Humor by Mark Bazer

Let's start with you lying on your stomach, you can put your gently perspiring face in that little circle where someone else just had his gently perspiring face, and, yep, that's perfect. OK, relax, take a deep breath and let your mind go and I'll start with . . . OH MY GOD, wow.

You are soooo tight.

This may take several sessions, but I'll do what I can today to work on these shoulders, get them unknotted a little for ya. Tell me if I'm going too hard and I'll ease up. You OK? Good. You, my friend, must have a lot o' stress in your life, and you keep it all up here! That's OK. That's why I'm here. To lessen some of this -- let me get this knot, arrrrrrrgh, got it! -- stress.

My goodness. I'm going to need my own massage after this! What, may I ask, do you do for a living? I bet you work a lot. Do you? Has your job been particularly hard lately? Try, if you can, to forget all the work you have right now -- every project, even what you have to go work on right after you leave here. My, though, you are tight.

Do you hunch over at a computer a lot? Are you constantly bringing boulders from one location to another? You have little kids, right? Do you let them ride on your shoulders? I think I see the indentation of one of their little feet in your right shoulder. Frankly, I've never seen anyone this tight, especially someone your age.

It's good you're here now, because unless you do something, believe me, it's only going to get worse. Have you ever seen those old people hunched over at bus stops? I don't think they even get on the bus when it comes. We won't let that happen to you. Or we'll try not to.

All right, hold still, I'm going to work on another knot. Yeooahhhhhh! Got it. What a doozy. Are you sure you're human? Maybe you're some cross between a squirrel and a human who collects nuts for the winter and then stores them in his upper back. Is that possible? Because that's what this feels like.

I honestly haven't seen someone this tight for a long time. Maybe since Vietnam. Not that I was alive then. But I believe in past lives and that we carry stress from them. I bet you were one of those guys who built the Pyramids and then was mummified while still alive because the pharaoh died and you had to be buried with him. Or maybe you were a food tester for a king who everyone wanted to poison. Or a wife of whoever Newt Gingrich was in a past life.

Or, you know, you could have been an animal, because that can happen too. Maybe you were one of those penguins that have to do that March of the Penguins thing every year. I wish I could massage those penguins. But they won't hold still. I think I was Betty White in a past life. Yeah, I know she's not dead. But it's what I belie . . . oh, you are still so tight! Tight, tight, tight!

Do you mind if I call one of the other massage therapists to see this? Because Betty will NOT believe it. BETTY! COME IN HERE! YOU HAVE TO SEE HOW TIGHT THIS GUY IS! She'll be here in a minute, or if not we can show her next time, because you're going to be tight for a while.

There's only so much massage therapy can do. Have you thought of shoulder amputation? Because . . . oh, look, we've gone past our time. I'll leave and let you dress. Take your time, there's some water right here, and come out whenever you're ready so we can schedule your next session before you have to go off and build another Pyramid!

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