Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Head Case

I once read somewhere that someone had said, “Underneath our skin, we are all the same.” When I repeated this to Amanda, she said, “I should hope not. Do you know how much birds nests I’ve consumed in my life just so that I can look better than anyone else?”
            When I repeated that to Saffy, she replied that it’s exactly the sort of comment that had led to the French and Russian revolutions.
            A few days ago, Saffy was having lunch with her frenemy Delia. Ever since the two first met at the Tanglin Club, where their then respective boyfriends were members, they’ve circled cautiously around one another. Amanda says it’s like two Pomeranian poodles meeting each other for the first time in the park.
Saffy says she can’t quite put her finger on it, but there’s something about Delia that is strangely beguiling and revolting at the same time. “It’s like that last scene in ‘Alien Resurrection’ when the icky hybrid is cozying up to Sigourney Weaver. Yes,” she said, her bosom puffing up with great satisfaction at her analogy, “it’s exactly like that!”
Which apparently explains why every second Tuesday, the two of them meet for lunch and talk non-stop for two hours. And at their most recent Tuesday lunch, Saffy was complaining to Delia about a new pimple that had appeared overnight just above her right shoulder blade.
“I’m not even sure how I discovered it was there, but I was toweling myself in the shower this morning and suddenly, there it was!” Saffy told Delia.
“Turn around and let me see?” Delia said, leaning over.
Saffy swiveled around in her chair while Delia pulled the neck of Saffy’s blouse open and peered in.
“Oh, wow, that’s an infected cyst!” Delia announced. “You need to get it lanced!”
Saffy’s eyes widened. “Oh my God, really? How can you tell?”
Delia hesitated, her large carefully mascaraed eyes blinking beneath a perfectly coiffed chignon. She shifted in her seat and leaned in. “There’s a show on YouTube? It’s called Dr Pimple Po…”
Saffy’s shriek filled the little café. Heads turned.
Turning pink, Saffy waved her hands at everyone. “It’s nothing, it’s nothing! Go back to your salads!”
She reached across the table to clutch Delia’s hands. “My God!” she hissed. “Dr Sandra Lee!”
It was Delia’s turn to gasp. “You watch Dr Pimple Popper?!”
“All the time!” Saffy moaned with pleasure.
“I thought it was just me! I never tell anyone this because people can be so judgmental!”
Saffy’s bosom inflated. “It’s my favourite pastime! Did you ever watch the one with the guy with all the tattoos?”
Delia’s eyes rolled back with delirious joy. “That humungous yellow sac with all that pus Dr Sandra pulled out!”
“I think I’ve watched the particular clip at least a dozen times!” Saffy said.
“Me, too! At least! I usually watch one video before going to bed! I find it so soothing! Better than meditation!”
Saffy sighed. “I thought it was just me! Amanda thinks I’m sick!”
“People can be so judgmental!” Delia repeated.
Later that evening at home, it was all Saffy could talk about.
“Well,” Amanda said stiffly. “If it wasn’t already bad enough that you’re friends with someone who went to Yale Law School, but the fact that she is also a fan of that disgusting show really takes the cake!”
“Did you know that Saffy sometimes has her lunch while watching someone get pathologically ingrown blackheads removed?” I said.
Amanda looked at me sideways. Saffy shrugged. “First of all, you are such a snitch. And secondly, you say that like it’s a bad thing!”
“How is it not?” Amanda asked, but by then, Saffy had mentally moved to a whole other parallel dimension.
“Oooh,” she cooed. “I need to fix an appointment with Dr Tan to get this thing on my back removed! It’s really painful, but I can tell it’s really ripening!”
“How is it that you have a boyfriend while I'm still single?” Amanda complained.
“That’s because I’m not judgmental like you are!” Saffy said, piety oozing from every pore. She turned to me. “Hey, so can you come with me to Dr Tan, and film the extraction on your phone?”
I blinked. “Why?”
“We can upload it and make tonnes of money! Dr Sandra’s videos get, like, two million hits. This could be the beginning of a new career for me!”
            “A career? How many infected cysts do you intend on getting?” I asked with genuine curiosity.
“Hello, why are you even having this conversation with her?” Amanda demanded.
I shrugged. “You have to make a living somehow!”
Hannor!” Saffy said.

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