I have phantom fuzz.
"You have WHAT?" said the Preacher, when he walked into the bedroom and found me inspecting my left foot.
Toe jam. You know. Dead skin, sock fluff, sand, dirt. All mixed up with accumulated skin oils and bacteria.A piece or collection of pieces of something nasty that has, for too long, homesteaded in the crack between my baby left toe and the one that snuggles up to it.
At first I didn't pay much attention. A nuisance, that's all. I prepared to evict it. But when I took off my socks, it had vanished.
Well, then. Must have fallen out on its own.
But the next afternoon it came back. And showed up again the following morning. (Come to think of it, it NEVER shows up. It feels up. And keeps doing so.)
It has taken weeks to get to this point. I don't believe in ghosts or phantoms, but saints above, I do believe my left foot is haunted.
See, I told you. I have phantom fuzz.
In a great gush of words, I explained all that to my sweet husband as he stood there in our room this morning. Watching with great interest as his spiritual and highly sensible wife, chattering like a magpie on steroids, excavated between her toes. Mining for toe jam. Fool's jam, it seems.Well, so. And it's really not as comical as he seemed to think it was. Or you either. In fact, the only positive thing I can find about all this is that my phantom fuzz doesn't have the fragrance of real toe jam - which at its ripest smells like a rather pungent cheese. Limburger, I think. Shockingly odorous.
Some people are utterly incapable of recovering from the smell of Limburger cheese. I know such a person, one victim of a college prank played by a friend. She stuffed Limburger cheese in his dormitory radiator. Eventually the college relocated. Whether the two events were related, I can't say, but the Preacher has never gotten over it.
"A smell likened to rotting feet or moldy boots," reads one description of Limburger cheese. And since the bacteria that develops cheese is identical to the stuff that grows between one's toes, that's not surprising at all.
Which is why I thank God that my fuzz is a phantom. I own nothing of the sort that my traitorous brain tells me I do.
Better that than phantom gold. Numismatist (fellow who knows coins) Patrick Heller makes a well-evidenced argument in an article at Numismaster.com (April 6/10) that most people who invest in gold own nothing of the sort. They do own, however, very costly paper. There's simply not enough gold in the world to deliver.
Phantom fuzz is one thing. But we all have some version of phantom gold - stuff we imagine keeps us secure and worth something.
Stinks like Limburger to God, I suspect. Shockingly odorous.
Sweet Jesus, exorcise our phantoms.