I live in a small, rural town on the eastern side of Connecticut. We've got farms and Big Pharm. We've got elderly residents who've been here for decades and young transplants with money to spend. We don't have a high school or a supermarket. Our local park is a chain link enclosure built around one tire swing and a glorified litterbox in which children like to dig with shovels. We don't have an official post office building. But what we do have is an establishment on the second floor of a shady building in the center of town that recently unfurled a shingle reading "[Insert name of Eastern medicinal plant here] Spa and Massage." I would type the actual name, except that it might draw some local Internet traffic I'd rather steer clear of. Currently the business has no Internet presence--via its own Web site or Yellow Pages listing--that I can find.
Maybe it's legitimate. I don't want to cast aspersions. But I can tell you that few people I know from around town are truly entertaining that option. Of course, nobody is admitting to having found out for sure, either. The Partner offered to take one for the team by checking it out himself. Probably at midnight on a Saturday. I patted him on the arm and said "sure." As my mother added when she heard about his offer, "like he has the time!"
Of course, I know that most anyone can put aside an hour in even the most hectic schedule for a rejuvenating rubdown if he is so inclined. And I know that a lot of people do. But that's all I know. I am extremely hazy on the details--which is why I'm so intrigued. I always want to find out more about the things I'm not supposed to know anything about.
Maybe I'm totally off base--although each time I think that I'm jumping to conclusions, another piece of evidence pops up to support the opposite. I just looked up the etymology of the Chinese plant for which the business is named and discovered it means "man root." I think one of my friends put it best:
"My guess is I won't be getting my eyebrows waxed there."