I thought to myself, "Now she KNOWS I have a cold beer and I'm in my favorite chair and she KNOWS the Rangers are playing tonight" and then I hear it...
You see, the trick to get your husband to do anything is to ask him in front of the girlfriends. I mean, no guy wants to be "That Guy" who says no. Right?
"Brrrrandon?? Can you come out back real quick?" Sigh... I leave my chair but bring my beer.
This is my tale of the very first – and last – Brazilian "Deaf" Wax.
On my back porch stood 3 ladies all in their ratty "art-making" clothes, looking at me as if I were the canvas.
"Wait a minute!" I explained, "I don't know what you ladies got going on, but my plans are set for the night."
Indeed they were. To my left a tub of Vaseline, to my right a mound of plaster gauze. Shaking my head, I knew this was about to get messy.
The project was simple, just come up with some kind of theme for Sonia's art sculpture class. Somehow the image of Brandon, a body cast and sign language came to Sonia's mind. Knowing it was going to be a hard sell, she requested the help of some lovely assistants to swab me down with Vaseline.
If you've never experienced a Vaseline rub down, it can only be described as... Pfffphhhtttt, exactly as it feels. The necessity of the Vaseline became apparent as the ladies realized they hadn't bought enough to cover my manly frame. So they huddled and came to the scientific conclusion that "x" amount of Vaseline multiplied by "y" surface area was sufficient for the job. It was a fool-proof plan.
The theme was "Deaf Pride" and the pose required me to stand still, while covered in Vaseline, with swarms of mosquitoes chewing on bits of exposed skin. It was a joyous 4 hours of being wrapped in a body cast, one wet, cold, slimy piece of gauze at a time. Holes had to be poked around my nose so I could breathe and when my face was covered I could only see blackness. It was as if I was being buried alive and unable to move. The 3 ladies rushed as fast as they could to finish the cast while I moaned in my body casket, squishing the thick Vaseline with every breath.
Then I heard the words I was yearning for: "We're done!" said Sonia. Then my heart sank, "We need to let it dry for an hour."
Frozen in a body cast while locked in the signing pose of "Deaf Pride" really gets a person thinking.... "How in the heck are they going get this off me?" and "This Vaseline better wash out of my hair or someone is gonna pay!"
At last, after an hour of listening to the lady and her lovely assistants sip on their celebratory glasses of wine while laughing at how funny I look, they snipped away the cast that bound me.
"OUUUCH! HEY, take it easy!" I yelled while the cast ripped away every bit of hair on my arm.
As I mentioned, these lovely scientists had calculated that there was enough Vaseline to cover my body and for some reason, I believed them. It was then discovered that my body mass to Vaseline ratio was way off, (a sentence that I might never use again in this lifetime) and my arms were going to suffer.
A few days later, I went out with a buddy of mine and he looked at me puzzled, "Brandon, do you shave your arms?" With a straight face I shook my head and replied, "No, I wax them."
Just like Dolly the sheep, there will be a day in the future when humans are cloned for whatever reason and I take comfort in knowing that my body cast will be a prime specimen for extracting hair DNA. Really, the inside of the cast looked like the nesting grounds of an ancient wooly mammoth.
Our neighbors came by to check on us as they had heard the screaming sounds of the extinct hairy beast. Armed with spears and rocks, they instead discovered a man in a body cast, unable to move and dripping with Vaseline.
"There goes the neighborhood!" I'm sure they uttered under their breath.
At that point, there was nothing more that could have been done. The cast had to be pulled off. The laughing pains turned into moans and the moan became annoyed yelps, then from yelps it quickly escalated to yells and then it became a series of unfortunate words directed at the lovely ladies who had every reason to worry for their safety. At last, my hair was removed along with the cast.
Was I upset about my new Brazilian "Deaf" Wax? You betcha! It was a solid week before my hair was able to blow in the wind. I had to wrap a garbage bag around my pillow because Sonia was upset at me for leaving grease stains. Image that!
The cast turned out very well and Sonia received an "A" for her project. My body double was then donated to the Kentucky Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and displayed in their office.
"Wow, it looks just like you" a KCDHH staff member jokingly said to me as I positioned the masterpiece on the wall.
"Brandon, do you shave your arms?
3 Bridges Sign Language Services