Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Where I work is a pretty cool place when it comes to management taking care of the rank and file. It's no Google but they do a nice job of giving out occassional unscheduled perks. One of those perks is a lady who comes by once a month or so and gives free chair massages (see photo to the right). She came today and I got one. It was nice but I'm questioning whether or not I'm a "massage guy" because I don't seem to be very good at it. For one thing, she had to keep telling me to relax. Why should a person need to be told...repeatedly...to relax while receiving a massage? Apparently, I keep hunching my shoulders up reflexively. She even asked me at one point, "Who are you going to fight? Why do you keep doing that?" I told her I have to keep my shoulders in good shape so I can shrug them when somebody asks me one of the many questions I don't know the answer to. She said, "you know, it takes a lot more effort to do that than just sit here and relax". I guess maybe for me, being told to relax is kind of like somebody telling a person not to think about elephants; the harder one tries, the less likely one is to succeed.
Besides, I know I was at least a little bit relaxed because I caught myself drooling at least twice. So on a sliding scale that measures levels of relaxation, if Hunched-Up Shoulders is 1 and Farting Like Nobody Else Is In The Room is 10, I'd have to say that drooling...TWICE!...on the chair should register as a solid 4. But that didn't last because even though there was a layer of paper towels between my face and the massage chair, now I had to be all self-conscious about controlling myself enough to not leave a snail trail of saliva that led to a small spreading puddle on the floor so that whichever co-worker followed me didn't inadvertantly slip in it and recoil in horror, yell "What the hell is that?!?", ultimately resulting in me being known as "Ol' Drooly" (or worse) around the office, which undoubtedly made me tighten up and hunch my shoulders.
But it felt good and I did enjoy the experience. I returned to work and one of the women I work with told me I'd better drink plenty of water now. I asked why and she told me that massage works acids and various toxens out of your muscles and if you don't flush them out of, they re-settle into new areas of your body and it hurts. I was appalled at this. "Do you realize how long it's taken to collect these toxens, how many late nights, how much hard work I've invested in amassing them?", I asked her. Now I'm supposed to just flush them out and start over? I told her to "keep your hands off my body! It's an acidic toxen, not a choice you heathen."
Anyway, I don't think massage works, at least for me. Because now my shoulders really hurt for some reason.

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