Thank you to my dear friend Jim for letting me post this gem. I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed it.
DEAR DIARY: Sunday, July 27, 2014 “A man’s most prized possession”
Yesterday I posted the following on Facebook: “Tip of the day. Careful where you apply Icy Hot.” I now put the tale to pen, confident that my diary is always under lock and key.
[Tangent: Anyone that argues what the male, from toddler to full grown man, views as their most prized possession, hasn’t been around a male toddler and seen their unashamed fascination with their anatomy (sometimes to the embarrassment of their parents). And if a man ever denies it, he is just out right lying. For me, it has played a part in having three wonderful daughters, been the source of pleasure, poor judgment, and on at least several occasions in my lifetime, particularly in junior high, unscheduled mind-of-its-own embarrassment.]
My incident with the Icy Hot (similar to Ben-Gay…is that still around?) wasn’t the first brush with disaster for my prized possession in my life.
As a youth growing up in Ohio, we would leave the house at sunrise and not return until sunset, exploring miles of woods, creeks and old barns all summer long.
[Tangent: I am tired of reading posts from my generation on Facebook saying how THEY didn’t spend their lives indoors playing video games, but would be outside experiencing life. It is usually said with a level of superiority over the current younger generation. Guess what? We didn’t because they didn’t exist! Don’t kid yourself, everyone of us would be inside playing the video games of today if they were any good back then. If you want your kids to go outside more, just limit their game time, but don’t deceive yourself with a false sense of superiority. We just didn’t have the same distractions. It wasn’t better values you held as a youth.]
One such occasion resulted in urinating in the woods, shortly after apparently touching poison ivy. Let me just say that Sunday in church resulted in huge embarrassment for my parents as I sat in the pew itching through corduroy dress pants, appearing to all others, to show, even for a preteen, an unnatural fascination with my prized possession. That was not a comfortable week in my life.
The second brush with disaster was the decision to pee on an electric fence (a result of a dare from a neighbor) one summer afternoon. Not a wise choice I made that day.
And of course there have been several close calls with zippers through the years.
However, the Icy Hot incident began innocently enough. I have been suffering from lower back pain for several days. In desperation, I found an old jar of Icy Hot in a medicine cabinet. My intention was to self-apply it to my lower back and upper buttocks at my hip joints, both of which were extremely sore from muscular pain.
With my boxers lowered and my left hand holding up my t-shirt, I used my free hand to scoop out a glob of the Icy Hot, reach around, and apply it. I’m sure it wasn’t a dignified sight, but neither was my old man walk the last few days from the back pain, so it was well worth it. Besides, I was alone. And, no one will ever know of this thanks to my crack diary security.
What happened next was even less dignified and graceful. The twisting required to apply the paste caused a sudden back spasm that would have dropped me to one knee. However, with my boxers around my knees and off balance holding my shirt up with my free hand and twisting with a bad back, I went down in a crumpled mess.
The pain to my back was excruciating. So much so that I loudly dropped the F-Bomb.
[Tangent: Remember in a Christmas Story when Ralph drops the F-Bomb? His mother asks where he learned the word, and he wants to tell her that he heard his dad say it on numerous occasions. But because of fear for admitting that, he blames the school bully (who is remotely punished when his mom calls the bully’s mom). Sadly, at moments of stubbed toes and severe pain, I have let it slip around my kids on several occasions.]
From outside the room, I hear third-of-three daughter call out, “are you okay, Dad?” with genuine concern, since I only use the F-bomb at times of severe pain.
I promptly thanked her for checking and said that I was. And for that brief moment I was. But, if you have ever used Icy Hot, you know there is a delay.
Somehow, mid mangled fall, I had tried to pull my boxers up from around my knees to aid in balance with the hand that, you guessed it, was covered in Icy Hot paste. Sadly as the boxers came up just as my fall completed, my hand made contact with the entire area of my prized possession.
And for a very brief moment, I thought all would be okay. Until the medicine began to do what it was designed for. It started with a slow burn, reaching a crescendo of heat shortly after. This time, I let three F-Bombs in a row fly, in very rapid succession, not even having the mental capacity to question the poor parental skills I was showing.
So, diary, that is why I shared my humorous warning on Facebook yesterday.
P.S. Don’t take yourselves so seriously in this life and learn to laugh at the things we are faced with every day. And don’t forget to write for fun every once in a while. I was inspired to write this by Mike Rowe’s (of Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch fame) tales on his Facebook page, including an intestinal disaster while painting the Golden Gate bridge. Laugh at life, laugh at yourselves. And be careful where you apply Icy Hot.