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January 10th, 2000
The Seven Year Itch

Can anyone put me in touch with that owl who knows how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? I have another "time sensitive" conundrum brewing in my home and I think he might be of some help.

My husband wanders over to me the other evening.

"I've got an itch. Can you scratch it?"

And then he presents to me his "back."

Next to the sight of my husband bending over the bathtub naked, his back is the subsequent thing that will set me to running like a Snipe on Snipe Night.

It's hairy. It has moles. It's also currently the only area of my husband that is prone to oily grease-packed breakouts that would have caused the Exxon Valdez to drop it's anchor in shame.

I reach out squeamishly and do a brief "scritch scritch" with my fingers tips.

"There. Scratched!"

At this point, I feel as if my womanly duties are complete.

"That's it? I'm still itchy!"

I begin scouring the counter with my peripheral vision for a pencil, a fork, a turkey baster; anything with a pointy edge to finish the job.


Taking a deep breath I reach out one more time, turn my head away, and "scritch scritch" with a little more gusto.

"Okay! All done!"

He begins to snort and as his chest begins to rise and fall I can see a few eruptions threatening to blow like Mount St. Helens.

"That's ridiculous. That's not a scratch. That was too short."

"I was not aware there were any legal time limit statutes in deference to an itch. You had an itch, I scratched it. I think we should be done."

Now he begins to pout but, I'm telling you, short of threatening to pack me up and move me off to Borneo to live in a tree house with the dirty natives as their "Official Back Scratcher," I'm not ready to budge.

"It's still itchy. I can't reach it."

This coming from a man whose knuckles still genetically drag my hallway.

"Not true. You've got really long arms. I've seen you turn on the coffeepot in the morning without leaving the shower. You can scratch your own shoulder."

"But it feels better when you do it and you never scratch me long enough."

"Okay. I didn't want to say this, but you've left me no choice. Your back I can't. "

"Icky? What the hell is that supposed to mean."

"Sweetie, you've got so much back hair we could probably do a comb over clear up to your forehead. You might even want to get that balding neighbor down the block to stand out in his driveway. I think we could cover him, as well, and not even leave the couch."

And off he stalks in an unscratched fury.

So, my dearest reader(s). If there is a web site out there that caters to proper "back scratching" etiquette, I'd sure love for you to send me the link.

Until then, I'm not participating. Even with gardening gloves.


Unless otherwise specified, all material
Copyright 1999 by
Marijke Hildreth



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