An Open Letter To ‘Elbow Sandpaper Guy’

Hey guy.

I just thought that you should know that when I was standing behind you the other day at the video store and you reached into your pocket to get your wallet that your arms sort of shifted in your short sleeve shirt so that when you reached into your back pocket your normally covered elbows peeked out from underneath your shirt sleeve. And it was in that one moment that a hybrid horror and home improvement panic washed over me and caused me to drop my Hot Tamales.

Thing is, your elbow looks like sandpaper.

Part of me wanted to reach out and brush up against your elbow with the edge of my cell phone mostly because I’ve dropped that cell phone on the street a few times and it’s all rough around the plastic edges. But if I had some fine grade sandpaper that I could rub up against the cell phone, I think that would do the trick and smooth out all those jagged plastic scratches.

Or your elbow could do the job too — seeing as though you’re Elbow Sandpaper Guy.

The thing is, I’ve seen a lot of fine-grade elbow sandpaper people over my lifetime. The kind of white, ashy look that makes it seem like you dipped your elbows in your great aunt’s ash urn as your last “getting ready” cosmetic step before leaving the house. But alas, you have not — these are just the breaks when it comes to having the kind of genes that predetermine ashy, white fine-grade sandpaper elbows. But the thing is, you stick a few dollups of cream on those babies and you’re as good as new.

But you, Mr. Elbow Sandpaper Guy… Well, you’re like the color red on the Homeland Security terror level chart. Oh, you haven’t heard of that chart? Let me break it down for you:

At the very bottom there’s a Low Risk of Sandpaper Elbow. That’s not you. That’s a faint discoloration of one’s elbow, with minor or barely noticeable crust of any kind. But once you graduate to Guarded Sandpaper Elbow the crust begins to form. That’s where you start wearing long sleeve shirts or shirts with longer short sleeves (the kind of billowy kinds) so people won’t see the crust that’s beginning to form in and around the wrinkles of your elbow. But when you step into the Elevated Sandpaper Elbow that crust has started to form crust on top of crust, making your elbow bleedy and chasm-like when you rub your fingers across it. Let’s face it, by the time that elbow has become crusty and elevated no cream is going to get rid of it overnight. But when you elbow crust reaches the High level, all bets are off. There’s no pink left on that elbow of yours and there’s no amount of explaining that will make it seem okay.

But you, Mr. Elbow Sandpaper Guy? You’re at the Severe level. The kind of level where I want to use your blackened rough sandpaper elbow to finish off that crown molding I just put up in my house. The kind of level where I’d like to use your elbow to turn that wood carving from a blocky figure into a smooth-looking book-end. Your elbow is Severly overboard and the only real solution was for me to write you this letter.

I hope this letter finds you and your sandpapery elbows in good spirits.

And I hope it does some good.

Love, Me.

10 comments on “An Open Letter To ‘Elbow Sandpaper Guy’

  1. Barney - August 19, 2006 at 3:34 pm -

    My ‘best buddy’ has from “high” to “severe” sandpaper elbows.
    We have the solution for this very challenging problem. You probably have concluded already that it is a very American problem but what you may not know is that it plagues people from the Mediterranian area. For a small fee we will be happy to email the solution. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront of our society.

  2. Amy - August 19, 2006 at 6:47 pm -

    I think the only thing worse than sandpaper elbows is sandpaper heels. Ewww…

  3. Julia Farley - August 20, 2006 at 7:00 am -

    I can deal with the elbow thing. What really rips my biscuit is the people who have a really hairy mole on their face. Or the women with that one, long, kinky hair under their chin. That freaks me right the feck out.

  4. susan - August 20, 2006 at 8:35 am -

    Barney, you’re not charging your “best friend” a small fee for the solution are you? Tell your “Mediterranian” buddy: copius Vaseline spread on overnight and in the meantime, for Aphrodite’s sake – long sleeves!

  5. Amy - August 20, 2006 at 9:59 am -

    Will THIS comment finally appear?

  6. thoughtsgalore - August 20, 2006 at 10:13 am -

    What’s the aversion, for most men, with a little lotion? I mean…just get a little loofa and some moisturizing soap. Scrub a little in the shower and enjoy the aroma therapy of your choice. Enjoy the drinking of the lotion into the skin. Come on! What’s wrong with feeling good and smooth…and….ok I’m sure all of that would be lost on Sand Paper guy, but not you PaulyD. I’m sure of

  7. Nanette - August 21, 2006 at 12:07 am -

    Ew. Ew. Ewwwwww.

  8. sandra - August 21, 2006 at 1:07 am -

    I love this because my mom is obsessed — really — with people’s elbow hygiene. She notices almost immediately if someone’s elbows are dirty (in the cracks) or really dry. It’s rather alarming, actually.

  9. JL Choate - March 15, 2007 at 2:36 am -

    my mother was also horribly obsessed with elbows; as children, we were taught to “SCRUB YOUR ELBOWS” w/ each trip to the tub, followed my lotion or thicker substances when necessary. It has resulted in my own appreciation for the nice presentation of a clean, moisturized elbow on both men & women.
    I’ve found it to be a larger problem with men & have heard such excuses as, “It’s not dirt, It’s a callous & we men get those.” Get Real~so do dogs! but it’s not attractive on a well-groomed man, & there’s really no excuse for poor hygiene. maybe it’s simply that their momma’s didn’t care enough to teach them this one?

  10. fireplace - November 13, 2007 at 7:21 pm -

    haha, your story reminded of this guy I saw in the Seattle library. He was eating chips and then when he got done, he took his dentures out and started picking food out of his dentures and then put the crumbs right back in his mouth.

    I mean, I know people don’t like to waste food, but cmon? I almost vomited and unfortunately can’t get that scene out of my head.

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