Wax On/Wax Off

In depth report

Yvonne Bachelor from the East End Park area of Leeds, West Yorkshire is making her regular trip to tanning and beauty salon Smooth n’ Easy on the Harehills Lane for her bi-monthly Brazilian. Bubbly blonde Yvonne is forty three and has been bikini waxing for the past fifteen years. Yvonne is one of millions of women who put themselves through the same painful process every few weeks in the name of beauty. ‘Well, it’s expected, isn’t it?’ Yvonne says, flinching as Tina, the owner of Smooth n’ easy, ruthlessly pulls away another strip of waxed paper. ‘It’s like having a turn on the sunbed or getting your nails done. I wouldn’t dream of letting my hubby see me with a hairy beaver!’

 

A deeply tanned Tina concurs. She caters for clients as old as sixty and as young as sixteen. ‘Everyone wants that perfect, airbrushed Hollywood look,’ Tina says, basting Yvonne’s pubic area with more hot wax. ‘Online pornography has seen women take more interest in what I like to call vaginal beauty. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s all about Girl Power and women saying my flange is beautiful.’

 

The popularity of genital hair removal started after World War II when new fashions in bathing suits revealed more flesh and women didn’t want unsightly pubic hair ruining their summer look. The practice was an extension, and some might argue a social evolution in sexually acceptable mores, that followed the Western trend in feminine grooming which had for centuries expected under arm hair removal. A sexual evolution that exploded with the expansion and tolerance of pornography which has promoted breast enlargement, seen women’s increased acceptance of more adventurous sexual practices and encouraged the removal or sculpting of intimate body hair.

 

But according to medical experts when it comes to Bikini waxing there’s a problem.

 

‘The Bikini wax, especially what is called the Brazilian or Sphinx style where all or almost all of the hair is removed, is a ticking time bomb for the NHS,’ says Dr Sheridan Burke of the Pudenda Clinic on London’s Harley Street. ‘It’s part of a big problem that we’re seeing where people are expecting the NHS to foot the bill for their lifestyle choices. But throwing away public cash on free gastric bands for lazy fatties who can’t find the will power to say no to another cream cake or a cheese burger with large fries could be nothing when it comes to what we call vanity treatments compared with what Bikini waxing might eventually end up costing us. In fact women persisting with the ideal Brazilian month in month out could ultimately cost the state more than obesity, smoking and alcoholism combined.’

 

But what’s the problem?

 

‘It’s like maintaining a privet hedge,’ Dr Burke explains, ‘the more you cut it back the thicker it grows. Human body hair is just the same. After only maybe two years of regular waxing and left untrimmed some of these women will have a genital pelt. I’ve seen them in my clinic. Some days I turn up to the surgery and it’s like the Day of the Triffids. There was one woman came in to be examined after allowing her pubic hair to grow following years of waxing and I genuinely thought she had a small dog sat on her lap. Something like the size of a Boarder Collie bitch. Her bush was huge.’

 

At the moment for Yvonne, a part-time working mother with two young children, who enjoys looking good and is a regular at her local Bannatyne gym, this isn’t a problem. Her a full leg and bikini wax costs forty pounds and she builds it into her busy lifestyle. ‘It’s a bit of me time,’ she says, biting down as Tina works her elbow on shifting some stubborn pubes from a tricky crevice.

 

But what about when Yvonne isn’t so sprightly and can’t get out and about anymore or doesn’t have the disposable income to spend on luxuries? When age and a shrinking state pension makes the visits to Tina and her team at Smooth n’ Easy physically and financially impossible.

 

‘Then we’re going to have some trouble,’ warns Dr Burke. ‘Then we’re going to have a generation of women who are seriously, seriously hairy down below. I don’t consider that the word epidemic would be inappropriate. Think Virginia Vine Creeper and Grey Squirrels. We’re going to be over run. It’ll be like Myxomatosis and DDT all over again. In thirty to forty years time our Care Homes are going to be full of old women whose rampant Lady Gardens pose a serious health hazard. Infestation and bad hygiene will very real issues and these women will be like all the fatties, chain smokers and alkies that suppose that the NHS will solve a problem that they’ve created for themselves and assume the state will pick up the tab. We’ll need teams of shearers working ‘round the clock just to maintain some kind of status quo.  It’s going to be a nightmare. I genuinely think that in little more than a couple of decades time, unkempt beavers could bring down the NHS.’

