Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Piranha Pedicure

I cannot believe I stuck my feet in an aquarium full of dead-skin, flesh-eating mini fish.  Hundreds of fish.  In an aquarium that may or may not be sanitary!? 

I did it because:

1.  I had to take a picture!
2.  Could I really do it?  Because, frankly, I cannot stand to even look at a "loose tooth" so how would I handle watching little fish eat my skin?

Upon entering the salon, I had to sign a waiver stating that I did not have any known skin disease.  This was a redflag, because it's not like they checked my feet.  They just took my word and signature; honestly or dishonestly.  Besides, what actually classifies as a skin disease?  Fungus?  Callouses?  Dead toe-nails? 

Next, my legs were rinsed off with a hose and disinfectant (from the kneecap and down).  At that time, the attendant noticed I had an open cut on my big toe (from where I accidentally ran into a metal trike).  She wrapped plaster around the cut.  Because what would the piranha do?  Would they only eat that big toe??  Hundreds of tiny fish hanging off of a big toe, not a pretty picture.

I was then led to the aquarium with a large picture window that faced a busy pedestrian street. 

I was told to put my feet together and slowly guide them to the edge of the aquarium.

My heart leapt into my mouth.  I could have vomitted.  But I didn't.  I looked down into the water to see the entire aquarium fish population come up to the surface as they smelled fresh dead-skin and anticipated the arrival of new feet. 

And that was my last look.

I lowered my feet into the tank to hundreds of mini piranha fish.  They immediately attacked my skin.  Toes. Heels.  Ankles.  Calves.  The attendant said it would feel like tickling.  That isn't quite how I would describe it.  It was creepy.  Like little pricks. 

Oh, and Do NOT move your legs around in the tank.  They must be kept still!!

I did not look down.  The mere thought really grossed me out (for lack of a better description) like I was having some outer body experience. 

I read a book. 

And occasionally gazed out the window at passers-by as they took photos.  Like I was some circus attraction. 

I paid $16 for 25 minutes of sloughing.  I believe this is a bargain!

Especially when ...

*  the two guys opposite me came and went after their 25 minutes of dead-skin eating time.  (Yes, guys, this procedure is for you TOO!)
*  a new couple appeared and entered the opposite tank. 
*  I had finished four chapters in the book I was reading
*  I began to fidget
*  I did not have a watch

I flagged down another attendant to help me.  I told her I was finished.  I just had to be.  I was getting nauseated and anxious. 

An attendant quickly handed me a towel.  Asked me to remove my feet;  together and slowly.  I had visions of little fish dangling from my legs.  I couldn't shake the feeling that I would take a fish home in my shoe. 

"Are they off of me?"  I asked the attendant.

She handed me my shoes and said goodbye.  I glanced up at the clock.  It was true, my original attendant had forgotten all about me.  In fact, I think she went home.  Or on a date.  Or to dinner.  My 25 minutes had become 60 minutes.  Shit, do I even have any skin left??

I didn't have time to examine my new skin.  I had to be somewhere, like 40 minutes ago. 

*  My heels were in much better condition. 
*  My toes and forefeet were in excellent condition. 
*  My calves became dry and scratched.  I could not shave my legs for 10 days. 
*  With daily moisturizing, my feet maintained their smooth silkiness.
*  I had to throw out my shoes and socks that I donned immediately following this "Fish Procedure" because they had a very foul fish smell!  The attendant was in a hurry to cover her "time" mistake so she only toweled me off instead of rinsing and disinfecting my feet. 

Would I do it again?
*  I don't think so. 
*  Well, more decisively, NO!

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