The pain situation has escalated. Mrs. R. Knee has now been heard from. Yesterday I found myself longing for a cane, and cursing the one truth of being female: The body you hated yesterday will be the one you long for today. When you’re younger, you think, “Remember four years ago, when I thought I was so fat? I wish I was that skinny now.” And then you get older, and you think, “Remember four days ago, when I was merely sore? I wish I was sore now, instead of crippled, too.”
The doctor has been called. I’ll spare you more details.
Well, this: While I was recuperating yesterday, I found the most awesome bra store online. I usually buy my chest hammocks from Harp’s in Birmingham, which along Town Shop in New York City may be the two greatest bra stores on the planet. Amusingly, both stores share a secret weapon: A tiny Jewish lady behind the counter who has seen every boob shape under the sun and can tell your size through a winter coat with 99 percent accuracy. Excuse me, make that “shared.” The New York Times has a way with obits:
Selma Koch, a Manhattan store owner who earned a national reputation by helping women find the right bra size, mostly through a discerning glance and never with a tape measure, died Thursday at Mount Sinai Medical Center. She was 95 and a 34B.
Mrs. Harp is also in her 10th decade, and still works most days. The last time I interviewed her, I asked if she was passing the store along to her heirs. She said “none of my grandchildren want to work as hard as Nana.”
In this economy, I’m not taking my business elsewhere. But I like the customer comments on the website, where I note that nearly every woman refers to her breasts as “the girls” or “the twins.” Taken along with Kramer’s famous line about tighty whities — “My boys need a house!” — this would seem to be a universal preference. The closest I ever came to giving my own a separate identity was when I was nursing a newborn, and they were so stripped of eroticism that one day I nearly answered the door with my shirt open to the waist. That would have given the UPS man a jolt, I’d say, although to me, they were just another couple of hard-workin’ body parts. Like my feet.
OK, now that I’ve, uh, lowered the tone, let’s see if we can’t wallow around down here for a while.
This is why I hardly ever read science fiction. Slate unpacks Mitt Romney’s fondness for “Battlefield Earth,” L. Ron Hubbard’s, er, novel:
For those of you who didn’t study it in school, “Battlefield Earth” takes place in the year 3000, when the human race is nearly extinct and the planet stripped of its natural resources. Mankind has been enslaved by evil aliens with very bad breath that explodes when it comes into contact with radioactive material. A young slave wielding lasers and draped in a tennis cardigan leads a rebellion and retakes Earth, only to be attacked again by a series of foes including a race of interstellar bankers trying to collect on bad debts. (There may be kung-fu fights and a championship football game, too; I confess that I haven’t read it all.)
Remember that Jon Carroll column on miracles? Here’s the 20 Most Amazing Coincidences, including the James Dean car curse. In doesn’t include one I heard about many years ago, when a photography magazine ran a famous tabloid photo of a man being carried into an ER with what appears to be a telephone pole driven through the center of his chest. The man was awake and calm, and the story was that the pole somehow shoved all his vital organs aside on its trip into his viscera, sparing his life. He spent months in a hospital recovering, only to be released and, just a few weeks later, swept off a jetty on Long Island by a freakishly large wave, never to be seen again. A superstitious person might say the devil had come to collect one way or another, but I say: Life is strange.
Shower-bound, I am. Don’t spend too much time with the boob pictures, guys.