By Shane Cashion
I’ve read that Hell has nine layers. For the past week, the temperature in St. Louis has vacillated between the fourth and fifth layers. The roof of the parking garage at my old office is the sixth layer. Inside my car on the roof of the parking garage at my old office is the seventh layer. The space between my underwear and my skin - that bunches up - inside my suit pants - when I sit inside my car - on the roof of the parking garage - at my old office - is the eighth layer. To visit the devil’s ninth layer of Hell I’d have to wear new jeans - that aren’t prewashed - inside my car - on the roof of the parking garage - at my old office.
To be fair, it’s not so much the temperature that’s unbearable, it’s the humidity. I’ve been to Vegas during the dog days of summer and, admittedly, it’s hot, like walking behind a bus, but at least you’re dry. Here we’re all soaking wet, like an entire city of drunks going through withdrawals. Showers don’t even work. They don’t take, especially if you have body hair, which is admittedly a big part of the problem. I have way too much hair.
I’ve never bought into the whole manscaping fad, and now even feel a sense of vindication that hair is making its triumphant return. I always knew it would. I just had to wait it out. Unfortunately, with hair comes additional heat and sweat, particularly under my arms. My armpits run like faucets during the summer, making it difficult for me to interact with my fellow human beings.
All is not lost though; there are options beyond manscaping. Chief among them is Botox. Botox has been proven to be effective in treating the symptoms of severe underarm sweating, more commonly known as severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis. Unfortunately, Botox comes with certain side effects: dry mouth; tiredness; headaches; neck pain; double vision; blurred vision; decreased vision; drooping eyelids; swollen eyelids; itchy rashes; swelling; shortness of breath; loss of strength; muscle weakness; hoarseness; change of voice; loss of voice; trouble saying words clearly; loss of bladder control; and trouble breathing and swallowing.
While I already suffer from most of these afflictions, a few would be new and potentially life threatening, and thus a bit worrisome. At this point, sweat isn’t worth dying over, though I trust it would make for an entertaining, Monty Python – esque, eulogy: Soooooo conscious was he of his objectionable underarms to the senses of his fellow man, that he endured endless bouts of crippling incontinence, living like a shut-in, smeared in his own waste, trying desperately to wrap his limp tongue around the words necessary to summon his wife for help, until finally he succumbed, lo these many months later, to the side of effects of the only proven cure for this wretched condition, his armpits as dry as dust.
I guess for now I’ll have to continue to search for a less extreme remedy, at least until winter blows in with its refreshing cool air, once again allowing me to wave to my friends and acquaintances with confidence. In the meantime, fellow sweaters of the world, I stand beside you, arms rooted firmly to my sides, as I share in your public humiliation, and hope against hope for a cure to this dreadful condition so that one day we may all raise our arms in victory without shame.