Thursday, February 01, 2007

A plague on both your houses

For my upcoming 32nd birthday, my body decided to celebrate by giving me the gift of a pinched nerve in my back. After a trip to the doctor today, I got to test out our brand new health-care plan at work and head off to the drugstore.

Keep in mind, my back is killing me, but really only when I sit. Which makes my 45-60 minute (each way) commute something of hell on Earth. Not to mention the fact that, basically, I sit all day at work, too.

So when not standing or lying down, I'm in pain. Of course, I also have the gift of painkillers.

But while my doctor recommended a heating pad for nighttime use, she suggested those medicated back patches for the office, where a heating pad for my lower back might be impractical.

That brings me to my post:

An open, and strongly worded, letter to Chattem, Inc., the makers of the IcyHot XL Extra Strength Medicated Patch.

Dear Mr. Icy and/or Mr. Hot:

A plague on both your houses. My doctor suggested I wear a back patch to alleviate the pain from muscle spasms related to a bit of a pinched nerve in my back. I made the mistake of purchasing your product.

I thought you were a name I could trust, based on your various athletic balms, which I have used in my younger, more sporting days. Boy, was I wrong.

Thank goodness there was a buy-one-get-one-free sale on your XL Extra Strength Medicated Patches. Because not only does that allow me to make a "you get what you pay for" joke, it took an entire box - three patches! - to get one - ONE! - onto my back, in somewhere vaguely approximating where it hurts.

Look, I'm not some kind of mental or physical defective, back injury aside. I have, in fact, what was deemed in school a "gifted" IQ. However, I apparently suffer from an unforgiveable sin in the IcyHot world. I am single, and live alone. Therefore, although I am quite sure your patches are easy to apply to someone ELSE's back, I had to apply it to my own.

I apologize if my social loser-ness somehow makes me unworthy of wearing your patch. But after 45 minutes - FORTY-FIVE MINUTES! - of effort, I have a patch more or less on my back. The problem? They're sticky. Of course, they have to be, to stick to my back. But they're going on my BACK. You know, where it's difficult to reach.

I was inspired to write this letter when I was nearly decapitated by a passing tractor-trailer, while standing at the side of the Interstate, screaming in agony and frustration, and trying to get your GOD-DAMNED MOTHER-HUMPING patch to stay on my lower back. More or less shirtless. In February. In public.

See, your patch is sticky. It stuck to my boxer hem. It stuck to my T-shirt. It stuck to my hands. It stuck to the leather seats of my freakin' truck. But most damningly, it stuck to ITSELF.

Picture this. I followed the "easy" instructions. I popped, I peeled. And now I have a large, sticky patch that I need to apply, two-handed, to a spot I cannot see nor quite reach. By the time I passed it around my back, it had folded over on itself. And stuck. So I unstuck it, tried again. Repeated the process.

I tried unpeeling one side, sticking it, and then unpeeling the other, like a Band-Aid. Didn't work. As soon as I unpeeled the second side - blind, mind you, this is behind my back - it stuck to itself. Where I can't see to unpeel it.

I finally found myself on Patch No. 3, hunched over, more or less shirtless, in my truck at the side of the Interstate. Mind you, hunching over and leaning forward cause me the MOST agony of this current wound.

You bastards. I wanted to cry from the pain. At least by the time I was done getting this patch to more or less stay on my back, I wanted to cry from the frustration instead. Thank you, at least, for helping me regain some of my manhood and move on from wimpishness to my usual short-tempered self.

With the patch on, crooked but mostly in the right place, I attempted to hike up my boxers and jeans, which I'd pushed down a bit for better access to my lower back.

And the patch stuck to the boxers and rolled on up with the pants. Forcing me to try to unstick it from itself yet again.

At last, I am at work, with your patch theoretically dispensing its IcyHot cool and heat. Mostly, I am slimy, with sticky spots all over my back and hands, and foul-smelling. I cannot tell if the patch is working, because it isn't quite on the spot that hurts, and it remains cool and slimy rather than blissfully warm and soothing.

In sum, although I am thinking things that would undoubtedly reflect poorly on my parents and the way they raised me, and quite possibly get me put on some terrorism watch list, I will just say this:

I hope you burn in hell. For all eternity.

Sincerely yours,

Needless to say, although Mookie J. Monkey continues to endorse Barber Foods (makers of delicious chicken cordon bleu, now in family packs!), he will NOT be endorsing this product. No matter how many coupons they send.

In fact, Mr. Icy and/or Mr. Hot, if you happen to read this, don't send any coupons. Don't send any replacement products, don't even send any refund.

I have three more of your patches, and I'm going to try to use them, just because I damn well paid for them - assuming, of course, I don't hurt myself any worse applying them.

And then I'm never, ever using their products again.


jin said...

Can I actually comment today???
Will blogger let me?
I guess we'll see in a minute!

*jin tries to remember what she wanted to say originally*

Oh...yeah...*giggle*...ohhh...I couldn't help but lol...not at you at the incredibly visual pictures you painted!!!

There's an awesome product put out by Weleda (a rub type thing) that workes wonders on back pain, lasts quite a while after you apply it & the BEST thing??? It doesn't stink! :-D Here's a linky.

Stewie said...

Dude, thanks for the HT sig.

Excellent post.

I laughed my ass off.