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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Spot The Brooksie


Last week I experienced something that was cruelly embarrassing, something from which I am still recovering. Thankfully, the degree to which I have been afflicted is nowhere near as bad as it was say, oh, about five days ago. Also thankfully, the worst of this occurred over the weekend and I happened to be off, so I needn't have gone out into public but could rather hide my face in shame in the house.

But, of course, I went out anyways.

So let's see if you can pick me out of the line-up below (I sincerely hope you can, by the way) and can then decipher what, exactly, I am going on about.

Here we have Exhibit A, and there's a small clue in this very first photograph:

Can you guess yet what might have been going on?

No? Then try this one on for size:

Rather a handsome fella, ain't he? Yecch. In case you still don't have any idea what is going on, and NO that wasn't me in that photo, here's your final hint:

Whoa! Yeah, I had the 'trout pout' in full effect all right. Sigh. It really was no picnic, let me tell you. Especially when I stopped by work to pick up some of my antihistamines (why I left them there, I'll never know) and who - of all people - should be there but Andrew, one of the other vets. He's very much like my good friend Todd back home, in that he delights in winding me up and making me the victim of many a joke. He's quite good at it, too, so he certainly didn't need the help of my 'collagen' look to give him any more ammunition than he needs.

"We should get a picture of this!" he suggested, grinning.

This all started about a week ago, when I noticed that my lips had taken on a rather... corrugated appearance. I wasn't quite sure what was happening, because they had never looked like that before, but then again nothing hurt and for sure they weren't swollen up like a pair of ruby-red slugs yet, either.

But when I woke up Saturday morning, something wasn't right. Had I been grinding my teeth in my sleep again? Did a malicious bee land on my lips in the night and attempt to sting me to death? Did I get punched in the mouth so hard that I blacked out, only to awaken and look like the poster child for Why Collagen Is Bad For You? As I sat up in bed and beheld myself in the mirror - which is across the room - I could tell even from that distance, with bleary Morning Vision no less, that I had a Category Five embarrassing problem on my hands.

I didn't have a clue why this could be happening, until I texted my friend Sarah, who suggested it might be my lip balm. I've been using this store brand stuff, and after I read her text I went and picked up the tube of stuff I've been using. Lo and behold, there were no less than four chemicals in my cheap version of chapstick, all of them with long and vaguely unsettling names like "0-3`1`-mehtoxy-butaflammy-dehydrato-alcohol" and "tri-disphospho-carcino-butyrate" and so on.

Well, those can't be good for me.

And here I had planned to go into town today, to do my usual routine. Hah! No way in Hell was I going anywhere out in public. Not with these fishy lips, no sirree.

The kicker was that, until Sarah had texted me, I had already been up a few hours and in a panic I had been slathering on the very lip balm that got me into this private hell in the first place! But once she made the suggestion, it all made perfect sense. I had always used a brand of Chapstick back home that had no chemicals or preservatives in it of any kind, just natural stuff. It worked great, too.

So now I had to get to work to get my antihistamines, and thus the comical scene with Andrew. Don't get me wrong - if anybody knows how to laugh at themselves, it's me. Look at what I'm doing with this post here, for crying out loud! So when Andrew and Claire had a laugh at my expense at work, I was able to laugh right along with them. It helped to ease the tension, even though I was a bit dismayed by the fact that they knew right away something was odd about me as soon as I walked through the front door. No chance of being stealthy while looking like a cruelly-morphed CGI version of myself! God, I looked like I was one of the sea creatures in Disney's The Little Mermaid or something.

Anyways, after I got home and popped some pills (and broke out an ice pack), Sarah texted me back and eventually coaxed me into going out that night. Not to a club or anything - that would have been suicidal! She suggested a movie, since 'in the dark nobody can see your trout pout'.

Haha, good one, Sarah. Haha.

Nah, she's a great friend, and I did go out and see Spider-Man 3 with her, and as far as I could tell nobody seemed to notice that my lips looked as if they had been inflated to 30 PSI. The antihistamines had started to work, much to my relief, and the remaining cheap-ass lip balm had long since been binned with all due haste.

Let that be a lesson to all you cheap lip balm users out there, then. Avoid like the plague any of the ones that have any chemicals in them! Use only the natural stuff!

Unless, of course, you are looking for a way to make your lips fuller without spending money on collagen injections. I think I can fish that last tube out of the rubbish for you, if you like.

Haha, get it? Fish it out?

I slay me.


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