A recent spate of encountering others with physical curiosities has me puzzled.
Some of my friends have mentioned that a woman we know has strong body odor. I haven’t detected this myself, but I trust their olfactory abilities.
However, I have observed, on many occasions, a woman who has several very long hairs on her chin. She is not old — not yet. She is not hideous and does not perform witchcraft, that I know of.
And just today, while I was in line at the grocery store, I couldn’t help but notice that the teller had very horribly and obviously painted-on eyebrows. She did not appear to be suffering hair loss from cancer or alopecia.
These encounters have caused me to wonder — don’t these people have any friends?
A friend’s most solemn duty is to tell us when we are overlooking some fixable physical aberration or applying our makeup too thickly. If these women have friends, or even husbands or boyfriends who are helpful at all, why don’t they seem to know that they are growing a beard or marinating mildew in their pits?
It reminds me of my attempts to teach my friends the “How’s your mother?” trick. It is meant to be an non-conspicuous way of asking if there is food in your teeth. For instance, after a meal, I would smile broadly and say “How’s your mother?”
If there was nothing in my teeth, the response would be “Just fine” or something similar.
My friends, however, almost never failed to do it backwards. They would give me a wide smile and ask, “How’s my mother?”
How would I know?
Friends. We need them to make us laugh and eventually set us straight.

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