 

Back in the Smooth n’ Easy studio in Leeds Yvonne surveys her now marble-smooth groin and is unrepentant. She has no anxieties about any future hair growth and says she’s going to enjoy life while she can. ‘I’ll worry about that later. Something will turn up, won’t it? And isn’t it lovely,’ she says, displaying and running a hand over her hairless tuppence. ‘I feel just like a sexy Barbie.’

Scary Monsters

Carbon Big Foot

I was in the lavs at the Stairfoot Tesco last week and saw the poster above the hand drier about reducing the carbon footprint by having you leave the toilets with your hands still wet. Putting aside this worthy effort to save the world, what amazed me was the size of the footprint by young Daniel, 4 years, on the poster. Look at it next to my shoe, it’s bloody huge! FOUR YEARS! FOUR!!!  He’s a young giant. I blame people wanting Tesco’s organic range to last more than a week for freaks of nature like this. I bet they’re blasting those cabbages and turnips with some seriously hefty radiation just to add another couple of days to their shelf life. Pumping Gamma rays into the Brussel sprouts and drenching parsnips in military grade Plutonium. That’s how Spiderman and the Hulk got started. Be warned. I propose we cull young Danny while he’s still under seven foot and hasn’t grown extra arms. Before it’s too late. Before he destroys New York.

Order status…?

Wednesday 1st September 2010

Dear Dell,

According to the ‘My Order’ section on your web site my replacement hard drive has been ‘in production’ for the best part of a fortnight. While I admire your dedication to detail and apparent craftsmanship I’m wondering if this is the best way to run a business in the 21st Century. I had assumed that the drive would already be boxed up ready for pretty much immediate dispatch, obviously I was wrong. I’m now picturing one of Dell’s artisan craftspeople home working from a little white-washed cottage overlooking Donegal Bay or the nestled beneath the purple mountains of Tara, tapping the drive into place with little hammers and then perhaps adding some fancywork engraving to finish it off. So that not only will it spin at 7200RPM and hold 250GB of info, but it is, apparently, going to be a thing of beauty. Given the obvious hard work you’re putting into it am I to hope it will last longer that its predecessor which called it a day after just over twenty months? However, even with this burgeoning expectation in the improved quality and staying power of your hardware, I have to say that I was hugely disappointed and not a little bit peeved when I noticed that the estimated date for delivery for the next drive had moved from 1st September to 9th September. What’s happened? Has Fergal dropped one of the screws? Isn’t he happy with pierced work on the drive cage? Has the enamelled cameo of Michael Dell that adorns the disk platter not turned out how he wanted? I’ve read through the ‘why is my order taking so long’ section which states, ‘Your order might take longer to process if you have ordered one of Dell’s most popular products. After we have received and processed the payment for your order, you will receive an Order Confirmation e-mail containing an estimated delivery date and occasionally this date is longer than usual because of the product you have chosen or when one of our offers is exceptionally popular.’ Am I to take it that hard drive failure on two year old XPS 1530s is so common that you’re selling replacements like hot cakes? Frankly, this is not inspiring me with confidence. What’s happening?

—————————————-

Reply from Dell. Thu, 2 Sep 2010 15:57hrs

Thank you for contacting Dell Customer Care regarding your order. Your current estimated delivery date is 8/9/2010. Our factory is working with our suppliers and Dell will always try and improve the delivery date on your order. I am keeping track of your order and we will contact you in case of any change. I will contact you again on 9/9/2010 to confirm that your order was received ok. In the meantime, If you require more information or I can assist further in any way, please do not hesitate to reply directly to this email and I will be glad to assist you.

Kind regards,

Laarni

—————————————-

Dearest Laarni,

What’s happened?! The delivery date for my hard drive has been extended again, now to the 13th September!!! Has the mother of pearl split on the spindle? Have the cloisonné work metal veneers lifted from the actuator? Has someone dropped it? Laarne, tell me please and put me out of my misery, what’s gone wrong???!!!! If there’s a problem with screwdrivers I have a very good set I bought from B & Q with Phillips heads that I can lend. And they’re magnetic. In all honesty I’ll do anything to get the job done; because at this rate the rest of my system is in danger of being obsolete by the time it gets a new drive. It’ll be like matching an Armani suit with a pair of old Gola trainers or putting a lawn mower engine in a Lamborghini. Certainly I don’t think my obviously shoddy XPS 1530 is going to live up to the masterpiece that this 7200RPM, 250GB beauty is going to be when it eventually leaves the delicate, possessive hands of Dell’s master-craftspeople. Because those Dell boffins are really putting the time in on this order. Those lads and lasses over there on the Emerald Isle are grafting sweat and blood over it. The way they’re going I think that this is a bit of hardware that people will regard in the same light as Benvenuto Cellini’s Salt Cellar or Michael Angelo’s David. This could be the most intricate thing to come out of Ireland since the Book of Kells or Bono’s ego. Because looking at the amount of time it’s taking to put together it’s clearly going to be something really precious. And, I have to confess, I’m getting worried that the drive might be too much for me. I’m starting to feel unworthy of all this time and effort. Laarni, what’s going on?!

