Friday, May 11, 2007

The world of pain.......

I’ve been thinking lately about pain – and especially what kind of pain is the most painyest pain in the whole world…

Just how much pain can a man – or indeed a woman actually stand? When is pain so ultimately hardcore that your system simply shuts down and you pass out?

A kid at our school got a cricket ball flush in the ‘lower stomach’ while fielding at ‘silly mid-off’ during a tense limited overs cricket match. He didn’t pass out but he did a hell of a lot of writhing around. We gathered round the poleaxed fielder. His eyes were certainly watering – and ‘Sir’ came up and asked him where it hurt…

"Johnson, are you alright? Where are you hurt boy?"

Johnson couldn’t speak. Through gritted teeth he pointed down to his mashed up bread-basket.

"Should we massage the pain away Sir?"

"Errrr, best not, it looks like it is really smarting……. Smith, run to the office and get the Secretary to phone for an Ambulance right away!"

Eventually, the Ambulance crew turned up and our fallen, doubled-up comrade was carted off to the hospital.
A few weeks later he was back at school – as good as new apart from a slight limp and his new nickname… Big Chief Oneball.

Still, looking on the bright side, he stopped a certain four to the boundary..

My wife would say "Giving birth" is fairly painful – and if men got pregnant instead of women, the human race would have died out years ago. I doubt that – but I’m sure we’d have invented a really slick extraction machine to make the whole experience one of pleasure. Oh, and also decided that drinking large quantities of beer was actually of considerable benefit to the growing foetus.

Back to real man-sized pain. Up till last week, I would have plumped for toothache. I had an infected back molar when I was a student, the whole side of my face came up like a balloon. I looked like the Balloony Boy with an acute case of Mumps.

Sweating bricks, I tottered off to the Dental Hospital for help. The abscess in my lower gum throbbed away on regulo 12. It was pumping poison into my system like a wildcat oil well. I was desperate. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, I happened to meet the nazi war criminal psychopathic dentist from the film ‘Marathon Man’ doing a bit of moonlighting.

He plonked me on the chair, tilted me back into arse over elbow position – I never realised just how interesting a magnolia painted ceiling was. The psycho with the interesting instruments circled. The silence, broken only by my whimpered dribbling - and the slap of coin on lino as all my money cascaded onto the floor. He went to work with a big sharp jabby piece of metal.

"Isss it safe?"


"Isss it sa"…….. Sorry, wrong scene, does that hurt?"


"It’ll have to come out right now. It’s too swollen to give you an injection – we’ll have to go commando on this one… Do you mind if one of my students does it?"

"Anythinnnn, jusht shtop the pain"

He introduced me to Miss Small and Dainty. She was about 5 foot tall and had arms like knotted string. The pair of pliers in her dainty little hand held my full and undivided attention.

She pulled. She pushed. She twisted. She wrenched. Nothing moved.

I couldn’t stand it any more.

"Aaaaagggghhhhhhh-gashhhhhhhh gehhtt offfffff"…..

Sensing my misery, the pyscho grabbed hold of the pliers, shoved his knee on my chest and the pliers into my mouth and had that pesky molar out faster than you could say ‘Agony’..

All I can remember was the tremendous suction generated as the tooth was pulled from my infected gum. Proudly, he waved it in front of me. It was huge, at least 3 foot long……

I no longer cared, amazing pain gave way to repetitive throb. It was a good trade. I was drenched in sweat and my mouth had filled with a blood and pus. I declined the offer of the tooth ‘to put around my neck on a bit of leather’ and tottered into the street.

Like I said, up until last week, I would have plumped for toothache – but not anymore. Oh no, Alfie has actually discovered the painyest pain ever, ever, ever…

For sheer eye-watering agony, nothing, put nothing beats walking into the door jamb and smacking my oh-so-tender in-growing toenail fully square on…