PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Them’s the Pits….

I had a day on Friday where I rolled from one thing to the next: coffee in the a.m. with a salesperson, then the rest of the day unfolded at my feet. Off to Costco, then to Indigo Wild, one of my favorite local businesses, to get some Xmas shopping wrapped up. Their factory has a little storefront and the employees are always cheerful, dogs can be seen roaming around,  and the smells are to die for.  I fell in love with the Mazel Tov soap (a heady mix of almond and orange) but stuck to my list…except for one little “for me” treat. I was looking at their Zum Mist, which comes in 10+ scents, and had a little note that said something about “the perfect mist for rooms, lockers, cars, anyplace that needs a little freshening, even your body.” I think, “Self, that is nifty! Let us select one of these!” I sprayed about four different ones, and settled on Clove-Mint. Nice and spicy, with the uplifting mint notes. Paid for my purchases and headed off to meet friends for lunch.

Now this part is unheard of: I’m more than an hour early. So I decide to hang out in my car, maybe do some knitting. Keep in mind, the weather was unseasonably warm, and the sun beating in on me through the car windows had me feeling a bit steamed. A smidge sweaty. Not so fresh, you might even say. I think to myself, “Hey! I just got that spray!” and I proceed to snake the spray can into a sleeve and give my armpits a refreshing little mist.

Then I decide I should call my insurance company, to make sure that my prescription refills were sent in properly, and handle any problems before the weekend comes and offices are closed.

Suddenly, my armpits begin to burn. As in, BURN. CALAMITY. A NEST OF FIRE ANTS UNDER EACH ARM.  EN FUEGO. CUIDADO. And I’m shouting my choices at the automatic operator, writhing about in my seat, trying to reach behind me to see if I can grapple successfully for some handi-wipes I keep in the car, apparently for emergencies like this one. No luck. So I continue with my phone call, while keeping my arms in the air, trying to prevent skin from touching skin, as that seems to exacerbate the problem. Every so often I do have to clutch them in pain, while the service representative keeps putting me on hold to check things. I think to myself, ok, essential oils, probably best not sprayed directly on skin, and especially skin that doesn’t really see daylight and has only seen  gentle Dove products for the past decade.  It feels like the fire of a thousand suns is pouring out from each armpit, and a gingerly attempt to touch the skin makes me imagine a rash the size of Kentucky. I revert to arms-in-the-air. This phone call with the insurance dude takes 23 minutes. By this point, I am ready to run into traffic and make the pain stop, but it also begins to subside, albeit at a much slower rate than its onset.

By the time everything is wrapped up, and I decide I can go into the restaurant and wait without tying up a table for an obnoxious amount of time, the pain is nearly gone. I was prepared to go to the washroom and have a mini-shower right there in the sink, if it came to that.


My pal Teri did point out that at least it was just my armpits. That not-so-fresh-feeling-let’s-try-this-OMG could have been a helluva lot worse.


  1. Lordy mercy! Eyes almost welled over from the tears brought on by laughter. Glad you didn’t decide to sprtiz elsewhere either!

  2. It should have occurred to me when you told this yesterday, but just now… when I walked into the lunch spot, I enjoyed the usual exotic Indian food smells, but there was something different than what I usually notice at the other two Indian restaurants I enjoy. And now I know. Your clove/mint mix added that je ne sais quois to their ambiance. It fit right in. I didn’t realize it was you, but it must have been.

  3. OMG I am crying with laughter! After the day I’ve had – THANK YOU! for the laughter. And yeah, could have been worse – omg ouch!

  4. This is frigg’n hilarious! You are a stitch. Knew I could come here for a pick-me-up. And now, I can face my afternoon.

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