Regards,

Spencer

—————————————-

Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2010 18:00hrs
From: Laarni@dell.com
To: guinnessorig
Subject: RE: Email Customer Care – Order Status

I am really sorry Mr. Lodge, but it seems this order is still on backlog that is why the delivery date has been pushed back again. I know our manufacturing team is working on getting this item to you sooner, but again sorry for the delay and for whatever inconvenience this has caused you.

Regards,

Laarni

—————————————-

Thursday 9th September 2010

Dearest Laarni,

Thank you for your kind email. It made my day. Which just goes to show what a barren time I’m having of it since my laptop went to the pictures three weeks ago. And though it’s reassuring to know that the boffins in Dell’s ‘manufacturing team [are] working on getting this item to [me] sooner’, can’t you get in there and crack the whip with those slap-head prima donnas? Laarni, what are they playing at? Dell haven’t employed Brit Pop perfectionist Lee Mavers from the La’s, have they? Mavers isn’t in there scrapping my hard drive every time it’s almost finished because he doesn’t like the tone of that ticking sound it makes when booting up, is he? Laarni, get down there and sort these bloody obsessive compulsives out!

And I have to say that the long delay is further exacerbated by the fact that I’m having to use my mother’s Dell Inspiron when she can spare it. And the issue is not simply that Windows 7 operates at 64 bit and so none of my 32 bit software will run on it (despite Windows 32 bit emulator thing – because it doesn’t work). No, that’s a minor problem by comparison with my real trouble. Because with my mother being a feminine, girly sort of lady her Inspiron is PINK! PINK, Laarni, PINK! Let me tell you I’m getting some very unwelcome glances as I sup my skinny latte and munch on a sausage sandwich while logging on to the wireless network at Bab’s Baps café of a morning to check the new delivery estimate for my hard drive. VERY unwelcome. ‘Inconvenience’ doesn’t cover it, Laarni. This is downright frightening. One individual in particular keeps staring at me in a most peculiar way from over his Blueberry Muffin. I’m sure he winked this morning. I need my manly, masculine, no-nonsense black and silver, testosterone chipped XPS up and running again. Because I’ve decided I’m going to sign up for Match.com or uniformdating or SOMETHING as soon as it arrives. I’m taking action ASAP. And, Laarni, you’re my only hope. Because this isn’t simply a hard disk failure that we’re dealing with any more, this isn’t a minor stock issue, this is the entire hope of the Lodge clan that’s hanging in the balance. And it rests in your hands! Think of the future of my unborn children. They’re depending on you! I’ve already decided that if I have a girl I’m going to call her Laarni if you can get this hardware to me. So I need my laptop working once more. Laarni, sort out my hard drive, help promulgate my lineage and save my world!

Yours,

Spencer

——————–

Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 13:34hrs
From: Laarni@dell.com
To: guinnessorig
Subject: RE: Order Status

Dear Mr. Lodge,

Thank you for your email. What our manufacturing team told us, the reason for the delay is that due to the popularity of the product our demand has exceeded the supply. But i know this would only sound like an excuse for the delay so I made a request to expedite your order. I am now tracking it and will give you again update once they provided a firm estimated date of delivery. I would like to apologize in behalf of the whole dell team, i am embarrassed as there is only so much i can do here on my end though I really want to turn around your bad experience with Dell.

