In western Christian practice, January 6th is celebrated as "The Epiphany," symbolized by the Three Wise Men's gifts to the Christ child 12 days after his birth. It's an opportunity, regardless of your faith, for a greater realization of our Universe and its current need for enlightened insights, increased awareness, kinder consideration and "inconvenient" truths for our world.
Interestingly, sharing this week's special event of The Epiphany is the anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley (January 8th). Remembered for his crooning, gospel and rock-and roll music; his eroticized hip-shaking; his songs about hound dogs, jail houses and weirdly colored shoes; his slew of hormone-infused B-flicks; and numerous Las Vegas wedding chapels staffed by impersonating preachers. Unfortunately, he is also remembered for his profusion of perspiration. (Especially at the over-indulged, bloated end of his well-known career.)
It's the King's shamefully audacious, extraterrestrial, spangle-infused, semi-precious cubic-zirconium encrusted, garish polyester, universe-of-razzle-dazzle jumpsuits (often pushed to maximum density as the pounds kept adding on) that have come to symbolize the extremes of the 70s. Swollen and stuffed, winded and drugged-out, hauling his sorry carcass across the stage, Elvis Aron Presley showed us just how toxic the excesses of the modern world could be.
When thinking about all of this, I had a personal "Elvis-Epiphany," when I realized that everything within reach has become as glittery and tempting as one of Presley's costumes, and that all of the world's accessible bling-bling blinds us to our ailing planet in the same way that adoring fans sadly disregarded the failing, sickly man packed into the be-dazzled uni-tards.
Anyone who saw him in the last years of his life would remember indulgent fans begging for more and more from him, in spite of how overheated, stoned, stressed out and perspiring he was while getting through his performances. Now while I, like most people, say the occasional "Thank-you-verah-musshhh," a la Elvis, and have made my own feeble attempts (though never publicly) to mimic his "shimmy and shake" moves, alas, the only thing I really can truly mimic about him is his heavy sweating. Even most Presley impersonators don't really capture The King correctly, other than for the fact that they glow, wilt, and ooze from time to time.
So, on the remote chance that you're an Elvis impersonator or just one of the millions of plain ol' folks that suffer from the occasional flop-sweat, exercise sweat, nervous sweat, or heat sweat, just like Presley, you're prone to perspiration stains. When you do, here's how to remove those smelly stains from your clothing:
Dab the stained garment with a warm saltwater solution (4 tablespoons of salt to one quart of water) until the discoloration disappears. If that's not doing it, try rubbing a baking soda and water paste (adding just enough water to the baking soda so that the glop is the consistency of spackling compound) into the stains. Allow the paste to sit for 1/2 hour. (Really unfortunate stains may need to sit for an hour or two.) Then launder as usual.
On a cosmic level, the King's kitschy, tacky jumpsuits can stand as a metaphor for the glitz and bling of today's hyper-consumerism, and Elvis, the ever-indulgent, hedonistic, self-polluted man, can symbolize our ever-ailing planet. Elvis brought tremendous joy and talent to our world, in equal measure to his self-abuse and ultimate destruction. So on The Epiphany, may we acknowledge with a new awareness, our own "epiphany" so to speak, of the fragility of the planet we call home -- the joy it brings to us, and how our actions can lead to, or help avoid, its destruction.
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