Wednesday, March 22, 2006

 

Sellouts


You know the feeling you have when you’re at an international arms fair and you bump into your old university sociology professor, the one who was the first to step forward and place a flower down the rifle of the head riot policeman? I don’t, never having had any truck with all that tree-bothering pacifist nonsense, but I imagine it would be similar to the feeling I experienced when I found myself in a gay situation recently with one of my oldest friends.

Mike was over from South Africa and staying at mine for a few days. We were at high school together and later at university. I went into corpses and he into gynaecology, so I suppose we shared an interest in exploring orifices. One morning I had problems with a blocked drain in the kitchen. Mike offered to sort it out, saying it was just like doing a dilatation and curettage. Being a person of obsessive tidiness I went into the spare room where he slept in order to straighten it out (he being a person of obsessive slovenliness).

And then I saw it.

Nestling in his overnight bag, its little head peeping from between the unzipped flaps, was something so shocking I’m clenching my buttocks even now, writing about it. I’d seen its ilk before, of course, in specialist shops and increasingly in family supermarkets. Vampirella herself has a few. All sorts of rationalisations forced their way into my confused head: he’s bought it for his girlfriend, it’s a gift for his mother… but I knew the truth even as I struggled to deny it. I picked it out of the bag and carried it delicately between thumb and forefinger, holding it at arm’s length as if to avoid contamination. Downstairs he was crouched under the sink wiping bits of gunge on his trousers. He twisted his head round as I came in, and was about to say something smug about having cleared the tubes when he saw what I was carrying.

“I can explain, Foot,” he whispered.

Perhaps I should explain. South African culture, especially back in the eighties when we were at university, was unrelentingly macho. Homosexuality was in a lead-lined vault welded shut and dumped in the ocean. You held your heterosexuality aloft as if it were a rampant phallus. If you knew what was good for you, you liked rugby, served your compulsory two years in the Army with pride, and ate raw meat. The very idea of a man applying grooming products to his tanned leathery skin was beyond the pale. We had both sworn that we’d never in our lives, on pain of dismemberment, use moisturiser.

“It’s just that when you get to a certain age, you need something to give your skin a little lift - ”

I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to hear it.

“It’s got anti-oxidants in it, to neutralise free radicals which damage the dermis as well as the epidermis.”

I looked at the tube properly for the first time. L’Oreal Ultra-VitaLift Plus. A smiling smooth-skinned woman was on the front.

I looked at Mike again. He’d been an athletic type back in the old days but as soon as he’d stepped off the plane I’d noticed a softness, almost a chubbiness to his features, making him resemble Brian the Snail from The Magic Roundabout. Now, I noticed the twin swellings in the front of his T-shirt (with two unpleasant dots of moistness which I didn’t want to think about), the gentle flare of his hips and the peculiar highness in his voice.

“This stuff contains oestrogens, Mike,” I said quietly.

There was a shift in his demeanour then, a sudden hardness. “Don’t push me, Foot,” he said icily. And then I knew: he held the trump card. As if reading my mind he pushed past me and went upstairs. I felt too weak to stop him, following instead. In the bathroom he opened the cabinet and rummaged in the back before turning in triumph, a small tube of Nivea Wrinkle De-crease formula in his small hand.

We spent many hours talking after that, the air cleared between us. I promised not to tell anyone if he made the same pledge. And I persuaded him to switch to a product for men, even though he claimed the women’s creams were more effective (and yes, he was looking remarkably smooth).

I’m telling you this in confidence so please don’t go spreading it around. I hope you understand what tremendous courage it took for me to bare my soul like this.

Comments:
But WHERE was he applying the L’Oreal Ultra-VitaLift Plus and you, the Nivea Wrinkle De-crease? (Small tube or nay - tssk! - size doesn't matter; it's whether or not the contents are non-comedogenic and likely to lead to breakouts in the morning, that a woman really cares about).

Wrinkles on a man, anywhere, are universally acknowledged to be 'rugged'. On a woman, they're just old or at best indicative of character a la Katherine Hepburn and Judy Dench. Love your wrinkles, chaps! Wherever you may find them. 'Cos both L'Oreal and Andy McDowell agree "You're worth it!". (Toss of hair and toothsome smile). And extra exclamation mark. "!"
 
Don't be a fucking ninny. I've even been out on the town in a dress. And make up.

