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Thinking Makes It So: Do juggalos get manicures, too?

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By Kelly LeVan

The chair chewed on both sides of my spine, starting from my neck and munching its way down to my tailbone, biting beneath my ribs and chomping the undersides of my shoulder blades. Do beans enjoy mastication this much? Does bread have an aching back? Beef jerky, I understand you better now: I, too, have been gnawed and mashed repeatedly until finally my muscles were fit for digestion.All the while, my feet rested in a small tub of bubbling water. Eventually, an incredibly wonderful woman asked me to remove one foot from the whirlpool and lay it on a towel. She then proceeded with the pedicure and now I have red toes for China.They shimmer like Christmas tree ornaments. They look cute as itsy bitsy Communists.The pedicurist let me stay in that chair for a very long time, during which I thought about many things, although frankly, I grew more and more stupid as the gnawing continued.I wondered about the T-shirt of a man looking at nail polish with a woman who later sat in a chair near me, with her own red toes. The man’s T-shirt read “Mutha F---in’ Juggalo Content B----.” I reread it several times, alternating between the noun and adjective forms of “content” in my interpretation. I had no idea what a juggalo was, so I couldn’t decide.I also considered the difference between getting massaged and getting punched. I realized that during a massage, you get beat up but in slow motion. Also, the fight happens on your back, not on your face or gut or anywhere below. A back rub, it occurred to me, even one given by a chair, is a leisurely brawl, implying that ecstasy is just torment with the brakes on.Thirdly, I reflected on my ex-husband, who had called me earlier that day. It marked the first time we’d spoken since September. The lull occurred not because of any new hostility between us, but more so because he lives in Montana and I live here.I tried to connect my thoughts: “Next time I talk to Jerod,” I said to myself, “I want to wear the ‘Juggalo’ T-shirt.”This yearning has nothing to do with him. Talking to my ex-husband did not turn me into a content or discontent anything. Nevertheless, as I spoke with Jerod across miles of mountains and grizzly bears, I kept expecting some kind of discomfort.I wrote a minute ago that we haven’t talked recently because our lives don’t intersect, and that’s true, but truth, like cigarettes, comes in packs.After we divorced, and after the anti-massage of the subsequent few months, we forgave each other – but anything poisonous enough to kill a marriage has its after-effects, a long train of surly, rabid white elephants. The emotions had ceased pummeling us in the chest but we remembered them. We still recalled everything that happened, but who wants to reminisce?So although we felt nothing evil toward each other, we didn’t really want to talk. I left him a voicemail on his birthday and sent him a Christmas card. He seemed to have evolved into a distant aunt.But our recent conversation proved him fairly un-aunt-like. We didn’t talk about anything personal, painful or particularly important, but we also didn’t talk like strangers.Rather, we chatted – elephant-lessly – like I would with any of my old friends who live in other states.I practically didn’t mind it, although it didn’t compare to the rapture of Top Nails.Perhaps the hot-stone foot rub that accompanied my pedicure has colored my recollection, but whatever. I remain too relaxed to worry about it.I’m far more concerned with the word “juggalo,” which, it turns out, is not simply a misspelling of the word “gigolo.”I assume many of my readers already know the term well, because they love the band, Insane Clown Posse, and “Thinking Makes It So” with equal fanaticism.But just in case you haven’t heard or revered “Carnival of Carnage,” a juggalo, according to several websites, likes rap music, drugs, nudity, profanity, handguns, ninjas and maybe Christianity, although the evidence for that one is a bit slimmer. See www.juggalofaith.com for enlightenment.Wikipedia credits Insane Clown Posse and its Dark Carnival mythology with the word’s etymology.Urban Dictionary defines the word with disdain: “Find the imagery of hatchet murders, rape, cannibalism, misogyny and necrophilia to be acceptable and enjoyable but, racism is a no-no,” reads one of nine mocking explanations.An interview with Insane Clown Posse on the band’s site claims “there are no requirements to being a Juggalo ee If this music touches you ee we would be honored to have you consider yourself a Juggalo.”That’s beautiful – as long as a juggalo never touches me. I’m saving myself for the chair.