Stroking the Aardvark

Moving from England to Las Vegas has come with its fair share of life adjustments (if you hadn’t already noticed from this blog!).

Amongst these was something I did not see coming.  Something that was never an issue in the UK because it was rarely hot (or warm, for that matter) and the humidity was a lot higher.

Plus it rained….a lot.

So what is this new stress in my life?

Dry skin.

Now, in the past when I have visited this fine city as a tourist, it was always hot and I spent a lot of the time slathered in cream; mooching along the strip, shopping, eating, gambling or simply laid out by the pool getting shitfaced.

All of this was fine because I was covered in enough cream to mistake me for a female porn star at the end of a shoot (pun intended).

In case it wasn’t clear I was always moisturised.

The same can be said now that I live in Las Vegas…but only when it’s hot.  I’m either covered in factor 100, sitting under a huge umbrella or neck deep in a pool.

It’s a hard life.

Without any form of sun protection, I tend to resemble a cooked lobster…in glasses.

lobster shades

I am, without question, the sun’s bitch.

However, it’s currently Winter here in sin city which means I’m covered in layers of clothing rather than cream based chemicals and the lack of humidity in Nevada has resulted in me having incredibly dry skin.  This is especially so on the most exposed parts of my body; my hands.

It was getting to the point where it was hurting.  I was worried about making a fist in case my hand crumbled like dry leaves.  This was difficult because lots of things in life make me want to make a fist.

To combat this I decided to be a bit of a girl and buy hand moisturiser (that’s ‘moisturizer’ to my American friends…just in case you guys aren’t sure what I mean).  So last week I went to Wal-Mart and headed to the skin care aisle.

Fuck me, there are a lot of moisturisers on the market.

I was stood there for at least 5 minutes trying to decide which hand cream would be the best.  I was getting some strange looks from people as I tried to decide which would be the best without spending $15.

Seriously?

$15 for a tube of moisturiser?  That stuff had better be laced with heroin.

Eventually I settled on a small unassuming tube of Vaseline intensive care because…

  1. I recognised the brand
  2. It was specifically designed for hands and
  3. It was fragrance free.  I did NOT want to smell like yo’ mama!

And that was the end of that.  My hands are now pain free and supple.

It’s not an exciting story, nor does it have a particularly witty climax.

Or so I thought….

Fast forward to yesterday at work.  A friend came over to my desk to see how I was doing and, during the conversation, I pulled out my tube of cream and started applying it to my hands.

“Sorry about this.  I know it’s a bit girly, but my hands are so dry.  I don’t usually use moisturiser”

He smiled at me.  It was a smile I didn’t recognise.

“Sure you don’t”, he said.

I was confused.

He continued to smile at me, adding an eyebrow wiggle.

raise eyebrows

There was a further pause as he realised I didn’t have a fucking clue what he was getting at.

“You…you DO know what I’m referring to, right?  You know, ‘moisturizer’?”[1]

The penny dropped.

It was my turn to smile.

“Sorry mate.” I said, “I don’t need it.  That’s the difference between us Brits and you guys”

It was his turn to look confused.

zoolander turtleneck

Peek-a-boo

This did get me thinking about my trip to Wal-Mart though.  To me, I was trying to figure out which hand cream would best moisturise my poor cracked hands.  To others I was openly looking for a lubricant; picking them up, smelling them and basically making a performance of choosing a decent dick cream.

No wonder I got strange looks.

Now that I think about it, people were scurrying away; probably before I had the opportunity to ask them which one they thought would be best for some good ol’ fashioned self abuse.

Us Brits don’t need it.

Not where we come from.

Not in our hood.

Baby Aardvark

Gotta love the little wrinkled bugger….

 

[1] Spelt the American way, because he’s American and would’ve said it that way.

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Lashing out

One of the girls I work with always wears fake lashes.  It looks like her eyes are wearing baseball caps.

The other day I dared her to come to work not wearing them, so today she’s done exactly that.

She looks…well…no different, actually.

Her natural lashes (which I believe I am saving from extinction) are long, so she looks just great without those massive canopies keeping her face shaded from the sun.

Goodbye fake tan.

Then she came out with this gem:

“I do feel like I’ve got bigger eyes today”.

Brilliant.

However, this isn’t the first time she’s come out with a random statement.  In fact, one of my friends in the office who sits next to her is compiling a book of them.

Here is a sample of what he has so far.

“I have pissed myself before; I was under the influence”

“Why can’t I work from home?  I couldn’t work from home because I wouldn’t work!

“Is the Caribbean in Thailand?” (We work in travel)

“What would 50% of the holiday cost be?  Oh yeah, half!”

“What class are they flying? Pre minimum Economy?”

Her – “Are you still with the mum?”

Customer – “No, I’m not”

Her – “Aww, ok; are they still her kids though?”

