My motto around here is: When the going gets tough, it’s time for a pedicure. A good pedicure is right up there with chocolate when it comes to indulgences.
English is not the first language of the people who work at my salon of choice, so conversations between customer and manicurist are minimal. Plenty of smiles and ahhh-inspiring leg and foot massages make conversation unnecessary and the experience blissful.
Generally, it’s something like this:
Want manicure or pedicure?
As the queen of indecision, generally I head for the pedicure chair with a polish bottle clutched in each hand. Something like Monkey Butt Red and Hotter Than A Pepper Sprout Crimson. I’m not into the blacks and blues.
Today, as usual, the nice young man puts a dab of each polish on a nail and then points to one. “You like this one best,” he tells me, matter-of-factly.
I agree. I always agree.
What makes today different is that new pedicure chairs have been installed since my last visit. Excellent! The old ones were fine except for my last visit, when I sat in one where the massage mechanism had been left on Knock cycle, which I didn’t know existed, so I didn’t notice until my teeth began rattling from all the whacks on my back.
This new chair has an iPad-sized screen of fancy settings mounted on a stand by the right arm rest. When I strain to read it, the young man takes control. “POWER,” he informs me, reaching over to push the button.
All goes well, if a tad too vigorously, for the first few seconds. The book I’d planned to read is bouncing around in my hands as if I’m riding a horse. Part massage, part mechanical bull.
It is the next cycle which raises my alarm bells. Hells bells, it raises everything! The heretofore flat chair cushion begins creepily rising a few inches on the sides, squeezing inwardly on my hips and thighs to lock me in place.
Then, if you can believe this, something begins rising from the center of the chair and takes me with it, raising my bottom like a cake about to be frosted. The “Thing” is pressing practically into my. . . .yowsah! I try to find what I’m experiencing on the Options Chart. I’m looking for phrases like Crotch caress… Vaginal Vaa-voom. This had to have been engineered by a wannabe gynecologist.!
It is not unlike the sensation of sitting down in a chair and realizing that you’ve sat on the cat. . . then discovering that said cat is bionic as it stands up, lifting you in the process.
I look at the guy in wild-eyed terror. “Have you ever SAT in this chair?” I gasp, pointing at the horny machine.
“No. New. Nice, yes?”
I look around to see if anyone else is experiencing this. No, they’re either engrossed in a magazine or diddling with their phones. Their chairs are not moving.
I am the only one being goosed.
Finally, the sides release my captive hips and flatten to normal cushion size. “Thing” sinks back into the seat bottom. There is a small sigh as all this happens. From the chair, not me. It sounds pleased with itself. The bouncing has stopped and I can read the fine print now. Something about “seat airbag.” Hah! Nary a word about the mechanical fist that, believe me, was not just air.
In fact, I check my receipt to see if there is a charge for a pap smear.
One more minute and I’d have been ready to swear out an assault warrant.