“Philip! Oh Philip! Look! Look at this!” Martha cried, running into the parlour, clutching at the hem of her dress.
“Well what is it dear?” replied Philip, taking his pipe from his mouth and laying his newspaper across his lap to look up at her.
“Look!” she cried, lifting up her dress to reveal her pubic area.
Philip blinked twice, frowned, put his pipe back in the left side of his mouth and puffed on it.
“Well?” Martha asked.
Philip put his paper to one side and leaned forward, peering at her groin.
“Well, it’s ah, it’s different isn’t it? You been trying something new?”
“No, just the quiddany preparation that Dr Van Weirden prescribed for me!”
“Hmm, quiddany you say?” he replied, sitting back into the couch, “ I was reading about that stuff in the newspaper just now.”
“So? Why has it turned this colour?”
“It’s right here, see? ” said Philip, showing her the newspaper and pointing at the relevant article, “Dr Van Weirden must be a quack. Says here that quiddany is made from the juice of a quince, a type of fruit high in pectin, which is rich in galacturonic acid.”
She stared off into the distance for a moment, her eyes wide and unblinking, before slowly turning her head to Philip.
“Fruit juice? Acid? Then that means…”
“Yes Martha, you’ve been bleaching your quim.”