I have a wart. There. I said it. It's on my right thumb. Don't bother looking; you won't be able to see it. Just trust me: it's there.
I don't know where it came from. How do you get warts? I didn't handle any frogs (that I know of) or come in contact with any witches (that I know of). So... how?
Trying to stave off panic, I immediately begin my Internet search for "wart remover" to find out what I should purchase to get rid of this. (NOTE: Do NOT Google ANYthing with the word wart or warts. Ick.)
After sifting through a few pages of research, I learn that I can either BURN this thing off my finger with Salicylic ACID (ouch) or I can FREEZE the thing off with Liquid Nitrogen. Burn or freeze. Freeze or burn. Hmmm. I decide to go with burn. I remember what that liquid Carbonite did to Han Solo and I don't want to wake up blind in some loan shark's palace (who does?).
Off to Rite-Aid I go!
Once inside Rite-Aid, I desperately search up and down the aisles.
I search up and down. Every aisle.
OK, I search every aisle except ONE. You know that aisle I mean.
It's the "aisle of lost souls". It's the aisle with all the products that people are too embarrassed to buy (much less ask where they are). The aisle contains (besides wart remover), everything to do with gross growths on your feet, vaginal odor, anal fissures, rectal suppositories, halitosis, head lice, public lice, private lice, etc. Any and every product that would serve to offer relief to we medical outcasts of society -- it's in this aisle.
WHY DO THEY DO THIS?
Why force us all together in one lane? If I were in charge of "embarassing product placement", I would separate the products -- spread them all over the store. I'd put the "topical sphincter analgesic ointment" in the candy aisle. That way if I were shopping for rectal relief and another shopper cruised by, I could grab a bag of Baby Ruths and distract them. Or I'd put the vaginal odor products in the same aisle as, I dunno, salad dressing. (You go ahead and make the connection).
The point is, I'm already ashamed of my ailment. I don't want to announce to the world: "Look at me! I'm in aisle 14! Yeah! You know the aisle! It's 'the-aisle-of-which-we-do-not-speak!' I'm a disgusting freak! Flee while you can! Run away now before my disgusting freakishness causes you to break out into boils or sores or bellyaches!"
I just want a little, y'know, privacy. Just me and my wart.
The two clerks, excuse me... the two "BARISTAS" are lesbian, and there is a large gaggle of gal-on-gals sitting behind me.
These are not the lesbians that you see in the movies -- that is to say: these are not the lesbians that *I* see in MPEGs late at night when Nic is asleep. These are the "other" kind. The kind that wear their hair short. The kind that sport big, clunky sneakers. The manly kind. The kind that scare men.
Why are we afraid of them? I think it's because we, as men, feel useless. We have nothing they want. I mean, I'm blessed with this equipment and these unshaven ladies want nothing to do with it. Hey, I don't want anything to do with *their* equipment either -- but even though you don't want to go to the party, you still want to be invited.
When I walked over to the condiment station to cream and Splenda my "tall drip with room", I was instantly chilled in their presence. No, they were not mean to me -- no dirty looks, no man-hating screeching, no chanting of "we're here, we're queer, we won't disappear!" None of that.
They ignored me.
But I know... I KNOW that under the surface, they are laughing at me. I know that beneath their friendly banter and casual "g'mornings", they are really saying: "Look at you. Big man with a penis. Ha! You are pathetic! Pouring half-and-half in your cup like you are some chieftain! We scorn you and your love of lattes! We are not your harem, Mr. Man! Take your phallus and fly, my friend -- we're having none of it! We don't need any man to provide for us, protect us, or penetrate us! For we are LESBIAN! Lordesses of the dance!"