On Male Brazilians And Revealing Ethnic Origins Through Cussing

Today was a painful day; twice, I encountered good old-fashioned physical pain. None of that fancy, dark night of the soul, melancholic stuff. You needed topical balms for this, not therapy. (Though I suppose opiates would help both varietals.)

Incident Numero Uno (in which I inadvertently receive a varietal of a Male Brazilian): Shortly after I had finished working out at my gym this afternoon, I collected my sore body and my gear, and began the walk back to the subway station to catch my train back home. On the way, I stopped to talk to a friend of mine; she was crossing the same street. We commiserated about some bureaucratic nightmares she is currently experiencing, and as we talked, I began removing a pair of taped straps from my wrists. I had been using these while performing two sets of heavy front squats a little earlier, and had forgotten to remove them. This procedure is always a little painful, thanks to the presence of hairs on my wrist–I am not unusually hirsute and carry a standard complement in that location. As usual, I moved gingerly and slowly, an action which did not fail to catch the attention of my friend who offered to help by delivering a short, sharp yank to the remaining part of the white tape. She did so, perhaps adding an emphatic flourish, and I let out an agonized yelp.  We both stared in some astonishment at the strip of tape that had just been torn off my right wrist: it was flecked with many a hair that had formerly adorned my wrist. At that moment, I felt deep empathy and sympathy for all those countless women who have undergone the agonies of a Brazilian to prepare for a season at the beach. How do they ever do it? Why do they? Patriarchy has a lot to answer for.

Incident Numero Dos (in which I am reminded of my ethnic origins): I returned home, my wrist still smarting, determined to feed myself well after my grueling workout. I entered the kitchen and set about making some scrambled eggs to accompany a leftover hot Italian sausage from last night’s dinner. After whipping up a rather tasty looking four-egg medley, I moved the pan over to where my plate lay and then, absentmindedly, reached for a serving utensil to begin ladling my preparation out. I had cooked the eggs with a wooden spatula, but forgetting that momentarily, I reached for one with a metallic handle. Unfortunately, this one, lying on the cooking range, had been exposed to the flame of my cooking for several minutes. As I grabbed it, a searing, agonizing, pain shot through my hand. I dropped the spatula, and stared at my hand, which showed two burns forming rapidly–one on my little finger, and one on my palm–even as I cursed loudly and pungently. Two cusswords had emanated. Both were in Punjabi. Modesty forbids me provide any more detail than that. Old instincts die hard. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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