I went to the physio a few days ago regarding my bad back. It was interesting, for the following two reasons:
# 1 ~ I got to see a professional for Peace of Mind™, as well as some specific exercise tips which I still can’t be bothered to do, although,
# 2 ~ I got humiliated to the extent that I left feeling I should probably stop eating biscuits.
The physio was, of course, attractive; slim and blonde and South African. I would've wagered a substantial amount of money on her being a light-haired southern hemispherian, and I would've been right.
So I’m sat there, and I start whinging; I lifted some boxes and woke up the next day in agony, and I've spent the last two weeks getting out of bed desperately grasping for furniture like Stephen Hawking on his carer's day off (although he’s probably got year-round help.)
Now I have no problem admitting - if this isn't already abundantly clear - that I'm an idiot. I knew I’d be seeing a physio. I knew it would involve hands-on manipulation of some kind. But I didn't really think beyond that.
‘Ok,’ she announced after my bitching had ceased. ‘Did you bring your shorts?’
I winced in precognitive pain. I hadn't brought any shorts, because no-one had told me to. But that wasn't why I had winced. I had winced because I was seconds away from having to wear shorts.
‘Uh… no,’ I grunted. I was paying a lot of money for this.
‘No problem,’ she said cheerfully. ‘You can wear our office pair.’
Hanging up on the back of the door was their ancient Strangers’ shorts. And worse still, they were tiny.
‘Take your clothes off, and pop these on. I'll wait outside.’
I tugged at the waistband as she walked out of the room. The damn things were too tight for anorexic teen models.
I got undressed and forced my legs in. Now if there’s one upside to winter, it’s that we all get to wear lots of lovely clothes that conceal layer upon layer of thick, blubbery flesh. In fact, I’d even begun forming the impression that I was looking pretty damn slim.
In the harsh light of that room though, as I stared into their mirror wearing their small lycra kecks, I began to panic. ‘Muffin-top’ doesn’t quite paint the right picture. Imagine if you will a burlap sack swollen with faeces and pig entrails. Then sling a rope around the middle and get a tug-o’-war team to tighten the fucker with all their might until it bulges in all corners, ready to explode a sickening mess of shit and guts all over the floor.
I looked worse. My stomach roared angrily over the top as my love handles spilled over the elastic like a freshly hung corpse. I turned to one side and craned my head to the mirror; I even had a fat back. Gone was the manly physique I thought I saw each morning in the bathroom, replaced by a whale with tits in a schoolgirl’s slip.
This vision repelled me, more so now that I had to invite a young lady in to witness the abomination. As she stepped back into the room a model of professionalism - remaining pokerfaced while her nervous eyes screamed in terror - it occurred to me that I had never stood semi-naked with a women I wasn't about to penetrate. Under those rare conditions I'm normally pretty confident as by that point, any nagging doubts and constant self-loathing are about to be eradicated with sex.
But this was worse. This was a simple judging by a healthy, slim woman. I tried not to think of her sipping carrot juice with her girlfriends later that evening, regaling them with stories of the fat bastard she had to touch earlier in the day.
She instructed me to lie on a board. This destroyed the remaining shred of dignity I had, trying in vain to suck in my distended gut as gravity pulled the fucker to earth, praying that the hideous sidefolds weren't visible as I struggled to position myself.
‘Why would anyone become a physio?’ I pondered as she grabbed hold of a fat ankle and brought my foot up to her nose.
‘Uh, sorry about the socks,’ I mumbled. She didn't reply.
‘Now turn around, sit on your knees, and stretch your body forward.’ It took me several attempts to work out what she meant as, throughout the debasement, I did my utmost to prevent my nipples from scraping along the floor.
‘How does that feel?’ she asked as I was forced into a vulnerable position of supplication, my vast arse protruding into the air.
Eventually, I lay on my stomach to get violently massaged. This wasn't unduly unpleasant, although I was aware that I was making noises that sounded spookily like the last time I had sex back in 1762. I was also aware that those aforementioned lovehandles were possibly spilling over the side of the board, but as I had my face buried in a hole at the front, I remained contentedly unaware.
Eventually, it was over and I was £45 lighter. I wouldn’t mind nearly as much if any of that had worked, but I’m still in pain.
I'd cycle to work tomorrow, but I've just looked out of the window. SHIT - it's been snowing all day and I hadn't even noticed. I'll have to leave the house at 5am as I fully expect all public transportation in Britain to grind to a halt.
Coming soon: Almost very nearly messing around with a lady only to walk home alone for three hours instead.