Regards,

Laarni

——————–

Thursday afternoon, 9th September 2010

Dearest Laarni,

Again, thank you for your heart-warming email. I know you’re doing your best for me and, believe me, it’s appreciated. And for a few brief minutes I felt like a man whose glass was once more half-full. You were like the wind beneath my wings. And then I checked my delivery date estimate. It’s been extended yet again!!!! It’s now gone out to the 16th September!!!!! I have the greatest respect for you, Laarni, but blimey! My hard drive’s no nearer getting to me now than three weeks ago when I all this started and I placed my order. I reckon your boffins are letting you down, Laarni. They can’t be much good, can they? THE 16TH OF SEPTEMBER. Those foppish dandies in manufacturing are having both our pants down. They’re laughing at us, Laarni! Laughing! Their feet up with a cup of tea and they’re chuckling merrily away!!! THE SIXTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER!!! Laarni, it’s all going wrong!!! At this rate I’m never going to get to start a family. I’ll never get that dating profile online and meet the woman of my dreams and bring forth my fruit into the world. Never! THE SIXTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER!!!!! Oh, Laarni!!!

There is, however, Laarni, one bright spot on this rainy, dismal horizon. I don’t know if you’re a music lover or not – are you? – but the 16th September is the anniversary of Marc Bolan’s death in 1977. Now I normally take the day off work and play Marc’s albums all day. Usually in chronological order, starting with the solo singles, then some John’s Children – ‘Desdemona’ and all that – working through the Tyrannosaurus Rex stuff then right on through the T. Rex glory days of ‘Electric Warrior’ and ‘The Slider’ to the very last album, ‘Dandy in the Underworld’, so at least I know I’ll be in when the hard drive is delivered. But can I trust this date? Can I, Laarni?! THE SIXTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER!!!!!

Warmest regards,

Spencer

——————–

Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 17:19hrs
From: Laarni@dell.com
To: guinnessorig
Subject: RE: Email Customer Care – Order Status

Dear Mr. Lodge,

I am crossing my fingers till the 16th of September.

Regards,

Laarni

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9th September 2010

 

Dearest Laarni!

 

How many more nations might Alexander have conquered? How many more snow-capped mountains might Hilary and Tenzing have climbed? How many Mona Lisas might Leonardo da Vinci have painted? How many more goals might George Best have scored? (How many more Miss Worlds might he have pulled?) If only they’d had you, Laarni! Because finally, at last  – THE EAGLE HAS LANDED! And on the SIXTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER as promised! I knew you wouldn’t let me down! I knew that I could depend on Laarni! I was sat at home, mid-way through my Marc Bolan day, and hitting something of a nadir with the ‘Zip Gun’ (1975) album dragging through its plastic soul, I’d checked the front window for the fiftieth time, and I must admit that I was starting to feel despondent. When there was a coughing diesel engine on the street and the delivery van turned up! The new hard drive had finally arrived!!! It was like a breath of fresh air. It was like hearing ‘I love to Boogie’ after the laboured groan of ‘Think Zinc’. And what’s more I’m now emailing you from my own XPS M1530 laptop!!! YES, LAARNI, IT WORKS!!!!!! IT LIVES!!!!!!! IT LIVES!!!!!!!!! You know what this means, don’t you, Laarni? I can now dive into the world of online dating! Bringing Laarni Lodge one step nearer to conception! (Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten my promise). I can once again read my emails from Dr Blessings Mtube and take up his amazing offer of $10,000,000 (US) for little more than my bank details and a nominal admin fee! I can get girth as well as length thanks to cheap online Viagra! And I can claim back the huge tax rebate that HM Inland Revenue apparently owe me! The world is at my fingertips and it’s all thanks to you, Laarni! Laarni, you’re amazing! I was so over the moon at you sorting this appalling delivery problem out for me that I was inspired to write this verse. I hope you like it.

 

When my laptop went off to the pictures

I was down, like Snoop Dogg without any bitches,

            But then there was Laarni

            Who cut through all Dell’s blarney

And made sure my that 250GB 7200RPM internal drive got here after a shed load of previous hitches.

 

The last line doesn’t quite scan as I’d like, but I wanted to include the full spec of my order in order to show the towering achievement of what you’d done for me. Because, Laarni, you are the bright shining North Star in the dark sky that is Dell’s customer services. You are a beacon. A path finder. I hope that Dell realize the asset that they’ve got in you! Laarni, I salute you! If you’re ever in Barnsley, let me know. There’s a pint with your name on it. Guaranteed!

 

Yours truly,

 

Spencer

 

——————–

 

From: Laarni@Dell.co.uk
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2010 2:43 PM
To: guinnessorig
Subject: Re: Order Status

Dear Mr. Lodge,

 

Thank You for your email, it is always entertaining to read them. I have not read an email here at Dell that are as creative as your mails. Again thank you for your praises and the verse (really appreciate it), i am absolutely sure that you are very happy with your laptop.

 


Have a nice day!

 

Laarni