Saturday, October 2, 2010

Eeyore, terrorism, and moisturizers

I said last post that I was going to announce the lucky winner(s) of the second Mark Twain Steel Trap Award.
(From Twain's autobiography, to be released this November by UC Berkeley Press; the quote refers to a man who borrowed and lost a large amount of Twain's money: "if I had his nuts in a steel trap, I would shut out all human succor and watch that trap until he died.")
Well, here's the thing. I've been reading a few of my earlier posts, and I'm not sure the tone is what I want to aim for. The aim of this blog is to raise at least $1 million for eczema research, whether that means creating a foundation or funneling major contributions to a worthy, effective organization that already exists. I want to inspire philanthropists to invest in research that leads to a cure (or cures; eczema's a many-headed beast). Would you invest with a pessimist or an optimist?

An optimist. The pessimist doesn't want to reach higher. He's enjoying it too much feeling sorry for himself and taking it out on others.

To quote A. A. Milne:
"I'm not asking anybody," said Eeyore. "I'm just telling everybody. We can look for the North Pole, or we can play 'Here we go gathering Nuts in May' with the end part of an ants' nest. It's all the same to me."
If Eeyore had eczema--which could well be the explanation for his poor attitude--he'd not be the one you'd give $1 million to in the expectation he'd find a cure.

I'm nearly done with being Eeyore. Indulge me this once. The second Mark Twain Steel Trap Award goes to the terrorists who, in 2006, plotted to bring liquid explosives on airliners flying from the UK to North America. The British police, bless 'em, foiled these men and put them in irons. But since that day--at least in North America, which is what my experience has been limited to in the last four years--you can't bring any sizeable quantity of moisturizer in your carry-on. And anything in your checked bag comes under suspicion. (Myself, I like to travel without checked baggage if I can, especially since United started charging for bags.)

The inconvenience is non-lethal, I grant you, but several times I've had to chuck out large tubs of Eucerin at security checkpoints. Eucerin is the only moisturizer I've found to do the job, and it's not cheap--depending where you get it, anything from $13 to $17 a pop. And you can't necessarily get it at your destination. So there you are stuck on an airplane getting stressed and dehydrated, and at the far end the first thing on your mind is where the nearest pharmacy is. When you find one, it may be open, or not, and may or may not carry Eucerin, at a reasonable or exorbitant price.

Messrs. Ali, Sarwar, Hussain, Savant, Khan, Zaman, and any I may have omitted: your prize, sirs.

(No succor for you.)

I'm done awarding prizes for now, but can't rule it out absolutely in the future, should I come across a deserving honoree.

The silver lining from one of these Eucerin-chucking incidents was that I ended up in San Francisco
(having flown from DC where I was living at the time) on a Sunday, when all Walgreens pharmacies are inexplicably closed, and was forced to pick some random moisturizer from an aisle in Safeway. It turned out to be a winner. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion with dimethicone is pretty good stuff, even if it's not in the same league as Eucerin. The dimethicone is a rubbery sealant that leaves you with a pleasant plasticky feeling. If you're into that kind of thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment