Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Hunger has no taste, but it is insistent.

I just got back from a week’s vacation at a spa out west.

This was not my idea.

I was taken there by my good wife who relishes that sort of place. I tolerate it and try and make the best of things but I am convinced that Spa is a contraction of some much longer European word meaning “not nearly enough to eat at dinner” or perhaps “ignore the steak joint just outside the compound at your peril.”

This may account for my good wife changing her status to ex wife. I like to say we drifted apart. She insists I got hungry.

A spa is not for sick folks per se. It is, in fact for some of the healthiest (appetite-wise anyway) among us looking for even more blessings of good health. They address this seeking of better health by a host of externally applied lotions, potions, salves, compresses, rub, ointments sprays and, when that all gives out, doses and doses of water in the form of hot tubs, pools, baths and showers.

There is precious little internal therapy, vis-à-vis an intake of nutrients in the form of tasty food.

So even though folks at spas are quite well, they insist on presenting themselves as maladied to the outside world. The spa, as most better hotels do, give you a courtesy dressing robe in your room. Unlike most better hotels however, they encourage you to wear it outside of your room, in public areas including the lobby, dining areas and even outside lawns around the compound. The entire place looks like the Friday the thirteenth asylum where Donald Pleasance concludes that Jason has let the locals go and it’s gonna’ be a long night!

My robe stayed quite discretely and properly in my closet. I’m not going to risk walking off the property and making my only allowable phone call from the Utah Home for the Mildly Unstable. Given my outlook on a lot of things, I’m not sure I could profess my innocence, no matter how hard I tried.

This wasn’t my first time at a spa. I’ve been to enough to note that spas are great places for a massage. They seem to specialize and feature massages as a prime course of therapy. I’ve had a number of massages, the best on the beach in Key West, the worst in what looked like a converted motorcycle garage in New Mexico. They are distinguished by their surroundings because, to my mind, massages are pretty much all the same. Massage in Swedish has the same meaning as the word describing Grandmother dismembering a chicken for dinner. Nice as the Key West rub down was, it got a bit tense when they tried to get my arms to permanently point to Cuba.

Massages use up a lot of oil. Oil seems to ease the natural friction the body produces when tied into a simple slip knot, the kind we all learned to tie in Boy Scouts.

I was not excepted to the oil application, adverse as I am to any external liquid that is not composed of two jiggers of fine gin and a hint of vermouth. No, I was solidly oiled, stretched, pounded and kneaded. I was then instructed to go outside and soak in one or more of the several available mineral water baths, all designed to re-nourish one’s body with essential metals and minerals not normally found in the western hemisphere.

I chose the iron laced water figuring I’d know when to get out by the rust stains on me.

That was a moment to remember; there I was, sitting under the hot, New Mexico sun, soaking in some iron-spiked pool, having just come out of an oiled massage.

I sat neck deep streaming oil into the water like a fleshy Exxon Valdez.

After a tour of the iron, calcium, mud, arsenic and cleansing pools I dried off and took a pre-dinner hike in the arroyo outside the spa’s restaurant. I eagerly anticipated dinner as I had been treated to a peek into the kitchen watching the chefs prepare, magnifiers close in hand over the main course.

An arroyo is a Spanish word that means “first place to wash out in a flash flood, you idiot.” I ran across Kate Blanchette and her husband, also walking in the streambed. I think it was her. She starred in a film that came out a year later shot in that area of the country. I can’t remember the film’s name and I’m only vaguely sure it was her. Celebrities look very different in person and she looked startlingly thin, such that I didn’t recognize her at first. Truth be told, I didn’t recognize her until she sat at the next table at dinner and my good (ex) wife pointed her out. I’d know Joey Ramone in an instant. It took me a while with her.

She still looked thin as we ate our lack of a proper main course. I shuddered in horror thinking how long she might have been staying.


Blogger Magazine Man said...

All of a sudden I'm hungry.

You know who needs to open a spa? Someplace like Continental Baking, makers of Hostess snack cakes, with treatments based on their products, such as a Twinkie sponge (cake) bath or perhaps a submersion in fruit pie filling. And don't get me started on what treatments could be had with such products as Ho-Hos or Ding Dongs.

REALLY hungry now...

(PS, you're blogrolled. Quite against my better judgment. I can sense a loss of audience already...)

12:39 AM  
Blogger Buffyfan said...

You and magazine man need to collaborate on something. You set each other off! And we all benefit.
Keep it coming, Bunnyman.

7:39 PM  

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