by Pseud O'Nym

When a man you’ve never met before invites you on to a couch, asks you to take your top off, then proceeds to stand behind you whilst warming up some lubricant in his hands are you:

a) In a bathhouse in San Francisco in the mid 1970’s? or are you,

2   b) In a banned ‘Impulse’ advert?


3 c) Are you getting physiotherapy?


It was to my utmost disappointment that it was c) and not a) because this experience of physiotherapy was rather like anal sex; enjoyable to begin with but all too soon it becomes a pain in the rse. I had gone to see a muscular skeletal physiotherapist in the hope that it might provide me with some much needed relief from my trapped nerve. It gave me no reduction whatsoever when he observed that I’d one of the worst cases of trapped nerve root pain he’d ever seen. Because a few minutes earlier he’d asked me to rate my pain on a scale of one to ten. This brought to mind the moment in the day to day when discussing a wholly fictitious event Spartacus Mills was asked by the incomparable Chris Morris if he could sum up a constitutional crisis in a word. When Spartacus replies in the negative Morris asked him if he could sum it up in a sound?



As I’ve noted in my blog last week trying to describe the pain one feels to another person makes about as much sense as trying to explain the properties of water to a chimpanzee! I said that given that I’ve got an remarkably high pain threshold, (I once continued playing tennis with a fractured wrist.),  our understanding of what a six out of ten on his wholly fallacious rating scheme was unlikely to correspond with mine. Nor did I tell him that he was causing my irritation threshold to plummet rapidly

Neither did I judge it my best interests to share with him my screaming insight that physiotherapists are nothing more than sadists with qualifications. This was occasioned by the physiotherapist prodding my upper left shoulder back with all gingerness of someone searching for landmines by hand. So when in reply to a “Does it hurt when I press here?” I replied quite immediately and volubly that it did one might have thought he would have avoided repeating the movement that had caused me so much pain.

But no!


Instead, he repeatedly and with some choice words of “I know this must really hurt!”, he continued inflicting pain upon me and I thought that only a sadist would not only inflict pain upon someone but tell them whilst they were doing it that it must really hurt! This continued in a variety of interesting positions until the session was near an end. I thought my ordeal was over. How wrong I was! Did I want to be taped up or have acupuncture?

Given that I consider acupuncture to be nothing more than a highly effective way of divorcing the gullible from their money I replied in the negative. However, given my speech impediment he just heard “No”. The nuances of my acerbic wit being lost on him. Mind you he was Australian so…

I plumped for the taping option although I wasn’t quite sure what it entailed. That naivety was as short-lived as a chocolate éclair at a health farm.           All too soon I understood that taping involved my left arm and my left shoulder blade being taped up in a way that prevented the muscles on my left side exacerbating or contributing to any movement that might be ill advised. In other words I looked as if I was awaiting collection by DHL! Or had been involved in some vanilla S&M. Suffice to say I felt like pants!

A bit of a heavy handed segue I know. But we’ve all been there; the sudden realisation that in a couple of hours you’ll be undressing in front of a complete stranger and that you’ll need some clean underwear on. You look in your underwear drawer and you see only various shades of off-white staring back at you. In my drawer there is a pair of thermal long johns which not only are new they also are as white as snow on a country field, whereas my pants are as white as snow by the roadsides! One thinks of excuses to explain your rather cavalier attitude to underwear hygiene but you console yourself that at least your pants don’t have any skid marks. Then you realise that if that the best you can muster as a defence is “At least they don’t have skid marks!” then one has indeed sunk to a new low!

Nonetheless, despite all of the above I’m seeing him again next Tuesday for more of the same, being from the school of ‘If it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t doing you any good’ Think about it. When did you last have a cough medicine you would drink for pleasure?

Aside, that is from NyQuil…