This is the time of year when my skin pretty much dries up to the consistency of my first baseball mitt, circa 1964.
Between the indoor, dry heat and the outdoor, cold, dry wind, I’m pretty much scratching and itching various parts of my body, from dawn ‘til dusk and beyond; from my ankles to my…shoulders.
Okay, I was going to say something else, which is really much more accurate, but I was afraid of offending some folks.
Not that it’s offensive.
No...it’s not offensive at all. It’s actually more accurate than offensive.
But you know how some folks are.
Oh, what the heck, it’s 2012… a brand new year. Time to take some chances. Put myself out there…on the line of fire.
I was going to say, I’m pretty much scratching and itching various part of my body, from dawn ‘til dusk and beyond; from my ankles to my….dare I say it…nipples.
There…it’s out there. Or they’re out there.
Nipples, Nipples, Nipples….
There are times that my nipples get so itchy that I look like Marconi trying to tune in an overseas broadcast on an old crystal radio. But it does tend to get me to the front of the line at McDonald's faster.
Now, I can hear you saying, in a voice that sounds very much like John Wayne, “Hold on there, fella, bad enough you’re bringing up taboo body parts before we’ve even had our breakfast…but can’t you at least try and be anatomically correct about the gosh dern thing.”
Well, yeah, Duke…Nipples, Nipples…under most circumstances would be more than adequate.
But not in mine.
You see…I have 3 nipples.
Sorry…did I shock you?
I mean I’m not freakish or anything. It’s not like people stare at me on the beach or representatives from Ringling Brothers are knocking on my door.
You wouldn’t even be able to tell.
It’s just a tiny little nubbin, tucked under my left pectoral; smaller than most mosquito bites.
In fact, I didn’t even know I had it until I was getting a physical for my taxing job as a stock boy at the local Macy’s, back when I was 19. The Macy’s doc pointed it out.
Yeah…I know. Even though he was a doc that worked for Macy’s, he actually did go to some sort of medical school. I think Sears had a program.
I was a mutant creature of nature!
Doomed to be shunned by normal, polite society....
Mocked by abnormal, impolite society....
Then I started thinking that maybe I could turn this into something profitable…along the lines of the Elephant Man or something. Write a book. Maybe make a film or a Broadway musical….
“The world shunned him as an animal…but he was just a man… nothing more…with three nipples!”
I thought Tony Danza—The “Who’s the Boss”, Tony Danza, not the “Taxi” Tony Danza— would have been perfect for the role. He had just the right sense of pathos necessary to pull it off.
Then the doc…the Macy’s doc…dashed my reverie when he said, “It’s more common than you would think. Most people never notice. They appear anywhere along the nipple line”, which he demonstrated by running his little hammer thing down under the little fella, to my waist.
I admit, when I stopped giggling, due to my overly ticklish tendencies, I was disappointed.
I was nothing more than your average three nipped person.
So instead of having two unnecessary body parts…I had three.
Common ones at that.
Which was pretty par for the course for me.
I mean, if it was at least good for something, like a third arm….
But no…just something to talk about at parties.
And believe me…it never gets old.
But I’ve pretty much made my piece with Russell, which is what I named him, after the famous comedian of the 60s and 70s, Nipsey Russell.
And the thing is, even though I’ve discovered, through my dogged research into this pointed matter, that in times gone by, in some cultures, the third nipple was thought to be the sign of extraordinary virtue and abilities—the stuff of legends…of Wizards and Kings—I don’t make Russell out to be anything more than what he is.
He’s no more special to me than any of my other nipples…no more…no less.
But I’ve never written a story about any of them…not yet.