I am in pain. I've been in pain all day. Last night, I was in "searing pain", which is pain multiplied by pain, divided by relief, then multiplied by pain to the tenth power. In case you are not a math whiz, that equals pain with 33 zeros after it. Two days ago, I was in pain (just regular pain, no zeros). In fact, I was in pain all week.
Welcome to my humor column.
Actually, pain is not really all that funny ... unless it happens to somebody else. Oh, come on. Don't get all sanctimonious on me. Pain is the very essence of the Bugs Bunny Show. And the Three Stooges. And every sitcom that relies on personal slights and insults. Without pain to tickle the funny bone, the entertainment industry would be no bigger today than George Bush's collection of feminist literature.
Of course, pain is funny only when it happens to somebody else. It's a lot like reality TV. If it was you stranded on a desert island with a dozen other maniacs, trying to cook worms without emptying your stomach first, would you feel "entertained"?
Fortunately for the deep-pocket sponsors of reality TV, it's not really very real. As long as somebody else is enjoying their makeshift meal of gourmet slimies, it's called entertainment.
Unfortunately for me, my muscle pain is real. It's in my back. It's in my side. It hurts when I bend, twist, or make any sudden movement not approved by the FDA, the DEA, the IRS, the RCMP, the CIA or Interpol.
I did something stupid. No, I did not try a triple summersault on my snowboard in the Rockies. Unfortunately, it was not that stupid. But I did pick up 37-pound Little Lady to place her in her high chair. And I did use just one arm, off to the side, while fiddling with the high chair straps.
I was keenly aware of the exact moment that God said, "It's about time you learn a lesson about physics and biology and all those other subjects you so smugly weaseled your way out of in high school." Ouch.
Parents of young children deserve immunity against muscle pain. A young child should be a "get out of pain free" card. You get to go directly to health, do not pass the hospital, do not pay $200.
Why special treatment for parents of young children? Because they never get the chance to fully recuperate.
Children demand 100 times more physical interaction than adults. And guess what? They want it at their level ... which means bending over. Ouch.
Children are unpredictable, which means they might suddenly grab your leg with enough energy to fell an oak. Since there is rarely an oak in your living room, your leg falls with you attached. Or you react to keep yourself from falling ... which means twisting. Ouch.
Did I mention that kids want to play a lot? Running. Dancing. Chasing. Throwing. Rolling on the floor. Can you resist? Of course you can. "Catch, daddy." Oops, I forgot. Ouch.
OK, how about playing something calm. I sat Little Lady in her high chair (without twisting this time) and placed some Play Dough in front of her. "Please, please, please stop dropping chunks on the floor where I have to bend reeeeeeeally low to pick them up." Ouch.
A parent of a young child simply does not have the opportunity to heal. He just keeps re-injuring himself over and over and over and over.
So if you notice my columns growing less funny and more painful, please don't laugh. It's my pain, and it is real.
The author is David Leonhardt, The Happy Guy, publisher of Your Daily Dose of Happiness at http://TheHappyGuy.com/daily-happiness-free-ezine.html. Read more personal growth articles in his Self-actualization Resource Center at http://TheHappyGuy.com/self-actualization-articles.html, or visit his home page at http://thehappyguy.com.