One of the reasons I became a writer just over a year ago was due to concerns about my lower back health. Simply put, it was fucked.
After 11 years of owning and operating my own small carpet cleaning company, my lower back had been injured at least eight to ten times. Generally, it was from the physical nature of the job. Carpet cleaning can be backbreaking work. After doing over 2000 jobs in 11 years, I can confirm this fact.
Sometimes I’d pull it picking up my heavy carpet cleaning machine. I once pulled it lifting a plastic tote full of carpet cleaning supplies. BEND WITH YOUR KNEES, DUMMY!
I’ve pulled it at home, too. Stepping awkwardly off the stairs. Tossing my young daughter into the pool. Hell, I once even pulled it while putting my drawers on in the morning.
I think I’d benefit from focusing a bit more on my core, when at the gym. But like most men, I tend to focus on upper-body workouts. Chest, back, triceps, biceps, and shoulders are more my jam. Core workouts, not as much. Clearly, this needs to change. At least I don’t skip leg days.
I figured the days of lower back pain were behind me, now that I’m rarely doing carpet jobs and writing for a living. My lower back had been doing well during most of 2022.
Yet here we are today. I’m flat on my back. Like your mom.
Your metaphorical mom, anyway. There’s a difference.
Most mothers are wonderful, kind people who are headed to Heaven once they leave this life. Granted, a few mothers are abusive, psychotic, gaslighting hags. Some moms go to Hell. But most go to Heaven. I’m sure your mom is lovely.
So when I make “Your Mom” jokes, it’s always your metaphorical mom, not your actual mother. This is my default setting, with moms. I can’t believe I have to even explain that to some people.
I worked with a guy once named Matt during my retail days. We dressed up like referees since we worked at Footlocker. He looked like a young Sean Penn and was usually a pretty chill guy. Until one day when teasing went south.
I don’t recall what was said back and forth until I said something about his mom. He got in my face and took offense immediately:
“DON’T YOU EVER FUCKING TALK ABOUT MY MOM!”
You see, Matt didn’t understand the concept of joking about one’s metaphorical mom. He must have thought I truly meant that I went over to his house and banged his actual mother. I guess on my day off from Footlocker, while he was there selling Nikes and Reeboks.
I explained the concept of joking about moms in the metaphorical way. He seemed skeptical and still wasn’t convinced. Oh well. I dropped the mom joke thing while at work. Probably more professional, anyway.
If Napoleon Dynamite had come out about 8 years or so prior, Matt would have understood the concept of metaphorical mom jokes. See the clip below, for reference.
So anyway, I’m flat on my back all day, like your mom. It’s the only way to deal with lower back pain. I alternate ice packs and a heating pad. I have those SalonPas lidocaine patches, too. That helps. But sitting is the WORST.
Trust me, I just had to endure even more pain. I made a tactical error by pushing myself to go down our stairs to get my usual morning cup of coffee. I grabbed the coffee and an ice pack for the event that I should have known would take place after I finished my coffee.
I’ve been told before that I’m a pretty regular guy. No more so than after drinking coffee. Shit. Time to sit. The porcelain throne was NOT comfortable on my gimpy back. And the twist to wipe properly pure torture. A bidet would have sure come in handy, five minutes ago.
But with much determination and pain, mission accomplished. Back to being flat, SalonPas patch applied. Time to finish writing this blog on my back.
That sucks, as a writer. Laying flat and trying to type this writing piece out is a bit awkward compared to sitting in a fully-upright, locked position, as per the norm.
“Your mom was in a fully-upright position, last night.”
See? There it goes again. And this isn’t even nearly as bad as it gets, sometimes. When my daughter and I are cooking together, there are always mom jokes flying around. I often tell her, “You know that’s your grandmother you’re talking about?”
*SIGH. “Your METAPHORICAL MOM, DAD!”
Well, at least she’s been paying attention to the metaphorical mom rules. &:^)