Pain You Can Rely On


Pain Sources that can equal back pain


Looking for the pain source, examing the x-raysThere are few problems that can compete with pain. Boredom, lack of money, or a love affair that has gone south, seem but banal blips. For when the sleeping giant of pain grasps you by the throat, you must listen. In the gladiator arena of physical pain, back pain is famous for an almost Biblical begetting of the most severe discomfort. But there are two other pain-producing maladies that spring to mind: the bruised or broken rib and inflamed hemorrhoids.


A broken or bruised rib, aside from being a wonderfully clear and irrefuteable pain source, has the advantage of precluding any positive feelings whatsoever, because laughter, reaching for a handkerchief, and even chewing, can make the painfully tentative straight jacket of torso discomfort take on a medieval significance. There is the one saving grace, which is that a game that can be played by other family members, called, “Behold the Sneeze.”


Inflamed hemorrhoids, a medical condition, begin like a suspicious rumor about a sore grape, and arise to simulate an intense foot or calf cramp of the kind that ejaculates people from their beds so as to fervently club the floor with the afflicted limb. But of course, such tweaky pain and cramping reside in the awkward vicinity. And whereas it is difficult to slam the awkward vicinity against anything, the much put upon sufferer will often assume a fetal position while moaning the red-assed baboon’s national anthem, which once heard has never been forgotten, or mince from room to room in a fitful quandary, understanding that relief from pain is only as far away as the nearest Lithuanian shaman. The efficacy of soothing commercial gels for pain relief, I will leave to the imagination.daunting and secret hemorrhoids


My brother, with whom I have discussed these delicate issues surrounding pain at length, is an ex-body builder, and as such, experienced in both back surgery and the anus fissure, a place where hemorrhoids go in the most extreme and unkindest eventuality, the extreme sports of hemorrhoids as it were. He has assured me, and I take him at his word, that though back surgery can potentially bring about immediate relief from pain, an ass fissure repair will, without exception, suspend the patient in untoward agony beyond description for just under a year. Let this serve as a cautionary tale.


But I digress…

 Back pain is King of Pain

Back trouble and the pain it generates can arise from improperly lifting heavy objects, such as Volkswagens, beer coolers, or tires filled with cement. Wood splitting, low cupboards, lard assed babies, and lousy dance partners, especially during the execution of the frog jump, are additional culprits. Other causes include potato chips, sudden wrenching twists or turns, or the chiropractor’s favorite, previously sustained injuries in other body parts, for which the skeleton and spine will do any amount of reshuffling in an attempt to compensate, sometimes even collapsing entirely, much like the stairs of an escalator.

 More on the pain and involvement of the spine

Worse for the sufferer, the shifted parts, already producing pain, may consort to pop a disk, which situation can require a back surgeon, possibly one fully committed to owning both a private plane and a condo in Dubai.private plane owner and surgeon Perhaps at the inception, there was no incident, save bending over and tying a shoe. But throw in an elderly secretary who takes a dose of ginkgo blobs that morning and suddenly remembers what a goose is, and between the fourth and fifth vertebra, nature’s weakest hinge area, and a veritable home plate to the aquatic rehab set, the trap door is sprung. Behold, low back pain!


Man faltering with heavy loadHow serious is this condition that produces pain? One needs a mental image with which to grasp the complexity of the spine. If one were to think of the spine as a clarinet, and those valves the musician manipulates so adroitly to make music of his breath, as the vertebrae which can blow like over stressed rivets or become unhinged at any moment, such an instrument played by Satan as it were, he who gigs the sufferer with hot pokers at whim, one will have some tangible notion of the back-troubled patient’s special burden.


Consider for a moment, the neck, which sits at the head of the spine.The spine is vulnerable and flexible It can lock like automotive gears for whom some dunderhead had failed to provide motor oil, regularly prohibiting the normal range of motion that allows us to discreetly spy on our neighbors, cast a lascivious glance without our spouse running interference, or unsettle an aggravating interloper in short order, subsequently denying that the look meant anything but a misplaced eyelash. Without this flexibility, a person is nothing but a puny scarecrow with a neck like a sucker stick, one who can be mocked with impunity.

