Sunday, February 17, 2013

It's All About How You Handle Pressure...

So, here’s the story:

There I was in Colorado, just a ways south of Denver, the former home of Mile High Stadium. That becomes important later on, I think. Even now I’m not sure.

I was on a visit with my friend SB, and we were out and about doing a few errands. She had stopped at an office she had to run into for a moment, and I opted, as Handsome so often does, to wait in the van while she went in. She exited the van and hot-footed it across the parking lot and into the building. I sat there for a moment just contemplating my hands.

Now, the hands of anyone with a physical job can take a beating, but the thing about the postal service jobs is that you have to handle a whole lot of paper. The thing about paper is that it’s dry. And the thing about your hands is, if you go around handling something that’s pretty dry all the time, your skin gets dry. It’s called “dessication”, but that word always brings to my mind movies about the Mummy. In those flicks they always refer to the Mummy as “a dry, dessicated corpse” — at least until he gets up and starts walking around chasing after women like a hormone-riddled college boy on his first Spring Break, the only real difference being that the Mummy moves like an octogenarian who just had a really bad enema—

But I digress.

My hands were dry. SB was in the building and I was in the van. I pulled out a bottle of lotion I’d brought from home - peppermint scented, I use it a lot - that has a kind of pop-top. You press the part of the lid that says “press”, and it pops in, popping the other side out, opening the bottle and allowing you to squeeze a controlled amount onto your palm.

Unless, of course, you take that bottle, seal it up at sea level, then take it oh, say, a little more than a mile into the sky. But I didn’t think of that.

Not yet.

So I tapped the contents into the top of the bottle in a move that will remind anyone who knows a smoker of someone ‘packing’ the cigarettes before opening the pack. I aimed the bottle at my left palm, and pressed where it says ‘press’.


The lid snapped open as the contents, unbeknown to me, were apparently taking advantage of the change in pressure to expand and force its way out of the bottle all in one go. The whole contents. In one go.

Lotion flowed out into my cupped palm, actually streaming over and across my hand, nearly missing when it finally arced downward.

“Oh! Oh! Holy @%$!!” I yelled, suddenly an R-rated Arnold Horshack (kids, ask your parents, they’ll tell you) as I looked for some way out of the van before the mess overflowed my hand. I looked at the door handle, well recessed into the door and impervious to any kind of elbowing I could manage. I looked at the window button. No love there, the van was off so all the power windows would do was sneer at me.

I looked back at my hand. Half the bottle had made a break for it by then, and the other half was crowded at the opening, still pushing and shoving to get out like they were at a Great White concert (Kids? Parents). A tiny ocean of lotion was quickly outgrowing the confines of my hand and I needed to get out of there before I wound up having to shampoo SB’s seat thanks to my own little ‘Mr. Science’ experiment on changing pressures due to altitude!

Thinking quickly (well, I thought at the time it was quickly) I shoved the bottle at my mouth and held it with my teeth as I yanked the handle and shouldered the door open. I staggered out into the parking lot and whipped my hand toward the ground, sending a very full handful of lotion to spatter the tarmac like a bombing run from a well-fed seagull.

Only after the fact did it occur to me that, had there been an observer in that parking lot with me, say someone in another car somewhere, all they would have seen was the van start rocking, maybe heard me shouting, then seen me explode out of the vehicle to throw a fistful of goo on the ground by the rear bumper. (Kids… uh… never mind.)

But I digress.

At dinner that evening with our friends DH (female), DP(Male), and LC(female), I decided to share that little story. I even brought the little bottle with me. DP and LC were laughing, as was SB. DH, however, leaned forward to pick up the bottle and take a closer look at it. She then leaned over toward LC and held the bottle up before them.

“One,” she said, popping the bottle open with the press of a thumb.

“Two,” she said, sliding the thumb forward to pop the bottle closed.

“Open.” She thumbed it open.

“Closed.” She thumbed it closed. Then held it out toward me so I could get a very good look at what she was doing.

“One.” She popped it open.

“Two.” She popped it closed.

“One,” she began again.

“But,” I interrupted, “if I’d just done that there wouldn’t have been a story!”

“Two!” she finished, then stared at me.

“Uh,” I said, “…I panicked?”

Did you ever just feel stupid? I did.

Talk to you later!

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