Laugh until it hurts

It’s official: I’m old. I used to shake my head in disbelief when my father would throw his back out reaching for the TV remote (which he still calls “the clicker”), and proceed to spend the next several days flat on the floor, sipping drinks through a straw and cursing the dustbunnies he could now see under our couch.

But it ain’t funny when it happens to you.

I’m not even sure what happened this morning: I just know that one moment I was rubbing styling cream in my hair, and the next I was doubled over from the searing pain in my shoulder.

Three hours, one doctor, and nine freebie anti-inflammatory pills later, it seems I have a strained rotator cuff.

The (very young) doctor mocked me: “Sooooo, you were putting stuff in your hair? Like this?” he said, flailing his arms wildly above his head and jerking his body around the tiny room.

And when I finally made it to work — four hours late — my (very old) boss mocked me, in his best Southern belle imitation: “Oh myyyy, I don’t know what happened, I was just brushin’ my hayyyer. It hurt so baaaaad....”

Then he asked me what kind of drugs they gave me.

“Anti-inflammatory drugs,” I replied.

“What kind?” he persisted.

I sighed, knowing what was coming.


The vision from the TV ad, the one of the dancing senior citizens, hit us both at the same time. He couldn’t look me in the eye the rest of the day without laughing.

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