Pain medications for the back

My personal back trouble came from time on the computer, specifically from torque of the torso, maintained for long hours. The subsequent pretzeling nexus settled into the mid back, where it generated what’s known in the trades as a back spasm. This condition gave rise to the burning and lacerated ham of the exited nerve bundle. This event, on the Richter Scale of back events, was a third level engagement, the first and least serious being, Methocarbamal, the second, Soma, and the third, Percocet, a delightful pharmaceutical concoction that enables the patient while he or she is in the hospital emergency room, to shuck off the coil of pain, while at the same time engaging in projectile vomiting.pills and their bottles can create problems

The mysterious nerve bundle

For my own part, I had been familiar with back spasms, but unfamiliar with the extremes of skeletal misconstruction, i.e. jumblement, that could produce such radical side effects, as being unable to lie down for two weeks, owing to the rise of a protuberant Stegosaurus variety ridge, in which the vertebrae were bucked out like teeth, while underneath them an unrelenting larva of nerves, which make up the giant nerve bundle, regularly scalded itself with reoccurring birth contractions.

Post incident pain and side effects

Many facets of back trouble have been documented, but never before now has the cruel truth of adjunct sounds been acknowledged. There are three categories of related noises. The first includes the eyebrow-raising grinding and shifting of the involved bones, when movement is attempted. The second regards the oaths against creation uttered during a back event, along with the accompanying awkward back pounding, which offers absolutely no relief. Thirdly, during the post-event season, there arises with every bend and reach

, a veritable explosion of unwelcome exclamations, muttering, moaning, puling, those sounds that tumble relentlessly off the tongue, like spittle leaking from a hungry dog.


To arrest the flow of non-voluntary vocalizations would require a ball gag. For like the infant who terrifies himself by burping, and then must scream and try to shit its pants for ten minutes, the inner baby is incapable of remembering a time when the piano of pain didn’t hang overhead like a car insurance payment—specifically the payment, after your fat sister in law totaled your shocks, and then borrowed your car and drove it through the plate glass window of McDonald’s because she couldn’t wait for the McNuggets.


Pain sufferers constitute a particular segment of the population, those who share an intimate knowledge of the injustice of pain, the limits of self control in the face of pain, the lack of cause and effect in the universe, the niggardliness of doctors as regards dispensation of controlled substances to alleviate pain, and the little butterfly of flaws in the heart of the health insurance system, which requires simply that participants have no health or financial problems, because all others will pay cash. This would be the pain in the ass, or the variation of the pain at the pump that connects us all in the spiritual universe.Cutting red tape of complexity.

Joke about Girls

Two girls were sitting on a wall playing with their Barbie Dolls.

Bobby walked by and saw them. “Toss me one of those dolls and we can play catch,” he offered.

“I don’t think so,” said Janie. “We don’t throw our good dolls.”

Bobby took off.

Pretty soon, Kevin came up, saw the girls, and said, “Let’s use those dolls to squish bugs. That would be fun.”

“Ew! I don’t think so,” said Sally. “We don’t use our good dolls for bugs.”

Kevin went home.

Along came a third boy, Marvin. “Can I play?” asked Marvin.

“Only if you have a Ken doll,” said Sally.

“Come on. I have a pencil, I can bounce it up and down, and call it Needle-Dick, and make it talk, and blow stinkers."

“That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard,” said Sally.

“Sally’s right. That is a dumb idea. Okay, you can play, but you have to call him Ken,” said Janie.


A Very Special Beltway Christmas

It was approaching Christmas and Senate and House Republicans were growing sorry that the putrid egg of the Tea Party had ever been hatched. The Republican popularity in the polls was at an all time low, and the people were praying for a Communist Party takeover, or to be overrun by extraneous Chinese people, or for a leader who could see that there might be a market in prairie dogs as pets, or in trashing the environment.