“I actually think I’m in a music video today”

“I can’t wait to shave”

“When you say ‘Afternoon’, how weird is that?”

“Don’t you think oranges are weird?  Like, the way they grow.  The world is a wonderful place Billy”

“It’s the one bedroom apartment equilavent….equilavent…..EQUILAVENT!”

“About a month ago I shit myself.  It was so annoying because it was just after a shower.”

“O.M.G., I think I’m getting fingered by a ghost!”

How can I compete with this comedy gold?

The interesting thing to note is that this girl is actually quite smart.  She’s quick to learn and very inquisitive…she’s just a bit of a ditzy twat at times.

Bless her.

pug lashes

A funny thing happened on the way to the airport…

Sat in the cab on the way to the airport, we stopped off at a cash machine to draw out some money to actually pay the driver.

I collected my funds, got back in the taxi and opened my wallet to put the notes in.

“Ha”, I said to my American wife as I wedged the English tenners next to the US Dollars already in there, “this money is like us”.

In a strange, romantic way it made me think of us, together in this wallet we call life.

She peered at the notes and said “What, pale?”

It’s true, we really need this holiday.

The Great(?) British Weather?

We Brits hate our weather.

Let’s be honest, it’s a constant battle to try and second guess what clothes would be best to wear for the day.

“But it’s supposed to be nice later”, you’ve said whilst looking out of the window in your pyjamas at the thunderstorm destroying half of your garden.

The warmth of your house feels so lovely compared to the cold touch of the glass, and the fact that half of the neighbourhood’s kids have just flown past your window (being chased by frantic parents) only reinforces the belief that maybe, just maybe, the weathermen are wrong.

Yet, by 2pm, it is glorious sunshine and the massive chunky knit jumper you’re wearing suddenly seems like a bad idea. You’re slowly shrivelling to a sweaty little raisin under the sheer depth of insulation you stupidly decided to don.  Luckily you didn’t wear anything underneath so there’s no chance of beating the heat by shedding a layer without the possibility of getting arrested.

This is why we Brits talk about the weather, a lot. It is unpredictable and ever changing, so of course it becomes the focal point of most conversations.

We hate it. We long for consistency in our weather; preferably involving a lot of sun, plenty of sand and an assortment of brightly coloured fruity beverages with umbrellas in them.

The irony of the umbrellas is often lost on us.

It is because of all these things that we love to travel. We love to go to faraway places and do nothing but eat, drink, shop and tan. In fact, the quality of our holiday is often judged on just how dark we can go.

Also, the colour of choice is brown; the darker the brown, the more awesome the holiday. Dark pink, on the other hand, is as welcomed as it is on a chicken leg at a barbeque.  Burning and peeling is deemed a sign of a bad holiday and, by the laws of British conversational etiquette, usurps weather as the prominent topic of which to moan.

“I was so burned I had to have an ice bath”

“I can’t stop peeling. George A. Romero called me to see if I wanted a job as an extra”

So off we fly, to faraway lands and the limitless experiences that await us. We eat, we drink (and being British, we DRINK) and we meet lots of different people, cultures and customs. We also take plenty of photos and videos to ensure we keep Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on their toes; buying bigger data servers to accommodate our overwhelming need to show off

‘Point of view’ shot of your feet by the pool?

Don’t mind if I do.

You see, these holidays are a necessity for us. We manage to sleep better than we have in years and we allow the stresses of everyday life to dissipate in the bubbles of our in-room Jacuzzi. In fact, whilst having a massage in the spa, all we have to worry about is whether we’ll be having white wine or a cocktail with dinner.

Obviously it depends if we go for the Lobster or the Sirloin.

But we’ve earned it. We’ve worked hard for this. Day in, day out we’ve endured deadlines, emails, phone calls and everything in between. We’ve saved our pennies and now it’s time to cash in and treat ourselves to a little luxury.  This is what life is all about, right?

We simply love our holidays.

Then, when it’s all over and we arrive back in good old Blighty, there’s an odd part of us that looks forward to going back to work.  We look forward to others commenting on how brown we are in our carefully chosen white shirt.

That is unless we’re the type, guide book in hand, running around at breakneck speed to ensure we’re getting in as much culture and sights as possible.

Can’t miss a thing!

We end up spending more time inside buildings than outside them, resulting in us returning home almost the same colour as when we left.

The upside is we have a lot of photos to show you in a well prepared four hour slide presentation.

“Here’s Bob next to a tree”.

“Here’s Bob inside the cathedral”.

“Here’s Bob eating an ice cream”.

“Here’s Bob next to a tree”.

Ad Nauseum.

And after all is done, as we commute to work in the rain, we think about where we were this time yesterday and where we want to go to next.

Yes, we Brits hate our weather sometimes, but without it we wouldn’t have the desire to go out into the world and explore what’s on offer.

Mind you, our summers can be pretty damn good!

Pimms anyone?

British socks and sandals