Tag Archives: pain

My Pain Threshold Is Low

Low Pain Threshold

My Pain Threshold Is Low

Recently a shard of a kidney stone decided to break free from the pack and to make its way through parts of my body normally reserved for the passing of yellowy water. Sharp, solid objects, narrow passageways blended with a low threshold for pain make for a human who is not able to focus on things that require deeper thought. Or any thought.

What little thought does occur makes itself known in grunts, screams and utterances, both loud and rage filled, interspersed with deep breaths searching in vain for air to fill the lungs of said person who just hollered non-sensical ravings to the maximum extent of his voice box. I had begun to wonder how something so small could feel like an inflated, toxic blowfish passing through my sensitive areas.

But this raises the pertinent question that no one is asking — nor cares to ask — what other topics cause me, and other humans pain? I won’t descend into rants about government, or sitting through awards shows, like the crappy Oscars, or plucking that errant, wild, evil nose hair. No, I am talking about something simpler that causes societal pain across the globe.

Referential Pain

Why is it that when people walk and text or look at their ‘smart’ phones they slow down their walking pace almost to a crawl? I have run into men, women, children, transgender folks, likely hermaphrodites, religious zealots, misguided youth, the aged, and smart and dumb people, who all decided that that text, that email, that Facebook post was so crucial, so vital to their existence on earth, they had to stop in the middle of a moving stream of smelly humanity (one of them must have eaten 14 cloves of garlic, I swear) to whip out their respective devices and cause me to smash into someone else. And then they get mad at me.


Splitting the Brain

I contend, without any scientific knowledge or alternative facts, that it should be possible to walk AND look at your damn phone simultaneously without losing pace and putting on the brakes. What if you were being chased by Peruvian killer bees or an aggressive carpet salesman and you got a text? Would you slow down then? Would you stop and jeopardize your life and those of others around you because your aunt Frannie posted a picture of herself and her new, post-divorce bohunk Raoul on the beach, swilling rum-laced fruit drinks?

How much brain power does it take to walk and use your eyes?  Trump can do it, and sexually harass a woman at the same time, while saying “this is gonna be huge.” That’s three things at once without slowing down.

What is it about the damn mobile phone that turns us into immobile idiots? Are our brains so weak and unevolved that all motor skills, particularly those that involve humans walking in front of me, have to cease, thus causing me to awkwardly dive to the left and smash into the aforementioned hermaphrodite selling some kind of alternative literature that no one reads?


This state of affairs leaves me nonplussed and in pain. Metaphorical pain mostly, and physical pain, too. But that last one has more to do with the kidney stones. Clearly it has affected me.

Curmudgeonly and hairy,

Rajiv Druker

The Mangling & The Battle of Kidney Stone Ridge


Inappropriate Pain

I recently described to a friend in a text message that my most recent battle with my kidney stones was something akin to the German army marching on Poland, except in this case, the march of destruction trampled barely impeded though Gonad City, followed by the laying waste of Urethraville. Safe to say there was much teeth gnashing and tear shedding, but the survivors are all that much stronger for it. Or mildly addicted to Dilaudid. The jury is still out on that one.

After suffering through what I could only describe as an extended period of painful living punctuated by involuntary spasms when a blade-like stone decided to slash its way a millimeter or so down the canal, it dawned on me that comparing the passage of my kidney stones to a WWII nightmare was a bit callous. Then again, I am one of – if not two of – the worst people I know. Such a reckless use of language is certainly a sign of splintered chromosomes and missing moral centrality. Or, again, the aforementioned mild addiction to Dilaudid.

So to survive the battle of Kidney Stone Ridge, I was forced to consume vats of water, juice, coffee and soup. This gave me time to stop and think, due to peeing frequently, which led to some reading of car magazines while dashing to or hanging around the commode.

