I’VE NEVER ACTUALLY SEEN MY BACK, but I know it’s there. I can feel its presence whenever it ‘goes out’, as they say (as if it’s got dressed up and gone on a date – a date with pain).
My back is out right now. I admit I was foolish, and deserve my pain for having done something reckless: I stood up. My back said “Whoa, what’s this crazy thing we’re doing, standing up for no reason? That’s it, I’m OUT!”
Being a functional, mentally-healthy adult male, my first response to any injury is to Blame Someone Else. So I went online to search for a lawyer who could help me realise millions of dollars in compensation.
When that didn’t work I searched instead for painkillers. In the process, I came across an interesting story about two men who dressed up as a rampaging rhino and ran around town trying to see whether they could panic people. Maybe if I did that, I reasoned, the cops would dart me and my pain would mercifully be abated – plus when I woke up I could sue them for having been wrongly shot with a tranquiliser while dressed as an escaped zoo animal.
Alas, the young men in question did not succeed in panicking people, because (a) no one knew they were supposed to be a rhino (in the picture, they look like more a grey canvas sack with a face) … and (b) they had trouble rampaging because every time they ran they fell over.
I didn’t have the materials to make a more authentic-looking rhino outfit, and even if I did it wouldn’t be very realistic because I could only be the front end. What’s more, if the cops saw an animal that was missing the rear end of its body, they might shoot it with real guns just to put it out of its misery. I’d no doubt that this would end my back pain, but I doubted very much that my children would appreciate it if at my funeral everyone was laughing at what an idiot their father was.
Standard treatment for back pain includes taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory painkillers, and applying ice to the afflicted area. I elected to combine therapies by drinking blended margaritas. In fact, I’ll confess that the whole get-darted-as-a-rampaging-front-end-of-a-rhino idea came after I’d applied considerable ice to my affliction using the blended margarita method. (Ironically, something similar was involved during the planning stages of the phony berserk-rhino episode, as the two men in question were ultimately charged with public intoxication.)
Alas, ice applied in the above fashion provides only temporary relief – and can extract a greater toll if your head reacts to tequila by calling some of the throbbing in your back to “come on up to the penthouse for a visit.”
In the end, it’s all a real pain in the butt …
© 2011 W. BRUCE CAMERON – USED BY PERMISSION. BRUCE IS AUTHOR OF ‘A DOG’S PURPOSE’ AND ‘THE CAMERON COLUMN’ –SEE WWW.WBRUCECAMERON.COM.