Approval had been issued to sell horse meat, because the people were literally starving. Half the population was daily engaged in reinforcing the position of Wal-Mart as the department store of choice, and the well known clothing designers were faced with simply serving the fatuous rich their expensive designer lines, whereas they could have making money in sheets and rack retail. Fashion was in the toilet, and no one seemed able to think past tights and mini-skirts for women. Two for one had become three for one for men’s garments. Ties were the only signal that a guy was bringing home the bacon.

The Tea Party Congress was banking on the idea that their bullying and “if you don’t give me my way, I’ll piss on the floor” tactics were actually well-respected, but the results just weren’t showing up in the polls. The new Representatives, some with cute outfits, and some with pastel ties, were feeling perky. They were giving the Republican Party just what their basest constituents desired. They had thrown a wrench into government, halted the wheels of progress, and had proven true the auspicious predictions which had been written into their high school year books.

As Americans’ homes were being yanked out from under them, often times fraudulently, the Tea Party Activists were having a really good time with their harvest of “I’m a Hard Ass, Are You?” Though the least religious among the American citizenry were praying for a well conceived Mafia Project or at the least a plague of boils to overtake the new Congress members, the most zealous Christians were in raptures over the coming deaths by starvation and exposure that were surely about to overtake the soon to be homeless, mainly because it would serve to underscore the importance of religion.

There was a movement afoot, which joined the Religious Right with the Progressive Far Left, to encourage the Congressional Tea Party membership to go ahead and evolve into a band of Self-Flagellants to celebrate their spiritual victory. Unfortunately, no one, try as they might, could convince the new Tea Party members to stop masturbating long enough to inflict each other with the lash of scorn. In the meantime, Cry Baby Boehner had born so much suffering of fools that he couldn’t even erupt in his usual tear-stained loss of composure. Instead his heart had been hardened like a golf ball.

In the wings, Representative Eric Cantor sharpened his story telling skills. He was confident Tea Party Idealists would learn to behave, once lulled to docility by re-election money, with which he planned to massage their larded asses. Until his leap to the next power rung, he could bide his time at home, telling his kids that Santa was just a Bolsheviki, that all the rich American boot-strappers owed their fortunes to one but themselves. That a doctor owed nothing to his patients, an executive nothing to his work force, a lawyer nothing to his clients, a builder nothing to his carpenters, a banker nothing to the community.

Instead of such delectable sugar plums, Dr. Paul was dreaming of creating massive unemployment in Washington by the dismantling of several Government Agencies. To his credit, he vowed not to spare Virginia, but would take a crack at the military industrial complex as well. He believed that a weaker, poorer United States of America, one that stopped taking those annoying international responsibilities quite so seriously, would ultimately benefit those with money. The rich could get along in the business of luxuriating, fingering their Blackberries and cutting calories with caviar, without any inconvenient concerns that might act as mood depressants. One had to think of that sort of thing, what with the thirty year olds dying because they had no insurance. The diabolical beauty of destroyed educational systems and surging homelessness that had arrived with Holy Jesus Saintly Saint Ronald Reagan was but evidence of the divine Republican will.

How the Tea Party Leveled the Playing Field with China

 Mrs. Applesternum was about to depart the supermarket, in the small southern town where she was born. It was a town off the 495 Beltway which circles the Capitol. Her cart was laden with bags of meat, cheese, and olives because she was planning a gala for Tea Party supporters, and she was certain the big bucks were going to roll in again.

Along came Ms McGill and her three children, Jesus Bob, Mollycoddle, and Forna Kate.

“There you, Mrs. Applesternum, I heard about the fund raising event, and I was wondering if you might have work for one of us,” said Ms. McGill. “You know, like last year when you let Jesus Bob be your doormat.”

“We’ve since paved from the driveway to the front porch. We won’t need Jesus Bob. But what is that that little Forna Kate is carrying in her arms? Did she get a puppy? I love animals.”

“Why that’s not a puppy. That’s her tumor. Since we don’t have health care, there’s not much to be done about it.”

“Well you could always take her to the doctor.”

“I could take her to one of your Tea Party doctors. Do you think someone might be willing to treat her?”

“I don’t think so, Honey. These are men of principle.”

“My husband, Cortaid, thinks they’ve substituted debt for Jews.”

