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Byron Shire
May 11, 2021

Mandy Nolan’s Soap Box: Necking Myself

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My neck got old. I don’t know how it happened but it seems to have aged. Possibly in dog years. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t remember abusing my neck. Not in the way I’ve abused my liver, my arse or my face. The neck really only holds up the head. It’s not working that hard to age so badly. I can’t even think what I could have done to create premature neck ageing.

Perhaps I’ve stuck it out one too many times. I am known for sticking my neck out. It’s one of my more favourable personality traits. But surely the act of sticking one’s neck out should give it a good stretch? Like yoga. Should I have been doing necksersize? All these years I’ve been doing ab crunches and I should have been doing neck lifts.

It doesn’t matter how good your face looks, it’s your neck that tells the truth. It’s like the sober partner heckling your drunk bullshit story at a fun party where you are holding court with unnecessary facts of what they reckon really happened. Who needs it? Get fucked, neck! My neck doesn’t tell the truth. It’s a fucking liar. It’s telling everyone I’m 60 and I’m only 49.

I find myself looking at other women’s necks. Really staring. Often much longer than I should. I’m doing one of two things: (a) looking for necks worse than mine; these necks make me feel good. And a bit worried about my future neck. Or (b) seeking beautiful necks. My eyes linger on the soft smooth skin of youthful necks. I remember when my neck was like that. I want to stop girls in the street and say ‘Forget about your big booty, your pert boobies and your line-free forehead; love your neck. Really enjoy it. Never wear a scarf! Put your hair up. Show the world this wondrous expanse of silky skin.’ But I don’t because it’s creepy.

One friend told me I should have been using sunscreen. Another told me to sleep on my back with my neck in cling wrap. Another said it was time to seek out the turtleneck. I guess it’s called a turtleneck for a reason. The cowl hides a multitude of skin sins. Including having a neck that looks like a fricking turtle’s.

But it’s a bit of a giveaway. Especially in summer. No-one wears a high-necked sweater in summer. It might be hiding your neck but what people imagine is behind the turtleneck is probably worse than what is actually there. There are scarves. And chunky necklaces. I guess I could get a neck tattoo. Maybe work with the wrinkles and make some sort of creeping vine.

Another friend suggested that haemorrhoid cream Anusol for its tightening properties but I tried it and it not only took two tubes; I felt like I was choking. I don’t know if it means I’m hung up but I’m just not comfortable rubbing arse cream that close to my face. Of course there’s always Botox, a few shots would freeze that wrinkly head-holder right up, but what’s the point of a wrinkle-free neck if you can’t look down on anyone? I certainly don’t want a neck-rection. It would be like having a Priapus injection.

I would like a nice smooth neck but I don’t want it enlarged. There’s the ‘collar’. The thing people wear when they’ve got whiplash. It certainly gives you a lovely stretch, corrects your posture and physically hides your neck age. But it makes you move like a Thunderbird. And you can’t get your undies on.

Then it occurs to me. The beard! Of course! A full Ned Kelly would do it. If I could grow one of those, I could hide my neck. People wouldn’t even notice, they’d be so impressed with my resplendent beard they’d be touching me and gasping about my luxuriant chin hair. It’s awesome diversion therapy. Although I can’t really grow a beard. Well, at least not a full one. Mine looks more like what my 16-year-old son grows. The only real option I have is to get over myself. Watch some Neck Flix and chill.

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