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Thu, Mar 23, 2017 01:35 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-07-25 communities
Smile Awhile
Hang Ten
Sara Hopson
Just imagine the feeling of having four hands, each with nine fingers, massaging three sides of your body at the exact same time going from the back of your neck to the tip of your toes. Those aren't my words, those are the words written on a brochure to describe a new water massage therapy that is being conducted at the Huntington Mall.

At first glance Cinder, nor I, paid much attention to the display exhibited in one of the mall corridors. In fact, Devon, Cinder and I walked right past this carnival-like sideshow and failed to notice it until we were on our way back from one of the stores.

Now, as a self-styled hedonist, I rarely deny myself an opportunity for pleasure, but being massaged in a public place is a little too exhibitionist even for me. And, on top of that, it was advertised as an Aqua massage and I didn't want to get wet. However, the young man demonstrating the massage unit was not easily dissuaded.

"Hello ladies," he said as we glanced at the two massage beds positioned inside the small cubicle. "Come on in and get the best massage of your life."

"How does this thing work?" I asked.

"It's simple," he replied. "You just lie on this table and the top comes down over you. It doesn't cover you completely you leave your head out."

"Thank goodness," I laughed.

"Oh, it's not funny. It's relaxing," he continued. "Inside the tables are tons of water that rotate and gyrate. This plummeting, pulsating motion of water is contained inside the rubber matting, but allows the water to give you a complete massage without even taking off your clothes."

Cinder and I shot each other a look that said, "I don't think so," as we thanked the young fellow and started to walk away.

"But you'll love it!" he exclaimed.

"Well, I have rods in my back," Cinder stated. "I don't know if this would be good for me."

"Oh, you can control the pressure yourself," the man quickly said. "If you need to massage a particular muscle or area on your body continuously, you can push and hold down a remote control stop button to accomplish that effect. Imagine being in total control of your massage."

"I don't know," I hesitated. "I've got rheumatoid arthritis and I don't ..."

"This is perfect for that type of ailment!" the man almost shouted. "You need to do this for yourself."

Devon was standing behind us laughing at our dilemma. "Go on and do it," she insisted. "If you don't like it you can stop it."

Cinder and I were still reluctant. The tables resembled a tanning bed that closes over you except it is padded to cushion you from the water. "How much?" Cinder asked.

"Ten dollars for five minutes, but I'll give you girls a deal. You can both go five minutes for a total of $10," he smiled.

By this time, we had been talking to the man for 15 minutes and not one other person had volunteered to try out the new modern wonder.

"You go ahead and do it," Cinder said to me.

"I'm not doing it alone," I answered. "I'm sick and tired of making a fool of myself all the time. I want assistance."

Since there were two beds, Cinder and I could get massaged simultaneously. So we agreed. As we climbed face down onto the tables, the man closed the hoods down over us and laughed.

"What's so funny?" I questioned before he turned on the massager. He never answered, but from a distance I heard Cinder shout, "Hang Ten!"

When the first wave hit, all my apprehension dissipated. The massage was great! I could apply pressure to any point on my body by using the remote control, exactly as the man had said. I just hated the fact that my head was hanging out because now a group of people had congregated and were lined up to watch us. I guess they thought it was some kind of guillotine. On the other hand, Devon had moved about 100 yards away and, while pointing at us, was asking strangers as they passed by, "Who are those people?"

If I don't get to the beach this year, I'm heading back to the mall next week with my bathing suit and an innertube.


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