Tag Archives: Crankypuss

2. Unhappy Endings

My next dealfind deal was for a Chinese massage, half an hour of heated massage, and half an hour of Chinese massage.

“Are there any landmarks near you?”  I asked on the phone, because I am terrible about driving to new places, probably because of my dyslexia.
“Landmarks?  What ?” The woman said in a thick Chinese accent.
“Other businesses I should look out for?”
“We are 2 blocks south Costco.”
This would not help me, because I can’t tell north, south, east, west, and my friend Kim confirms that she has no idea what a “southwest corner” is either, so it’s not like I’m stupid.
Echo massage was on Aurora, the strip. Aurora is where you go to pick up underage hookers and take them to a super cheap  motel.  It’s the only place you can buy guns in Seattle, as far as I know.  I used to buy my krispy kreme donuts there, until they stopped giving out free fresh hot donuts. Probably only a committed skinny could turn that down.  Then once you’re in the door, you just have to buy 2 boston cremes, 2 chocolate glazed (the best for dipping), 2 white cream filled, and 2 raspberry filled.  Aurora is full of cheap delights-a blowjob, or a cream filled donut?
I practically drove past the place, it was so unexpected.  It was in a one story run down shack,with 2 hideous paper lanterns hanging on each side of the door.  The coup de grace was the blinking “open” sign.
“OK,” I told myself after taking a long breath in, “so you would normally not patronize this place, it’s worse than a cheap psychic’s.  But a massage is a massage.”
I went inside, to find an office that could have been located in a trailer at a building site.
“Come back with me” the Chinese woman said.  There was a very beautiful young woman smiling widely when I came in, and I thought she would be my masseuse.  I noted the many licences on the wall.
The older woman led me back to a lavender room with a massage table and what I can only call a contraption.
“You have heated massage first, lie down here.”  I lay down on the contraption probably purchased at the aforementioned Costco, and I felt big steel bumps and was immediately very uncomfortable.  “This machine will hit all of your acupuncture points and increase circulation” she said. I was so frightened that I couldn’t hear the rest.  I was being manhandled by a robot!  She left the room after putting heated weights on my stomach.  When she said, “Here are some weights” I heard “You need to lose weight.”  I wouldn’t put it past her.  The heated weights would soon feel like burning embers.
I lay down on the flimsy cot and a steel band slowly rolled slowly up my back.  When it got to mid-center I felt like throwing up.  This is what they called in medieval times “the rack.”  It was torture, but this was just the beginning of the nightmare.  Ol ‘Tiger Mom started screaming at the young girl in Chinese. The steel band kept crunching my vertebrae, as my ears were assaulted by incessant fighting, oddly interspersed with pealing laughter.  Culture shock!  Torture shock!
Years ago my therapist tried to teach me to be assertive so people and contraptions wouldn’t walk all over me.  But this Chinese woman was so scary!  In a world in which only therapists live, I would have to get up and say, “I feel sore from this contraption which is hurting me, and I would appreciate it if you just gave me a one hour massage.  And  I don’t feel relaxed when you are arguing like that.”  But honestly, who says that?  If I had tried, I would only become aggressive.  “Get in here and turn this fucking torture apparatus off, and stop yelling at that girl!”
After half an hour of pure ache, tiger woman came back in.  “You like?  Feel good?”
“No.  It hurt.”
“It hurt, but is good for you.  You will be sore for two days, then have lightness and energy!”  Oh please.
“You like massage soft or hard?”  Was this what she asked her male clients?
“Soft.”
The massage proceeded normally until…she moved the blanket down off my ass.  Now, I’ve had a lot of massages, but no one has ever exposed my ass and massaged it, which is exactly what she did.  Again, alarming, not relaxing.
In the end, my passive-agressive self delivered the tip by dangling her two bucks  from my index and middle finger while keeping all my cash in the rest of my hand.
The next few days,  I wrote for hours and all my joint pain was gone.  I briefly considered going back.
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1. Put Your Money where your Mouth is

The beauty of groupon, dealfind, tippr, bloomspot, goldstar, and living social deals is that they widen your horizons by giving you access to previously unaffordable restaurants, 1600 threadcount sheets, stylish glasses, trips to cancun–your receive access to businesses you could only dream of frequenting.  The beauty of these deals for businesses is that they suddenly attract individuals who would never dare step through the door by choice.

I wound up doing something only movie stars and talk show hosts need to do–getting my teeth whitened. It didn’t cost thousands of dollars, only forty-five at the smile clinic.  I was surprised to find myself in a small office in an upscale building  with two beautiful thin long haired women in their 20s instead of a dentist and dental equipment, I only reallized later, I was so blinded by their compliments and sunny dispositions.  “Oh, what a beautiful coat, come see this!”
“What a great coat.”  It was a great coat, a long beige suede coat with floral vines decorating it.
“Look at this ring!”
“My husband gave it to me in Bali.”  This is why we buy things when we travel, so we can point out where we bought them.
“Well he has great taste!”  They have skinny bodies and perky tits, but I have nice things.
“Now come here and lay down.”
She led me over to what looked like a beach version of a dental chair.  Not solid leather, but blue polysomething or other.
“Now I’m going to teach you how to do this yourself.  Put your finger in here” she gave me a pouch, “and wipe off the saliva on your teeth”
Then she did something strange with a q-tip, dangling it.
“Rub this over your gums, but do not touch your teeth.”  I found this difficult, and didn’t want to know the consequences of getting the gook on my teeth.
“Now we’re going to see what shade your teeth are.”  She matched my tooth color to teeth on a wheel.  I noticed my tooth matched number 30, and number 31 was completely gray.  I obviously needed this.
“Take this pen and twist it until the gel comes out onto the brush, and paint your teeth with it.  Do not paint the gums.  Good.”
She pulled a lamp over my teeth, and it shone blue.
“Take a nap for fifteen minutes.”  We repeated this three times.  I looked in the mirror.  My teeth were white!
“Take this pen home with you and paint your teeth with it every night before bed.”  Then she gave me the list of “don’ts.”
“Don’t drink caffeine, don’t smoke, don’t eat fruit, don’t drink juice or wine.  Your teeth are porous now and easily permanently stained.”
“Only eat white food without fat–boiled chicken, no skin, cottage cheese, pasta (no  butter), no vegetables, no salad, no bolognese sauce, no chocolate, no sweets..”
It was the diarrhea diet.  No one had told me this part!  :”If you must have coffee, drink it out of a straw–tepid, nothing hot or cold.”  Damn!  It was like living in Europe, drinking water without ice, which I rarely do.
I didn’t think I could do this diet, until I saw the magic words–for 24 to 48 hours.  The next morning I drank my beloved orange juice from a straw.  I skipped the coffee, and ate only scrambled egg whites for breakfast. “No wheat.”  I drank my protein drink, then worried if it had sugar in it, and ran to check on my teeth.
24 hours later I was drinking a tall glass of iced coffee and eating my nutrisystem lunch, a fake chocolate candy bar.
They wanted me to come back every three months–so this was a new comittment, like highlights, which I also have.
So my teeth are white, but suddenly I didn’t like my big wide smile.  It made my nose look too big, my eyes too small, and my face too wide.  I looked like Wallace from “Wallace and Grommit.”  And there ain’t no groupon for that.

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