Essentially Ashland: By Lance Pugh — As I amble through life, fraught with self-induced fears and phobias, there are a few potholes of reality that cannot be denied or deflected.

As I amble through life, fraught with self-induced fears and phobias, there are a few potholes of reality that cannot be denied or deflected; items that can catch you unawares and can backhand you from courageous to cowering in less time that it takes to drain a glass of ice water in the middle of a dog day afternoon.

The first of these patches of reality is commonly referred to as a medical scale, which conspires with medical professionals to make one feel bloated, ballooning and nearly bursting with endless excess flab and jiggling jowls that resemble those of a 500-pound squirrel after inhaling a tree-full of nuts in one breath.

Side effects of reading the scale's very accurate reporting can include: dizziness, panic, teeth grinding, hapless hopelessness, total recoil, morbidity, itchy eyelids, a total body rash, weak teeth, elephantiasis, lumbago, humus and, in rare instances, the dreaded Hindenburg syndrome, which causes your ego to crash to the tarmac in a burst of self-denial.

The other Medusan peddler of the truth is none other than your bathroom mirror, which clearly reveals that which you only see in your nightmares or day mares, whichever evokes the loudest shriek. As we age, our epidermis gradually morphs from the once plump and buoyant pinching perfect skin of a baby's butt into a raisin of craggy neglect, this caused by several factors which I will thoughtfully reduce to one: the oil in your skin is shut down like a dry oil well, and you are on your own.

Since the dawn of human time, which was either hundreds of millions or, in the case of rattlesnake handling tongue-talkers, 6,000 years ago, women have known from birth that a couple coats of oil a day can smooth out the gullies and put the bounce back into a smile. Men, busy killing everything in sight, simply paid no attention to this basic concept, leaving them to look like death incarnate.

While whales flaunt their flukes with pride and as part of their life's story, such crags, scrapes and wrinkled wear largely eluded them, as they cannot swivel their heads and look into my bathroom mirror. I am thankful of this, for I can ill-afford the water bill necessary to keep them frisky while inside the house.

Not wanting to wait for the hands on the clock of time to spin uncontrollably to the point where I might rotate into the air and land on D.B. Cooper's rucksack of money somewhere in points uncertain, I took it upon myself to adhere to a daily moisturizing program that would leave my skin smooth, moist and the envy of any 4-year-old.

I dabbled with some of my wife's potions and lotions, but felt like I need to wear high heels to pull off the desired effect, so I got on the Internet and looked around for something natural that would help erase the ravages of time.

I began tossing fruits and herbs into a blender, along with some oils that I deem essential, including an avocado. In a minute or two I had a paste of heaven and applied it to my face with a spatula, careful not to eat too much, as it was mighty tasty. Fifteen minutes later I rinsed it off and towel padded the results and " all I needed was a pacifier and I would be a shoe-in for the Baby Contest on the Fourth of July.

I then got dressed for a wine tasting and leapt into the Prius as it noiselessly rounded the corner with my wife, Annette, at the wheel. I knew from experience that she rarely stops and, if you miss her drive-by, you would not be going anywhere.

While at the gathering I began to feel my skin start to desiccate. I had not expected this and began to unravel somewhat when I spotted some guacamole on one of the serving tables. With the upmost discretion I patted some on, only to experience a most painful response, before running into the bathroom to flood my face.

I have since learned that wasabi and guacamole look very similar and it pays to know the difference.

Lance@journalist.com was last seen eating niguri sushi with a side of guacamole, just to be safe.