When I was a young Fat Boy, I believed I was Indestructible. No matter what I did, I never managed to break any bones. I amassed a collection of scars but broke no bones.
During those tender young years, I learned some very important lessons. First, Fat floats. Fall into water, float down stream. Fat bounces. Fall out of a tree (especially one that is forbidden), bounce three times before going still. Fat does not fly. Fall out of the same tree and go straight down until hitting the ground and bouncing. But bouncing and bruising are better than breaking bones.
Despite being such a smart Fat Boy, I was prone to stupid ideas that led to new scars. The skating pond I created on the kitchen floor was fun until I nearly chopped my foot off on the in-floor heater grate. That stunt landed me in the ER with two new scars and a bout of gangrene.
Heads covered with ugly knit hats look less stupid when they are outdoors than those same heads look when they subsequently have to wear those same ugly hats indoors. The best way to learn that lesson is to listen when your adults tell you to wear your hat unless you want to get frostbite. Silly adults, I didn’t know anybody who had ever gotten frostbite from not wearing an ugly knit hat. Funny how all my friends, that year, were suddenly able to say just the opposite – they all knew this one kid who had gotten frostbite for refusing to wear his ugly hat outdoors. To this day, my ears still remind me to put on a warm hat on cold days or listen to them freeze up again.
One would think that after such a Reckless Youth I would one day wise up and tow the line. Seems I still needed some growing up before that sort of smarts settled into my head. Getting my driver’s license provided me with new opportunities to add scars to my life. I managed to wreck three cars in three years – no personal injuries, no deaths, just destroyed cars. Auto insurance rates rose and my own personal savings and earnings were quickly depleted buying replacement cars. After three, I stopped driving for a long while (at least driving cars that I personally owned).
I don’t recall any scar-generating episodes during my Kollege Daze back at my Alma Mater – Fat U. Though a few Brain Cells did have to take one for the Gipper during those Kollege Parties they attended. Those long lost Brain Cells were always leading the rest of my Innocent Self into places serving alcohol – Frat Parties, Dorm Parties, my own Room. Sheesh! What’s a Fat Guy to do when his own Brain Cells constantly lead him astray?
Finally, I arrived at Adulthood. A job, a wife, a mortgage and more debt than Ma Fat and I could imagine curbed my appetite for reckless living. I slowed down. I thought through my actions in advance. I became a responsible member of Fat Society. I became a good Fat Man.
So, why is it that Adulthood brought a boatload of new scars? These scars were the result of Medical Conditions caused by Adult Living – high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, excess Fat, joint aches and pains, sore muscles, and so much more. Blessedly, no broken bones have joined the party, yet.
This morning, I headed directly to the local Fat Therapist to have my right shoulder, neck, back and left shoulder checked (in that order). My Designated Therapist was Tzarina Pokovich. She was tall and muscular, built like an Iron Curtain. Her speech was heavily accented by the speech patterns of her Mother Fatsia.
“Goot morning, Fat Man. I see you are having ze pains in ze neck und back und shoulders. I vould like to examine you in my Examination and Treatment Room. Follow me.”
We stepped into a small, windowless room. A dirty looking mattress was laying on a table in the middle of the room. Strange looking implements were arrayed along the walls. Tzarina closed the door, firmly, behind us. She pointed to the mattress and gestured for me to sit down on it. For a moment I wondered if I would have been better off awaiting the return of the Spanish Inquisition with all of its Instruments of Mass Interrogation.
“Zo, let us begin mit ze basic range of motion evaluation. I vill try several tings und you vill rate them on a scale of 1 to 10. One is it feels good. Ten is it hurts like… if you know vhat I mean.”
Tzarina probed my neck, back, spine, both shoulders, my sides and my head, with her steely fingers. Some pokes were borderline 10s. Most were in the 2-3 range. Then she had me lie on my back while she manipulated my stiff muscles with a series of new pokes and prods. The whole while, Tzarina spoke barely a word. She was intently focused on Therapeutically Fondling my Flab.
“Und now I must go to next patient. My Associate, All Icy, vill come in and pack you in heating pads and connect you to our Electro Stim Equipment. I vill check back vith you at the end to see how you fared. Zen I vill assign you homework to work on until our next meeting.”
Out went Tzarina. She was soon replaced by a statuesque Eastern EuroFat woman, named All Icy. Like Tzarina, All Icy was very matter of fact and went straight to business. She soon had me lying on my back on a collection of heating pads. One ran down my spine. Another was wrapped around my shoulder. A final pad was wrapped around my neck and face.
I was feeling comfortably cozy, all bundled up in those heating pads. I had completely forgotten the electrodes strategically positioned about my back, neck and shoulders.
“Comfortable? Good. Now, I will activate the Stim Machine. Pulses of electricity will soon begin coursing through your body. I will adjust the Machine until you say the sensation is a nine on the sensitivity chart.”
Zap! The electricity began its rhythmic pulsing. I was able to tolerate a fairly substantial load of volts before crying out, “Nine!” Ms. Icy set the Stim Box on timer mode, dimmed the lights, closed the door and went away to tend to other patients. Zap!
In the dim light, I was able to envision the Spanish Inquisitors working in a similar room extracting data from their “patients.” Zap! Left alone with my thoughts is rarely a good place for me. Oh, the Thoughts I thought and the Images I imagined. Zap!
If you have been following me long enough, you will have noticed that I usually drift off to sleep at times like this. Zap! And today was no different. Zap! Before my mind could wander too far, Tzarina was back, turning on the lights and turning off the Stim Box.
“Zo, how you feeling?”
Actually, I felt relaxed. The tension in my various stressed muscles seemed to be mitigated for the moment. I was able to move my arms in ways that had been painful when I arrived in Tzarina’s care. I was happy with the results.
Tzarina removed the electrodes from my back, had me put on my shirt, and bade me meet her at the front desk to schedule our next session.
Yes, the Spanish Inquisition Rides Again. Today, we call it Physical Therapy! Oh, do be careful of my shoulder, it’s beginning to hurt again. Zap!