Sunday, March 4, 2012
Pour Some Sugar on Somebody Else
As a teenage boy in the 1980s, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard was required listening. I was, and still am, a huge Def Leppard fan, and literally wore out my copy of Hysteria, the album from which the song came.
From YouTube. Full disclosure: I used to wear jeans just like that. On purpose.
While the song is one of the great rock anthems of my youth, I can’t say I join in its sentiment. Essentially, it extols the virtues of confectionary ingredients as an aid in intimate activities in the bedroom. (Hey, this is a PG-13ish blog, so I had to be kind of obtuse in my description.) As I am writing this, the 1985 song “Sugar Walls” by Sheena Easton, which expresses a similar approach to boom-chicka-wow-wow as Def Leppard’s, just came on the radio. Evidently, gooey love is a thing, or at least it was in the 80s.
My problem is, I cannot imagine anything LESS sexy than sugary love! I hate stickiness! I really, really do.
After exhaustive research on Google for nearly three minutes, I have determined that there is no official phobia for fear of stickiness, so I am hereby dubbing it “stickiyuckyickychrisjusthatesitphobia”. Those of you with hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia will just have to deal with it. (Google it.) There is a known fear of slimy things, called myxophobia, and while slimy things aren’t very high on my list either, they don’t rise to the level of stickiness.
Now mind you, I am not obsessive-compulsive who stands at the sink for hours washing his hands. I just do NOT like to be sticky. If a utensil at a meal somehow becomes sticky to hold, I exchange it immediately. If my hands get even a little bit sticky during said meal, I get up and wash them. I’ve done it several times in the course of eating just a single cinnamon roll. If I reach for something in the fridge and it is sticky, it gets rinsed off at once, as do I. If I am working on some kind of project, like painting for example, and paint gets on any part of my skin, I cannot just leave it until later. No way. I have to stop and go scrub myself off. There are plenty of sticky substances where I work at the animal hospital, but we wash A LOT, and I keep extra clothing on hand at all times.
Like many things, my case of stickiyuckyickychrisjusthatesitphobia probably goes back to my childhood. I’ve mentioned in a previous post how my friends and I enjoyed getting high as kids. High up off the ground, that is. We were always climbing things to gain as much altitude as possible. In the wilds of northern Maine, we practically lived in trees as kids. It was one of many things we held in common with monkeys. The thing is, many of those trees we liked to climb were pine trees, which exude the stickiest sap, called “pitch”, that you can imagine. Pitch got on your skin and clothing and it just stayed there. No amount of scouring with regular soap and water would get rid of it. I remember how maddening it was to scrub and scrub and still be sticky. And my mother was so fed up with me ruining my clothes with pitch that I actually had “tree-climbing clothes” as a subset of my “play clothes”. Forbidding me to stay out of trees was like trying to forbid clouds from raining.
Once I got so sticky on so many parts of me from climbing pine trees one summer day that my mother sent me over to our neighbor Bob’s garage to wash up. Neither she nor I could get it off adequately, and it was driving me absolutely bonkers. Bob was an amateur mechanic (specializing in nerdy little AMC Pacers and Gremlins for some unknown reason), and had high-powered hand scouring substances that could take axle grease, pitch, and even some of the skin right off you if you weren’t careful. The stuff smelled a lot like motor oil, and the evil scent lingered for hours after use. But it did the trick. Shortly after that, my mother inquired of Bob what some of the less-lethal of those products were, and kept some on hand at our house in case another pitch crisis occurred.
I don’t climb nearly as many trees these days, so pitch is not the problem for me it once was, but I do a lot of hiking and snowshoeing in deep woods. There are few things as exasperating for me as being way out in the wilderness and putting my hand up against a pitchy pine branch, and having to live with the sticky until I can get back to a sink and some scouring stuff. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I have actually cut a hike short because I got pitch on my hands and couldn’t wait to scrub it off. And don’t even get me started about swatting flies and mosquitoes with pitch-covered hands. It’s disgusting.
Out to eat, I will actually avoid ordering certain things if they have a high sticky quotient, no matter how much I like them. It’s one thing to run to the sink to wash every few minutes in my own home, but quite another in a restaurant. It’s hard sometimes, because I am very fond of some sticky things. A gooey Danish pastry at Sunday brunch is hard to beat. A juicy navel orange goes great on a hot summer afternoon, and a soft-shelled lobster is one of the best culinary treats, especially here in Maine where they are as fresh as you can get. Serve me one of those messy suckers outside at a picnic table while I am draped in a tarp and wearing goggles and rubber gloves, and I am good to go. Serve me one in a place where I can’t easily wash up, and I’ll politely decline. I’ll have the steak, thanks. With extra napkins.
So if you and your sweetie like to take Def Leppard literally in the boudoir, then more power to you. Have fun. I’d need towels and a bucket of soap and water nearby if it were me though.
Anyone have any Wet-Naps? Stickiyuckyickychrisjusthatesitphobia is a bitch.