm for a couple of years, and it hasn't really bothered me that much. This time, however, it was about half an inch long with a big round head. Gak! My grandad used to have one in the pit of his back, and it disgusted me in a "Oh God, don't let me touch it don'tletmetouchit" fashion, so there would be no way I was going through life with a mushroom in my armpits. I gave it a squeeze, and finding no nerve endings, my mind was made up.

"You're coming off, me old son."

So I did, with a pair of nail scissors. Drink, alas, was not a factor.

If only I had thought it through. Things still connected to your body tend to be filled with important stuff. Like blood, for example. Lots and lots of blood.

So, there I was, midnight, naked, bleeding profusely from my left armpit with a small sausage of severed flesh between my fingers. Things could, I admit, be going rather better at this point.

Covered in blood like Peter Sutcliffe at a whore's convention, I ran downstairs and got the biggest sticky plaster I could out of the first aid kid, shoving the kind of bandage you might find in an army field dressing kit into the danger zone. It was just as I went to put the plaster on that I had a rare moment of lucidity. Sticky plaster plus hairy armpit - that's going to hurt like fuckery when you try to pull it off in the morning.

So: Half-past-midnight, head-to-toe with blood that just won't stop pumping out of that tiny, tiny hole, reeking of TCP, gibbering slightly, I find myself frantically shaving my left armpit. Luckily, I have a plentiful supply of my own red stuff to act as a lubricant as I fear King of Shave gel just won't do the trick in this particular scenario. "How, in the name of buggery", I thought to myself as a large, red hand-print smeered the mirror, "did I end up here?"

And: "I'm shaving my armpit. Do I do the other one to match?"

And: "Lookin' dead hard there, tiger."

Alas, the plaster I had chosen was rather bigger than I thought, and I couldn't bring myself to shave a large enough area for the target zone to be completely hair-free, what with a beach holiday only weeks away. However, still spurting go-juice all down my arm, my side and all over the lino, I was past caring. Who thought such a little hole could produce so much red? It was like I'd been in collision with an offal cart.

Come the morning, my night manipulations decidedly one-sided, I was left, with a terrible dilemma: one massive scream as the plaster came off, or a series of pitiful whimpers. Like a man, I went for the former.



"Oh fuck. Are you still bleeding?"

So: there I was in the lodge kitchen, heating up the least rusty knife in the drawer over a naked flame.

Why? In the name of God, why?

My hand shaking with trepidation, and the air filled with the pungent aroma of scorched armpit, I finally hit the target.



"Oh fuck. Are you still bleeding?"

Moral: DIY surgery. Don't do it. And I've still got my third nipple to sort out.

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