“That’s a hard thing to say. We have a big debt. I have to think of my own grandchildren and their future and their children’s future.”

“I didn’t even know you had any, Mrs. Applesternum.”

“They’re in private school in Switzerland.”

“My kids used to love public school; that is, when we still had it.”

“Those public ideas were costly and overrated. Things have changed now.”

“I’ll say they have. Since the public sewer system broke down and the Koch Boy’s toilet paper rose sky high, I’ve had to wipe my ass with my Masters Degree.”


Nine Ways to Know if Granny is Mean

1. Once rammed a buttonhook up your nostril.

A button hook has a graspable handle, and was once used to wrap an elastic loop around a shoe button, back when a shoe looked more like a soft boot. Shoes once featured a ridiculous number of buttons, anywhere between fifteen and forty. Because people never exercised, it was impossible for them to bend over and button a shoe without some kind of aid. At that time women had very tiny feet, four to five inches in length, and as in China , their feet remained small owing to this particular form of wrapping, and also, of course, to a steady diet of coal pellets, buckeyes, and horehound drops

2. Slaps your dog.

Elder cruelty toward animals has been widely documented, which is why God has made old people weak, so when they go to slap your dog, it doesn’t hurt as much. This same mystifying logic of the Creator is in effect with nuns, but nuns have learned to compensate with rulers. However, no one has done the much needed research on why old nuns have such waxy, white faces, which when you think of it is more frightening.

3. Bakes cookies and eats them herself.

There is no known instance of a genuine “granny” preparing something so normal as chocolate chip cookies. Instead, look for sand tarts or strange, rock hard anise biscuits. Other habits, such as wadding tissue and jamming it up the sleeve or down into the bodice, setting pin curls with stale beer, and eating milk-drowned, leftover popcorn for breakfast, meet with the very definition of grumbling, the single raised eyebrow scowl, and of course, the dithering repetitions, to define the genre.

4. Often reminds your father that he “slipped the diaphragm”.

It’s a grandmother’s duty to maintain family traditions, even those the family may attempt to laughingly dispatch with bourbon, perkies, or Nyquil. For example, take the sacred relationship between mother and son. What else can produce the whining, snarling, outrage of his accusation or the pained, ejaculatory tremolo of her shock? Nothing can, except perhaps, accidentally chopping off a foot or taking a well stroked golf ball to the temple. With grandma every holiday offers a variation on “The Pieta,” and as with the piñata, is it a mystery that people think to celebrate with a stout stick?

5. Passes gas during church services.

Places where digestive gases should never be released include all of them on this gay, blue marble we call earth, but closed spaces where it may prove impolite and sometimes impossible to make a quick exit, and where someone sees fit to make an exploratory arpeggio, are particularly vulnerable. Fortunately for them, most old people are hard of hearing, and statistics show that fewer than one out of forty nine are aware of these abrupt occurrences. One would think scientists could devise a meter which could be strapped to the wrist, which would reveal evidence of emissions, or even better the magnitude of the quake on its way.

6. Frequently interrupts people trying to compliment you.

Interruptions are a special category. First, we know that grandmother is querulous, which loosely translated means that she asks a question, and when you, stammering, provide some kind of stupid answer, she interrupts you again with another question. Suffice to say, it’s annoying to be picked off in the middle of a story, by a friend, let alone an old broad that mutters huh under her breath, and waddles like a duck that shit its pants. But face it, we all know people who begin every single God-blessed sentence with and, and talk really, really slowly. And those people are much worse. The thing is, once Great Granny’s bad behavior is underway, she expects you to just walk out on her nelly ass without any more ceremony. It’s her way of telling you that if you don’t want to discuss the Big War or the Depression, you should keep your fat face focused on the computer.

7. Tuneless humming.

Psychological studies reveal a definitive correlation between grandmothers who exhibit this peculiar habit, freaking humming without having any particular tune in mind, and its corollary, padding mindlessly up the back stairs, to the second floor john, with a tiny kitten in hand, and a so called “intent to flush.” So don’t whimper when these situations arise, without first acknowledging that you got your heads up here. Also if you notice that a kitten is missing, always check the refrigerator, because old loony tunes might have socked it in there when she was going for a beer.

