April 2, 2010

Verily Scarily ©

In the warmer months, there's a fellow at work who wears long denim shorts down to his knees. We tease him about his knees and his manly legs, and he tells us ladies to keep our hands to ourselves. Obviously, he's irresistible.

Working out in the field, it makes sense for him to wear shorts, but I can't imagine it's the best attire to wear if you want to be taken very seriously.

I was reminded of this when my friend Ana did some face-painting with the kids at her work. Several of the children had their faces painted, so she decided to join in the fun, and had her own face done. She ended up looking quite literally, like a clown. 

It was a little later, when she was endeavouring to discipline the kids and bring them under control, that she made a rather obvious discovery: no-one is going to take you too seriously if you look like a clown.

So than I wondered, would the head clown at a circus have trouble keeping the lesser clowns under control?  "Boss, if you want me to shovel elephant poop, the least you can do is wipe that smile off your face!'

It's probably a good thing for politicians to keep this in mind. I can recall several politicians losing the respect of the public by a little light-hearted foolishness. Many Australians will recall in the mid 90's the then Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, wearing a pair of fishnet stockings and high-heeled shoes for a fund-raising event. Cartoonists had a field day and continued to portray Downer in fishnets. 

While Downer had once aspired to become Australian Prime Minister, after this event, the man might as well have handed in his resignation. Every time we looked at him we'd think, 'Yep, that's the man I want running my country.'

I'm sure he scared a few people with his taste in footwear. I, on the other hand, have scared little children by what I had on my neck.

A number of years ago, I had thyroid surgery which resulted in a 12cm cut around the base of my throat. A week after the operation I stepped into the lift at the hospital to visit my doctor for a check-up. I could feel the other occupants of the elevator ogling my grotesque scar. A little girl stared in horrified fascination at me - probably because I looked somewhat like Frankenstein's monster with the dozen large metal staples stuck into the raw-looking wound in my neck. The added swelling and bruising wouldn't have helped my appearance either. I think the little child was even too terrified to scream - she just clutched piteously at her mother, and probably hoped desperately that I wouldn't eat her.

I think I may have scarred that child for life. ©

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