15 November 2005

Swamp Thing

Yesterday I had my first experience with an ionCleanse machine. At 10:00 a.m. on the nose I walked through the front door of the naturopathy clinic where I seem to spend most of my time and money these days. At approximately 10:02:37 a.m. I was whisked down a long, close Wonka-esque hallway to the very end of the carpeted path, where there was no lickable fruity wallpaper for me to enjoy (I'm referencing, of course, the one true Willy Wonka movie, the Gene Wilder version) (and honestly, it hurts me to acknowledge that Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, AND Danny Elfman combined couldn't top it) and no impossibly long contract with disappearing fine print to pretend to decipher and then sign with a flamboyantly fluffy feather pen. Nope, there was just a tiled room with a few padded folding chairs, a small shower, a few books, unfamiliar gadgetry, footbaths, and as I discovered later on, two little handbells.

Smiling Jules, no diminutive oompa loompa, filled a footbath for me, poured in some RealSalt "to help conduct the charge better", stuck in the black ionizing part of one of the gadgets, punched some numbers into the control panel, and directed me to settle in for an hour's dip. She brought me a paper Dixie cup full of liquid minerals, in case I got tired during the session, but I couldn't bring it to my mouth; it looked exactly like a urine sample. I confessed the reason for my hesitation to her and she laughed. I'd brought along some knitting, so I pulled out the hot water bottle cozy I'm making for a girlfriend. I'd been mildly warned that the water in my footbath might turn colors as I sat there, soaking away my bodily angst. Orange, maybe. "Someone's water will even occasionally turn black as toxins are pulled out," Dr. W. had told me with knowing eyebrows during an earlier office visit. Julie, the head spook machine operator, had informed me also that, "Two men who worked as embalmers came in for the ionCleanse and they both produced large bright blue oily spots that floated on the water." So, muses I, is this really about laundering my aura? A few minutes passed while Jules tidied up the place.

"Oh, look," she said, "the water's already starting to turn!"

I glanced down from my knitting and noticed that the water looked a bit stained, like some young rebel's nicotine teeth. That's vaguely interesting, I thought, for a non-smoker, but so far I'd rather watch my stitches.

Jules went to take care of other work at the living end of the hallway and left me alone with my Denise set and my thoughts. Take a deep, slow breath, I told myself. Now take another. Make this time count. Get rid of those toxins. Knit. Purl. Breathe. Soak. Knit. Purl. Breathe. Soak. Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. Nobody needs you right now. Gram's at home and can't holler for you to come. You don't have a cell phone. You're nicely stuck for an hour, so love it. Breathe. Knit. Cleanse. Do it.

I didn't panic when I noticed the water had turned bright orange. I like orange. Maybe my aura is orange. Maybe I am an oompa loompa, when you get right down to it. I set aside my knitting for a while to study my feet mid-calf-deep in that vivid tincture of Wonka. Wow. I did begin to feel a bit odd when I noticed that some of the orange was gathering into thick muck puddles floating on the water. When residue stuck to the sides of the footbath liner I felt a little woozy. Still, it's just orange. I like orange.

I knitted on, more preoccupied with my feet than I'd been at the beginning. I'd stitch a round, then check their progress, stitch some more, shift my needles, check the feet again. Pretty soon the water resembled what I imagine the lake of fire and brimstone looks like. Click, the charge from the ionizer switched to positive. A few minutes later, click, and a negative charge was sent out. Click, click. The control panel was set on a "heavy" modality. That aura of mine is a real mess.

Focus on your knitting; you're forgetting to breathe, I reminded myself. Several aspirated and ribbed rounds later, I put down my work and saw something horrible: pure├ęd moss, or something equally dark green, was making the muck much murkier. The experience was all downhill after that--no thrills of relief, just alarming spills as my feet poured forth all sorts of "stuff". You don't want to know. Or maybe you do, since you're still reading this. I can somewhat discreetly tell you that as the situation became more optically sinister I saw visions of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and two words kept sounding in my head again and again: SWAMP THING.

When the control panel at last shut off the ionizing action, nobody came to save me. I waited. I hoped. I looked around for some clue about how I should get myself free. No towels in sight, no easy access to water. Help, help, I thought. If you leave me in here it's going to eat me! Or worse, I'm going to re-eat it! I told myself Jules had a timer strapped to her person or at least a perfect sense of timing and would be coming to release me at any moment, but all remained quiet at my end of the lonesome hallway. With growing anxiety, I scanned the shelf where the ionCleanse machine sat and found, happily, the two little bells I mentioned earlier. Whew! I sheepishly rang one, then the other, and within seconds, I heard Jules' quick footsteps coming.

We had some animated conversation about the disgusting state of my footbath and she gave me a handout that explained what the different colors and textures and particulates could mean. Yeah, I wanted to know all that, but it made me dizzy to have the information right there as I was looking into the tub from hell with my feet still in it. Gack!

So, I survived, but my inner swamp thing wants its aura scrubbed again soon. It's too pricey to do as often as I need to. If anyone out there wants to buy me a Christmas present, I wouldn't mind having my own for $2700 or so, maybe cheaper on eBay. Maybe if everyone I ever knew chipped in a buck apiece, it could happen, and my inner swamp thing could go on for another year believing in Santa. Why not? I still believe in Gene Wilder. Anyway, please think it over.


Hoobickie said...

I love even your inner Swamp Thing.

Elizabeth said...


What in the heck is this machine? It pulls toxins out of your body? How much did it cost? I want to hear more, mostly because it sounds bizarre, but fascinating at the same time!!! I might be interested myself, but I think I'd get scared of the results. :)

Jamie said...

Wow. That's creepy. What I want to know is if you FEEL different...and I will gladly contribut to the ionCleanse fund if you promise to cleanse me sometime! ;)

Chemical Billy said...

Um, yeah, that was my question - did you feel any better afterward?

You may have been right the first time, though, perhaps you are a tall, slender oompa loompa.

"knowing eyebrows." You slay me.

Anonymous said...

Here's some information on the history of the Ioncleanse machine.