The Best Time I Burned the Shit Out Of My Hand Whilst Waxing My Box For A Boy

by Shanrah Wakefield


I’m looking at my right hand and four of the five fingers look like baby white stump dicks. They’re wrapped in bandages and tiny rubber socks that look like sperm catchers. “Japanese condoms!” my doctor chortled, before catching his jolly racism and semi-retracting it until my chubby thumb needed a larger size. “Time to pull out the Magnums!” I laughed at his hilarious joke because it was hilarious and also because I was fuzzed out on codeine and Valium and whatever other household chemicals my roomies and I could scrape together after “the incident.”

If we scroll back 10-odd hours, we arrive back at the best time I burned the shit out of my hand halfway through waxing my box. For a boy. And then wrapped the burn in panty liners.

“Oh, I’ve done it myself for the last 10 years,” I had bragged to my roommate. She’d been trying to tell me about this brilliant Russian woman in Beverly Hills who regularly left her cooch smooth as a baby’s butt for only $40. But I was the Queen of the fucking Forestry Department, wasn’t I? I was having none of this delegation.

I was partway through my wax job at around 9:30pm, and if I’m honest I’d been doing a world class job of it. That’s because some very special sex was on the red-eye from New York, due to arrive in LA the following morning. The boy would’ve had a clear runway for landing if the tub of wax hadn’t gone a little chilly halfway through. I’d removed half of the unwanted hair, and by half I literally mean half — one lip out of the forest, the other still in full bloom.

It’s lucky I wrapped myself in a towel for my dash to the microwave to reheat. Five minutes is probably a bit long for a reheat, just ask the instruction manual, but — as I said — I was a seasoned expert. I think I was jigging around to “Money On My Mind” by Sam Smith as I opened the microwave door, poised to stir the shit out of the purple stuff with the provided wooden stick.

In the shrill, dreamlike moments that the boiling substance sticky stuff spewed up out of the tub and all over my right hand, it occurred to me that I might not be able to finish this wax job immediately. I probably wouldn’t be able to go for the 6:30am run I’d planned for the next morning, either, and I’d also need to clean the microwave. Then I heard myself screaming, and that was because I was watching my skin bubble and boil as the purple wax attached itself to my fingers and tried to become part of my body.

You’re meant to shove burns under a cold water tap, aren’t you? I did that first. Then I realized the error of my ways and doused it in coconut oil, because who wants a hand permanently coated in purple wax? My brain wanted that shit off at all costs and it convinced the rest of me — in spite of my roommate’s shrieks of protest — that the most important thing on Planet Earth was removing it immediately, no matter how many layers of skin had to come with it.

It turns out what’s beneath five or so layers of skin is this red globby stuff with skinny veins running through it, not dissimilar to raw pork, and it spurts out this clear liquid, presumably from inside the finger.

I realized the error of those ways, put down the coconut oil, and stuck the remnants of my hand back under the cold water again. There I stayed, until every last drop of mascara was off my lashes and smeared across my know-it-all face.

At first, I was very busy revelling in the searing pain and feeling bad for myself, so I didn’t have time to think about the future. But after swallowing a few codeine-based beauties, I found myself floating in the philosophical wonder of it all. You know, the beautiful notion of fucking up oneself for an incoming dick from New York. It occurred to me that a fucked-up right hand, unable to give effective handjobs, hail cabs, or touch-type, could possibly be more of an inconvenience than a hairy vajay would’ve been. At 29 years of age, I’d never given a handjob with my left hand. Failure in that particular category was imminent. Should I skip the country or nah? Not that handjobs are necessarily on my list of favorite sex activities anyway, but the point was, I had been very much looking forward to boundless and unregulated hotel room sex.

In addition, was sex even possible given the cocktail of drugs and rat poison I’d consumed to numb the pain of my skin scorching like breakfast on a fry pan? My hand looked too much like scrambled eggs with ketchup.

I felt very sorry about the drought, but even sorrier about myself. So, by the time my second roommate came home, I’d been perched on the edge of the toilet with my hand in the sink under running water for a good hour and a half. I’d just taken a drugged-up stroll around Rite Aid with my first roommate and Skyped my parents’ entire office in Australia to show off my battle wounds. With that all done, I was in the middle of leaving a very long and cheery voicemail for New York, in which I slurred a commentary of how I’d burned off my fingers in the process of making my box fabulous for him, so fuck him very much, and what time did his flight get in again?

My roommate used to be a vet nurse, and boy could I tell. She was all about this burn maintenance business. Within minutes, my four sickly fingers were lathered in antiseptic and wrapped in panty liners — the thin type, for when your period isn’t that heavy, but also great for when your burns are severe and you don’t have medical insurance. Sticky tape was delicately slung around each stubby knob to finish the job, and I officially no longer understood why hospital emergency rooms were even necessary.

My roommates told me I should head off to bed, even though I was feeling perfectly merry sprawled across the bathroom, and the wi-fi worked just fine in there.

I went to sleep with a few fun thoughts circling my mind. You know, great ideas for children’s fantasy novellas, and how I should totally give the two-hour spin class a crack once my hand was molded back together. But for the most part, it went like this: fuck my life and my decisions with regards to boys, fuck orchestrating the perfect screw, fuck how I use my time and my microwave, and fuck my DIY skills.

At least the doctor had a good ol’ time with it. He had me scrolling through photos of some guy who “literally looks exactly like Ben Affleck” on his iPad as he tended to the mooshy fries that were once my fingers. He really did look just like Ben Affleck; it was uncanny. He kept talking about it as he rolled the baby condoms over my bandages so I zoned out and wondered how many people in the history of the world had had good sex with an awkwardly half-waxed box. If you’d asked me 24 hours later I’d have confirmed that there was at least one.

Shanrah Wakefield is a writer, comedic performer, and incidental law graduate who enjoys slamming twits in debates. Twitter: @shanrahw