Many years ago, I smoked cigarettes because I wanted to look cool and dangerous, even though all it did was make me wheezy and smelly. I had a crush on a girl who smoked too. We were cool and dangerous. I somehow screwed up while taking a puff, though, and burned my face at Applebee’s.
I let out a yelp that was a sunburst of pain surprise. I was neither cool nor dangerous. My crush laughed so hard she dipped a bunch of her hair in her chili.
When she stopped laughing she promised the cigarette hadn’t left a mark on my face, but when I got back in my car I looked in the rearview. I called her, hurt.
“There is a mark on my face!” I cried.
“Well, I knew you were gonna be a baby about it.”
There’s just no getting around it. If you are dumb enough to do mild, infuriating harm to your face and someone is around to see it, they’re going to laugh. If onlookers really hate you or you’re on one of those TV shows where they play YouTube clips, people might laugh even if you do serious harm.
Not nearly as many people smoke as used to, but fear not. There are lots of great ways to do harm to your face. Through the natural course of my pursuits I have discovered two of them I’d like to share with you.
Arm Warmers are socks that you pull up over your arms to keep them warm while you ride bikes in the cold. They’re essentially sleeves not attached to your shirt, which makes them easy to move up, down, or remove entirely to regulate temperature. You pull them on with the same motion you’d use to retrieve a Matchbox car from the toe area of a pair of panty hose.
If the arm warmer happens to be particularly small at the wrist end, or if you have Popeye arms, sometimes the warmers just don’t want to come all the way up easily, so you pull extra hard. Maybe you look down at your hand to see why all the pulling isn’t working.
That’s when your fingers slip on the top part of the arm warmer and you punch yourself right in the nose.
A car cover is a more or less waterproof sheet of some kind that you throw over your car. Lots of people use them to keep their nice cars from getting shitted up by dust or dirt. I use one for my crapcan track car because the top leaks and I am sick of wiping mildew off the door cards.
Because my car is from 1999, it has a long steel rod called an “antenna” which was used to give better reception of something called “radio,” which was like a primitive wireless Pandora that only played pop songs and commercials. Said antenna presents a problem for the application of the car cover.
Thankfully, the car cover manufacturers realize this, so each one comes with a bunghole kit. You unscrew your antenna, put the car cover on the car, find the antennas attach point, mark it, then use the bunghole kit to make a hole in the cover. Now all you have to do is slip the new bunghole down over the antenna and pull the cover over the rest of the car.
A few times I have been holding the antenna with one hand and trying to navigate the bunghole over the tip of it with the other. To make this process a bit easier, I bend the antenna toward the bunghole, away from my body, so I don’t have to lift the heavy cloth cover any higher with one hand.
That’s when my fingers slip on the antenna and I get whipped in the face with a steel rod. Party time it ain’t.
Of course there are millions of ways to harm your face. These are just two new ones I’ve discovered lately. Back in college I dropped a big steel CocaCola sign on my forehead. Those were the days.