Poxy skin cream... pah!
 
Got blind drunk with some friends once and they put lipstick on me. Looking in the mirror was truly disturbing. I screamed and washed it off immediately. If you're a boy, try it. It will fuck you up. I've been thinking about buying moisturizer Footy - this English weather's seared any natural oils away. Ahem. Is 'metrosexual' really a word? Or is there a new one?
 
"Metrosexual" means anyone or anything that fucks tube trains, like London Underground or the Private Finance Initiative.
 
Strange that you come from a culture of such rugged manliness while at the same time having such an aversion to beards.
 
Sam: it depends how old the man is. 'Rugged' is something one associates with men over 40.

Binty: got any photos?

Brewski: before you spend good cash on a moisturiser I must warn you that it's impossible to get wrecked on it.

Philip: damn, that's good.

Kim: I've never had anything against beards in general, just El Barbudo's. Even started growing one myself, once. Then my parents bought me my first razor.
 
Good one Foot Eater. I enjoyed that.
Now. Is that a new anagram or what?
 
Good one Foot Eater. I enjoyed that.
Now. Is that a new anagram or what?
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
SECRET SHOPPING! I'm in.
 
Foot, nourish your dermis and you'll be a happier corpse-colored macarel.
 
Hey Foot Eater, that took a lot of courage. Now you can tell us about using Immac on your feet.

Feel free to delete the anonymous comment. SafeT won't mind looking like an arse.
 
I do have photos, but I'm not giving them to you ya pervert!
 
GB:I can't mind what I can't control. That's what my mum always told me.

'Course she also said I was a "catch" and that when the girls all grew up they'd all become attracted to me.

Oh, and she also told me to always tell the doctors, "I am not a danger to myself and others and I am still taking my meds."

That one, at least, has served me well over the years.
 
Oh for...I hang around with the gays, bathrooms groaning with products from under eye concealer to touch eclait highlighter pens. Pah!
 
I'm totally in favour of a bit of moisure in the right places
 
Sb you know you can get new oil with a hint of aloe vera? It is ideal for..er slithering about, but it is not greasy and doesn't stain the sheets.
Obviously it is also good for putting on after the shower, leaves the skin soft like velvety butter with a hint of silkiness. And it smells nice.
 
I never leave home without a squeezy tube of something with moisturising properties. Plane travel plays havoc with one's skin. Mrs Dr McC always packs me one of her lavendar scented concoctions but I prefer vaseline myself. Ravel, my faithful research assistant takes a handful of vaseline to bed with him each night, but he still looks rugged each morning.
 
You can get gently moisturising sprays these days Doctor Mccrumble, a quick spritz and you are 35,000 feet and cruising with baby soft, hydrated skin. Takes out all the uuseemly rubbing, plus if you are wearing a tinted foundation you don't muss it up.
 
Sam, surely as a bride you must know that a man can unwrinkle his thing without the use of cream.

A simple porn mag, or tool catalog is generally sufficient.
 
Dr. E. I keep my eyes tightly closed the whole time, as my uber-Protestant upbringing taught me to, and have never actually seen one. We've only just got past the hole in the sheet stage.

A "tool catalog". Hmm. As far as I'm aware Mr. Child-Bride does not care for looking at other men's willies, especially if they have staples through them. He is fond of the odd screw though.

(Look, I know it was the obvious joke. I know that. I'm not proud of myself.)
 
Foot, every time I see the name on this blog go through another change, I assume you've posted anew.

Damn you for this infernal cock-teasing.

...oh, and episode 6 is up.
 
Foot Eater, whenever you do this, that is, hide in the garden shed with much clattering for a day or two, you always return with some little amusement for our diversion. So, don't muck us about mate, show!.

We demand as well, the titles, synapsees, and sample chapters of these novelles you claim to possess.




yeah i know what a synapse is.
 
This thread has become stomach-churningly lewd since I've been away. Many of you should be ashamed of yourselves (SB, Dr E., Dr J McC and Sam, take note). Keep it up.

Dr Maroon, I was about to do a post about that ungrateful old sod Norman Kember but you beat me to it (and took his side, curse you). Back to the drawing board.
 
Oh go on. I just typed off the top because i was grumpy. The old bugger should be put back and it'd serve him right. Proslytiser.

Soft drink for hookers.
 
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