23 March 2009


After doing a survey for the kids' school that just set my teeth on edge (no, my children need no further diversity training, thank you! They are highly diversified and have friends from all walks of life, as well as religious and cultural backgrounds. You might consider teaching the other half of the kids in the school--and their bloody horrifying parents--some manners, however).


In recent months, I've stopped reading the paper or listening to the news just to avoid an instant plummet in good spirits. So, when my personalized Wall St. Journal alert pops up to notify me of the news of the day, I try to avert my eyes. Already annoyed this morning (I also forgot to send the son's course choices back to school this morning, which exasperated me), I didn't avert quite fast enough and caught the headline Ban on Feet-Nibbling Fish Leaves Nail Salons on the Hook, which looked too good not to read.

I've long been leery about manicures and pedicures, especially after reading about outbreaks of boils on the legs of salon patrons after they'd been exposed to contaminated footbaths. Stress-relieving pedicure? Nothing says stress like cutaneous tuberculosis. There is also the risk of contact with contaminated tools unless you take your own (always a good idea if you're not interested in acquiring blood-borne diseases or fungal infections). There was one nail tech that I trusted completely. I knew her disinfection routines, and she is the most cautious of practitioners. Sadly for me, she decided she'd make better money as a massage therapist, so while I still see her regularly, she now just makes loud comments about how I don't exfoliate my feet as well as she did.

So it goes.

Now, however, I can have fish exfoliate my feet. If I go to Virginia anyway.

In theory, it sounds like a cool idea. Certainly, stories abound of medically-approved critters used to remove necrotic material from wounds to promote healing. (That link is probably not for the faint-of-heart. What a great science fair project, though...!) In practice, however, who is minding the fish? How does one ensure that any given salon is using the correct fish? Are you paying for a real fish exfoliation or are your feet just swimming with minnows? The fish clearly cannot be sanitized, but how do you know the water is being changed frequently enough? Do patrons' feet need to be sanitized post-fish treatment in order to ensure that bacteria (fish do poop, you know) isn't introduced during the pedicure? Think of all those nail techs who like to cut cuticles. I know no one actually cares about the welfare of the fish...

The nicest thing about reading about the fish pedicure, though, is that I have a choice to do it or not. Rather unlike the rest of my life where I'm watching my hard-earned money being portioned out to AIG execs and nutjobs who think they have a right to raise 14 kids on my dime.

Back to choice, though, I've been invited to go to the Amazon. The timing isn't good, so I probably won't, but the amusement value is endless.

Just think of the possibilities. Kayaking with piranhas...

Oh wait, I already do that every day.

Go listen to some music: "Barracuda" from the album Little Queen by Heart.

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