Painful Realizations

One particular passing was rather eventful as the pain killers hadn’t kicked in yet. After clenching the door frame in the bathroom as a method of pain transference, I came to realize that there may well be sufficient words in the English vocabulary to describe my levels of pain and discomfort, not to mention the frequent body twitching these stones cause, but I don’t possess them. I do possess Ninja-like skills in the application of the F-word since this whole episode started.

Since expressing myself would bore the crap out of all of you, I’ll just tell you what other realizations I came to while doing some bathroom reading and peeing.

First of all, the history of automobile marketing says a lot about what an impatient society we have become. Back in the 1920’s and 30’s cars had really long names, like the Bugatti Type 57 S Atlantique, or the Talbot-Lago Drophead Coupe Elegance, or the Alfa Romeo Stradale Tipo 33. They were full, long, elegant names that required a degree to read. Or glasses. They sounded like expensive meals with appetizers. Either way, it’s clear a long name meant prestige. However, along the way, car model names began to shorten. The Cadillac Eldorado, the Ford Granada, the Honda Civic, the VW Golf. It seems shorter was better for marketing, I’m guessing because we had become too impatient to read.

After that, some genius, a German I think, decided it was way easier for the rich and powerful to just use alpha-numeric names. A6, G35, F12 and so on. Or the 3-letter acronyms are popular, like TSX, GTI and GLK. It seems we have so little attention span and such an inability to express ourselves with actual words, we have resorted to calling our creations by the shortest names possible. Does this connote prestige and mystery? Or is it way cheaper because you use less ink on the expensive glossy brochures?

I wonder if we’ll start naming things based on the fewest number of syllables, like laundry detergent. You know, Tide, Gain, Cheer, etc. Or will it just be reduced to naming products with grunts. Maybe the GMC Grunt. The Cadillac Oy. The BMW Nein. The Ford Qué? The Nissan D’oh. The Dodge Feh. The Volvo Snø. The single syllable possibilities are virtually endless. Any idiot could market a car. Like me.

The Mangling Continues

However, this wave of abbreviations is nothing like the language mangling I hear at work every day. How many times have I heard about being “on the bleeding edge” of technology. Sure, the aeronautically derived “being on the leading edge” wasn’t good enough. No, we had to be on the bleeding edge to show just how far we are at the forefront of whatever. Blood loss and leakage means progress, it seems.

Topping the bleeding is the other linguistic train wreck that I hear daily. Describing a concept that is not completely worked out in detail, the resulting action is to “flush things out.” No, not “flesh out” but flush out. I could recommend a session at the proctologist office to complete  this flushing, but I can’t see how that would really make a person work out the details of a concept. It would make you all weak and dizzy I think. And why are we flushing things out anyway? Aren’t the literal and metaphorical toilets of our lives already clogged with enough refuse and excretions that we now have to add this? I think we should do less flushing and more fleshing. Or eating flesh.

Which is nothing compared to the wonderfully mangled “see what’s coming down the pipe”, to refer to future occurrences. The proper expression is “coming down the pike” (short for “trunpike, a highway of sorts). When I hear people say that — educated people, no less — all I can do is think to myself “You know what comes down my pipe? Well it ain’t those damn kidney stones, I’ll tell ya!”

I’m not here to list the millions of malapropisms people say. That will be a different episode and my uncle has a list longer than his hairy arm. It’s really all about a cheap idea to steal from someone way more literate than I could ever be, apply a dash of twisted humor, and then beg you readers to not report me to the authorities.

What does this pain-racked rant have to do with this installment of Stanko & Tibor, once described by Aung San Suu Kyi as “a reason to abandon pacifism in favor of taking up arms with a fully loaded Uzi” and by the Pope as “indisputable proof the Devil exists”? Well, if you are too thick to get the blatant Shakespeare rip-off in the comic, then maybe you should do us all a favor and “shuffle off your mortal coil” — or is that “shuttle off your mortal boil?”

I can never get that right.

Achingly handsome in very poorly lit rooms,

Jon von Jon