Listeners, we need to talk about the human back.
It’s great, isn’t it? Keeping us upright, graciously permitting us to bend, slouch, maybe do a cheeky side-lunge at whim. Holding us together like scaffolding, preventing us from simply flopping over like a wet toilet roll. What a fantastic thing it is. Good old back.
Except sometimes it can be a right dick.
I woke up the other day after a comfortable night in my cosy bed, on my solid back-friendly mattress, and upon attempting to sit up – something I do almost every morning with relative ease – I realised my back had other ideas.
After running through the possible causes of this sudden excruciating pain and inability to move (nocturnal acrobats; a violent attack by a moth; a vengeful imposter hiding inside my mattress and repeatedly punching me in the back every hour on the hour), I decided it was clear that my back was simply being a dick.
There is often no logical reason why one’s back decides to be a dick. The back likes to portray itself as the marine of the human skeleton, but actually it’s a fragile, sly little worm that frankly sometimes just mucks about and displays a very lacklustre approach to its ONE JOB.
Examples of the human back being a dick
Example 1: My dad once hung up his dressing gown, and his back was a dick about it.
Example 2: I once put on a dress, and my back was a dick about it.
Example 3: My friend once walked up the stairs, and his back was a dick about it.
The result of our backs being dicks is that everyday activities take on a whole new dimension of pain, difficulty and humiliation.
Brushing one’s teeth becomes a sorry scene of gargling foaming toothpaste down one’s chest because one cannot bend forward to spit in the sink.
Locking one’s front door becomes a demonstration of extroadinary and unsightly contortion.
Standing for any length of time is simply a big fat bastard.
WHY?? What have we done to deserve such cruel treatment? What does it want from us – to ask permission to use it?? Oh, excuse me Back, but would you mind if I leant forward to retrieve my bottle of water to prevent me from dying of thirst? Is it okay if I crouch down to rescue this baby starling that has become trapped in a discarded Coke can? Would it be terribly inconvenient if I twisted slightly to the right so that I could WIPE MY OWN ARSE???
No. Our backs want us to suffer. They want us to smother them in Deep Heat or Tiger Balm or other astoundingly potent unguents that render us a pest to society’s collective nose, and they want us to become slaves to the remedial back exercise, lying flat on our backs with our knees hugged into our chests at every available humiliating opportunity.
I mean, I’d have made this post longer if my back wasn’t being a dick and making me sit at my desk like this: