Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Blue Collar Protective Coloration"

That was the phrase my brother used to describe me. That's what I wore, so that people would not realize I was quite as white collar and educated as I might actually be. Because we in America are much more accepting of the stupid. We are, and always have been, anti-intellectual. We appreciate clever, but not smart. 

Well, I can pull stupid off pretty effectively. It helps that I have interesting looking scars on my hands, can slip into a Hoosier twang as needed, and drop a lot of F-bombs... probably a lot more than the situation requires.

My hands. They really are working-class messed up. The funny thing is, I'm one of those fortunate few whose skin heals rapidly and completely. I used to have a really nasty four-inch-long 3rd degree burn scar on my forearm about ten years ago. (I got it when red hot metal rod fell on me and I warded it off with my upraised arm. Middling long story). Anyway, there's just a pencil-eraser-sized pink patch now. Looks like I got burned with a punk.

Once, about ten years ago, I was down for the count with a double hernia operation for about three weeks. And then again, around 2004 or so, I contracted - and killed off - the West Nile virus. That put me in bed for about two weeks.

On both occasions, after weeks of  inactivity, I noticed that my hands looked... weird. Not quite right. Unusual. Abnormal.

I finally figured it out. They had no bruises, cuts, gashes, contusions, burns, scrapes,  scratches, scuff marks, lacerations, or nicks on them. 

To my horror, I was even losing calluses. (Although actually, my hands are quite smooth and genteel compared to some farmers I know). 

I never realized how proud I was of having such grisly looking hands. But Nature, the perverse old bitch, insists upon healing them so I don't look like such a tough guy.

Jeez, what's a guy got to do? Intentionally mutilate myself? Pass. I'll just have to accept the fact that Nature wants me to be a beautiful creature.

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

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