Writers Tricks of the Trade VOLUME 8, ISSUE 4 - Page 12

L IFE S TORIES BY K EITH B ETTINGER M Y F IRST B IKINI W AX Yes, a bikini wax, but don’t let your mind run rampant. I assure you, it is not what you this it is. W ell gang, I had my first bikini wax the other day. Slow down, before you start spreading rumors—no I haven’t started playing for the “other team,” nor was I “manscaping”. I was practicing emergency medical treatment. Yes, you read that cor- rectly— emergency medical treatment. Out here is the Southwest we have an interesting variety of plants—Cacti—the plural of Cactus. They are very attractive from a distance. They are also a great crime prevention tool when planted un- der ground floor windows. When their flowers bloom they are beautiful. They are also zero maintenance here in the de- sert. However, when they really start to grow some of them can grow like weeds. I was looking at my two cacti as they were growing towards my neighbor’s walkway. I came to the assumption that if I didn’t trim them, they would soon over- run the sidewalk to his backyard. In order to remedy the situation, I got out my trusty four dollar Wal-Mart ma- chete, and was merrily swinging away as if I was Indiana Jones fighting my way through the jungle. Then I experienced something Indiana Jones didn’t. As one of the cactus branches fell, it fell my way. Since I wasn’t wearing Indy’s trusty and W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE T RADE protective leather jacket, the branch landed on my arm and embedded numer- ous cactus spines in my left arm. I started the spine removal process with tweezers. That was like bailing out the Titanic with a shot glass. Then I re- membered a television show I watched one night. It was about strange happen- ings in hospital emergency rooms. A doc- tor was on duty with his staff of nurses. The nurses were reading a magazine ad about bikini waxing. They were teasing the doctor about the process and the re- sults, as well as the pained look on his face. Shortly thereafter, a mother and fa- ther brought their small daughter into the emergency room. The child had rolled down a hill on the side of the road right into a cactus patch. Her entire body was covered with cactus spines. The doctor tried removing them with tweezers, but quickly came to the same conclusion about the Titanic and the shot glass. The child was in a great deal of pain and her condition was worsening. The doctor wanted to anesthetize her. The parents, who had lost a child during sur- gery, would not allow the child to be put under. The fear was real for them, but not very proactive for the child. The doctor P AGE 7 W INTER 2019