|The Muscato beauty regimen (artist's impression)|
Oh, dear. Trying days in the Sandlands, kids. This is the week before The Beloved Country's national-day celebrations, and the hyperbolic leader-praising that's going on would make pikers like Tito or Ceausescu just a little bit throw-uppy at the overkill. Sometimes I think the local copywriters have been studying at the Pyongyang Academy of Obsequious Loquacity, so effusive are the encomia and so perfervid the prose ("Grateful Sons of the Union Greet Sheikh's Boundless Generosity with Joy" is a not-atypical kind of headline). Portraits of the various dear leaders are being tacked up everywhere, and you can tell those houses occupied by local nationals (a minority, even here in the capital), as they are draped (sometimes literally and completely, Christo-style) in flags and banners in the ubiquitous national colors. It's all rather hard to take with a straight face, which is absolutely necessary. And it only gets worse for the next week or so. Oy.
On top of that, things are being even more than usually diffy at what passes for my place of employment. I mean, wouldn't be nice if sometimes, just for a moment or two, people wouldn't insist on being so stupid?
All of which makes it all the more endearing that this evening when I arrived home (late, hungry, irritable, and all-around All In) I discovered Mr. Muscato lying on a sofa, terrier on lap, face hidden most uncharacteristically* under a mud mask. "I got you one," he said, pointing carefully without moving his face. "It says on the package it's relaxing."
It was, and so we've had ourselves a little soir de beauté, and I must say we do feel the better for it. Any calming beauty secrets you'd like to share? We're clearly in the mood for more...
* Our pal Miss Rheba once confided to me that when she thinks of Mr. Muscato, she is reminded of those nymphomaniacal women in '40s movies (frequently played by Judy Canova and her ilk) who exclaim "It's a MAAAA-yun!" whenever they see a hot soldier walk by. He actually used to be a hot soldier, but that's another story.