8. Hugs with her fist.

Fortunately this habit, like ululating, is limited to foreign born grandmothers, in the main. But occasionally Grannies born and raised in Minnesota , whose lives railroaded them into positions of wealth and power, exhibit this trait, and simultaneously, the old stick straight up the ass trait. Having had a great deal of breathtakingly, bad behavior flung in her direction, often causes a Granny, even a good- hearted Granny, to become permanently appalled. Mideastern Grannies, who ululate and fling themselves against the walls and fuck up the coffee table, act this way because of those black bags they live inside, and because of the intense, internal shrieking that never stops. “Stands with a fist” was the name of the woman who fluffed her hair in Dances with Wolves.

9. Insists that you begin a stamp collection.

Enough said. But allow me to elaborate. A grandmother is by definition someone who wants to buy you a coloring book when you want a Blackberry. When you bare your midriff, granny thinks you’ve outgrown your shirt, and looks for a classic cardigan in the same color. She reminds you that skimpy things look cheap, and that some styles never go out of fashion, which you know, is bunch of crap. The thing is; she may want to discuss the stamp collection, about which you care not one hoot, while you are trying to entertain friends. Worse, she may want to meet your friends, to whom she will address careful, genteel remarks, like “What does your father do?” Afterward your friend may sit on the couch, feel a lump, and discover that Granny has done her pack rat thing, and stored a Tupperware of ancient green Jello under the pillow.

A Special and Thoughtful Meditation for Callista Gingrich:

Regarding things to do with your hair

Try washing it, as opposed to frying

Incinerate your can of hairspray.

Other options:

Buy yourself a tee-shirt that reads Helmet Head.

Quit ironing it.

Lay off the whale oil.

While at the beach, refrain from crawling into a conch shell.

Admit to being a homey of the planet Xerbgoo.

Hire a queer shampoo girl to wash the Republican out of it.

Find a hairdresser under the age of sixty, unless you wish to continue to be perceived as Heidi of the Third Reich, the German dominatrix.

Add some roughage to your diet.

Think about this:

If a stone is tossed into the water and there are no ripples, is it water?

Know that there is no woman alive who could get away with that hair, with the possible but sole exception of Lady Gaga.

The Kitchen Sink

 Many unkind remarks are made about the difficult aspects of women. It’s a favorite fodder for jokers and comedians, but the difficult behaviors of men are left to the cutting room floor or relegated to chicken feed in the confines of the hen house.

 Women occasionally make a remark to one another and chuckle, but this is becoming less and less popular as a pastime, which is a shame.

It’s especially a shame, when you have a husband who is a pouter, who is never happy unless he has created a rift that can be allowed to fester.

In general men have empty minds. Very little thought is ceded to the significance of what is said and done. That is, until that special moment arrives, in which the smallest incident can be magnified several times its size.

 I can be mid stream in an activity like taking out the collected string bean strings, corn kernels, and dog food particles from the sink catch when suddenly the local genius has an idea. By this time, I am on to the second activity, snipping the string and paper from a couple of frozen chops, and heading back into the wilderness of the freezer for a misplaced soup bone, when all of a sudden wham, the attack is on.

“You left paper and string in the sink.”

“I’m not going to duck and dive twice, I’m looking for the soup bone right now. I’ll throw that chops paper out with the soup bone wrapping. Do you under stand that?"

“You always throw paper in the sink.”

“No I don’t always throw paper in the sink, and I intend to throw that paper out right away, because now I have found the soup bone.

“Look here is the paper wrapping from the soup bone. I don’t want to have to open the cupboard door, reach down and tuck something into the basket twice. Can you understand that? It’s not effective. It’s a matter of efficacy. Do you get that?”

“No,” and then of course he walks away.

He lies down in the bed and suffers.

I go and find him. “I ended up doing your dishes,” I say.

“Big deal!” he says.

“Right,” I say. “Just like big deal, there’s paper in the sink.

“No, you interfere with my ability to use the sink.”

