A pain in the ...
Friday, July 25, 2008
Yesterday at the gym a friend showed me a magazine article that said one of my favored leg exercises (weighted lunges) was bad for your back. Or maybe it was rotator cuffs. Or maybe the spine. I can't remember for sure. At any rate, if this is true it means I'm in deep trouble. Lunges, which help tone the thighs and, more importantly, the buttocks, are critical for my day-to-day happiness. Let me explain.
I have no ass. Okay, so I do have an ass, but my butt cheeks could be confused with those of a droopy, 85-year-old man. You see, my two butt bones, or whatever those things are called, have almost direct contact with any hard surface when I sit because I have no natural padding. The same gene pool that gave me this incredible brain and handsome face also neglected to give me butt fat. As a result, I can't sit for long without developing what my friend Leah has since named butt disease. Those critical lunges help build a layer of muscle that provides me at least a small amount of padding.
My wife thought I was exaggerating about my butt disease until I drove one of our cars from New York to Minnesota during a move. It was a most painful trip, stopping only for gas. The next day, I proudly dropped my drawers and underwear, turned my backside to my wife and exclaimed, "See!? See?! Do you believe me now? Butt disease! Look!'' And I pointed to my peach-sized bruises, one in the middle of each cheek. It looked as if I had stood on home plate, my back to the world's fastest pitcher, and yelled, "Okay! Give me one right HERE! And over here on this side, too!" So you can see: If I don't do my lunges twice a week I will spend countless hours shifting in my seat, muttering under my breath. It even affects my sleep.
Stop my lunges? Why? How can I believe the truth of this new medical fact? How many times in the past 50 years have we been told one cast-in-concrete medical fact, only to have them claim the exact opposite a few years or decades later? Remember when they said smoking was good for you? That it helped fight off colds? And what about crib death? The nurse at the hospital told us with great earnestness 17 years ago, "Do NOT let this newborn sleep on her back because she can choke on her own vomit and die." Yeah, but, lo and behold, that same nurse is saying this today: "Do NOT let this newborn sleep on her stomach because she will smother herself on the mattress and die."
There are plenty others: Red wine is bad for you. NO! Wait a minute, it's GOOD for you.
Always use antibacterial soap because it helps keep you healthy. …. NO! Wait! Don't use antibacterial soap; you are killing the beneficial bacteria your body needs, and thus jeopardizing your immune system. You will DIE if you use too much Purel.
I suddenly felt challenged to come up with a list of medical/safety realities that are unequivocally, permanently true:
Do not put your hand down the garbage disposal while it is running. This will result in severe injury to both skin and bones. (I saw this once in a movie, in which an intruder wanted to torture the husband of the house.)
Do not eat broken glass.
Do not dress in a burka or turban and drive through Idaho on holiday.
Do not spray Lysol into your eyes to combat infection.
Do not say to your wife or daughter, "That dress makes you look fat."
Can you think of any others? Share them with us.