Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Massage Mechanics

You know that old expression, "never look a gift horse in the mouth?" Well, whoever said that was a liar. A big, stinky, untruth-telling liar. You want to know how I know? I'll tell you. I got a massage gift certificate. Granted, it wasn't free, but it was a $35 massage at this place, which is a steep discount, so I signed up. You're not going to believe the name. OK, I'll tell you, but you're still not going to believe me. It was called Relaxation Station. Right next store to the school supply store called Conjunction Junction. And across the street from the lighting fixture store called Luciform Platform. And down the road from... wait. I'll stop here, before I begin to regret it.

Point is, this place was ridiculous. Notwithstanding the super-retardo name, I walked in and the place smelled like a Glade air freshener was plugged in to every outlet. Every one. If I had to describe my thoughts about that smell in one word, that word would probably be vomit. And there was a water fountain in the corner that sounded like an enormous waterfall. Niagara, even. Not kidding. I walked inside and was instantly overwhelmed with the need to pee. And there was one CD player playing Sounds of the Forest, and another playing some new-agey cd that was probably called Ayurvedic Tantra or some such thing. Fans blew gentle breezes (i.e., gusts of wind) across the room, and a humidifier blew occasional puffs of misty air. None of these things, by themselves, was a hanging crime, but taken all together, the effect was ludicrous, to say the least. If the SNL guys ever put together a skit about over-the-top holistic therapy, this is what the set would look like.

The massage therapist seemed nice enough, but she was into machines. Not kidding. She had one that looked like a floor sander, and another that was called The Thumper. It looked like an electric hand mixer, but with 8 or 10 sticky-outie parts that pound into your body. Call me old-fashioned, but when I get a massage, I like to think I'm paying for the expertise and training the massage therapist acquired while in professional school. Any idiot could stand there with a floor sander and vibrate my back into the next millenium, but I want somebody's hands to find the muscle knots and GET RID OF THEM. Lucky for me, she didn't just confine her vibrations to my back. Her favorite thing to vibrate was my head, followed closely by my feet. The latter tickled like hell, and the former just scared me, as the stupid thing was so strong that it seemed not unlikely that my brains might start falling out of my ears.

At several points during the massage I started laughing, thinking, "oh, i can't wait to tell people about this!" Luckily, between the vibration of the floor sander, the thumping of the Thumper, and the noise from the music, the fans, and the waterfall, the massage therapist had no idea why my body was shaking, or what those choking noises were, coming from my face. For the record, massage therapist? I was laughing. At you. And at myself, for sitting through this just so i'd have a good story to tell.

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