“You have very little relationship with the sink,” I parry. “Perhaps a relationship so minor, you shouldn’t worry about it.”

“You always leave paper in the sink.”

“You’re too critical. I don’t always leave paper in the sink. If you had a dollar for every time I left paper in the sink…you might have five lousy dollars. Let me know the next time I leave paper in the sink. We’ll look at this in the cold light of realism."

Later, I add, “You make a big deal over nothing.”

“I didn’t make the big deal, you did,” he insists.

I exit and fifteen minutes later, return with some homemade soup. “If you make up with me, I’ll give you some soup,” I tell him.


“Alright, you don’t have to make up with me. I’ll give you some soup, because it’s really good and I want you to have some.”


“Are you sure? It’s pretty good.”

“No, leave me alone.”

He leaves the house for a while, probably to pay a visit to the local Taco Bell, and then comes back.

“Do you want to walk the dogs,” I ask.

No answer.

I put on some warm shoes.

When I go outside, I find the gate is already open. He’s walking the dogs, but they scatter and run toward me. I walk over to him, but he walks past me and then returns to the house.

When my husband comes around again, I don’t speak to him. There’s no use.

In a little while, he feels like communicating again: “Do you want the radio on?” he asks.

“Why, do you want to take the radio somewhere?” I ask.

“No I wanted to watch television, but if you want the radio on I’ll watch it in the den.”

“You better watch it in the den.” I advise him.

What I really mean is, “You’ve been too difficult, and I don’t have any more patience with you; so this time I want you to go away and think about what an asshole you are.

Grocery Shopping

Two creatures of habit, a husband and wife were headed to the grocery store.

“Did you remember the list that was on the table?” asked the wife.

“I thought you put it in your purse,” said the husband.

They drove on for another five minutes in silence.
“Great,” said the wife. “Now we have no idea what we need and we’re going to be just blindly spending money we don’t have.”

“Surely you can remember some of the things on the list?” said the harried husband.

They drove on for another five minutes in silence.

“It doesn’t matter what I remember. We’re still going to forget something, and then we’ll have to make another special trip to go out and get it,” said the wife, and she was beginning to sound exasperated.

“I have an idea,” said the husband. “What ever we forget, we’ll just do without. Then we won’t have to make a special trip, plus we’ll save money.”

“Great,” she said. “I’ve already forgotten the beer and chips.”

The Speaker

A fat man was walking down the street with a large package, and suddenly he tripped. The package flew out of his arms and landed in a puddle. Several people ran to retrieve it, but it was an elderly gentleman with a cane, who proved to be successful. He pulled the package out of the muddy water, badly soiling his clothes.

Dripping wet, grimy with mud, and leaning on his cane, he limped up to the fat fellow who had dropped it and said, “I hope that what ever is in here is worth the trouble I just went to.” He handed the package to the fat guy.

“I don’t know whether it was worth it or not. It was worth it to me. It’s a brand new speaker for my stereo. I just hope it didn’t get muddy,” said the fat guy.

“Why don’t you open the package up and see,” suggested a woman, calling out from the small crowd that was gathering.

The fat man looked to the left and to the right, and then waddled up the street to a bench that was outside a store front, and at last sat down. Slowly he began to open the package peeking around the paper to see if his stereo speaker was still intact.

The elderly gentleman arched and bucked his way over to the bench. His stiff legs were unwieldy, and his cane didn’t seem to be of much help. Standing over the fat man he berated him in a loud voice. “You know, young fellow, you didn’t even thank me for the favor I just did. You walked off and said nothing.”

“Well, I had to see if my new stereo speaker was all right first. You can’t blame me for that,” said the fat man, and his pudgy fingers kept on working at the paper, peeling layer by layer back.

Suddenly the exasperated elder placed his hand on the store front wall in order to steady himself; and then cracked the fat man right across his back with the cane.

“Jesus Christ,” yelped the fat man “why did you do that?”

“I just wanted to see if my cane was still sturdy. You can’t blame me for that either. But now that I know for sure, I’m really sorry for any inconvenience I’ve caused you,” said the elderly man.