Web based doctors are the biggest medical advance since the invention of antibiotics, or so we are lead to believe by the exploding number of webpages touting experts on every ailment imaginable. Sites like WebMD are designed to answer online surfers' concerns, diagnose diseases and even give advice on what over-the-counter drugs to take, all without a face-to-face with a physician. Others like MetaFilter are just web answer sites that have discovered the huge market of self-helpers who can’t actually help themselves and need to turn to the internet for answers. The final class of internet doctors includes those who associate with a particular hospital (physical location, real doctors and IVs, etc) and give advice through a fancy organizational name like Mayo Clinic.
These online resources assume, often erroneously, that patients are providing all the facts. After all, a patient may easily taint a symptom's description by adding some details that may not be accurate but point to a patient preferred diagnosis. Without any visual or kinesthetic input and very little auditory participation, doctors make medical decisions that some people are gullible enough to follow.
So imagine my cynicism when a friend told me about an internet site that explained the dangers of sitting on a wallet for too long. Seriously, the Mayo Clinic’s website put up the following dire warning:
“To promote comfort and good posture while sitting…[r]emove bulky objects, such as a wallet, from your back pockets when you sit because they disrupt balance in your lower back.”Meta Filter goes further to say that:
“[I]f you're like most guys and put your wallet in your back pocket and sit on it, that can cause pinching of the nerve causing pain with the removal of the wallet fixing the problem.”The author of the Meta filter article was obviously a she-doctor or a very feminine guy. You don’t just ask a guy to remove his wallet. Most men are willing to endure “disruptions in balance” and even nerve “pinching” in order to keep their wallets close to their buttocks. I personally use a duct tape wallet with five compartments. When the duct tape leaves the vicinity of my derriere, it does funny things to me. Something about the security of knowing I’m sitting on my ID. For me, it’s duct tape; for some guys it’s leather, cloth or snakeskin.
While women carry purses, men sit on wallets. That’s the way nature made clothes and the crazy girl (who calls herself a physician) from Meta Filter is trying to mess up the natural cycle of things.
But she has a point: If nature is causing owies, let’s fix nature. But for goodness sakes, don’t do it by asking men to remove their wallets.
The medically minded folks here at Funny Class Notes sat down to think of some more reasonable ways to reduce back pain but not deprive men of the ever important wallet. Here’s what we came up with:
Implants. Hey, some women do it and some guys do it too (although that’s not a good topic for a family friendly website). Why not make special implants for pain sensitive men? 3 x 4 silicon plates could be inserted on the right or left side, depending on the user’s preference. The implants would be filled with a non-toxic fluid that would be invisible from medium to long distances. Men with implants would still be able to wear their Speedo at the public pool and not be self conscious at the country club. They would also support their back evenly while sitting on a full wallet.
Implants could be sized differently depending on the size of a user’s pocketbook. Keep all your coins in that pocketpouch? Have enough ID cards to make Frank Abagnale blush? Just get your implant sized a bit larger.
The only side effect of an implant is that it can create an imbalance whenever you don’t have a wallet. Because the safe removal of the silicon requires a surgical operation, it is advised that you wear a wallet at all times.
Implants are definitely a good, if expensive, way to get rid of wallet induced back pain.
Wallet Double. If one wallet causes pain, would two solve it? Guys who are afraid of pinched nerves could purchase a second dummy wallet to go along with their real one. This wallet double would be placed in the back pocket opposite the real pocketbook and apply pressure on the spine to equalize nerve pressure and reduce pain. The second wallet has numerous advantages, including the ability to keep many more credit cards and fool robbers.
A wallet double is an excellent way to reduce pain on a budget. Just don’t forget it in the morning.
Weight Gain. Since a lot of fat is stored in the Gluteus Maximal region, why not capitalize on nature’s padding to reduce back pain? When a nerve conscious man wants to mitigate the bone jarring impact of his wallet, all he needs to do is eat more pancakes in the morning. If his metabolism is slow enough, he will gain weight. If his body is smart enough, the excess fat will be placed in his rear and protect his spine from the wallet thus making a natural implant (see above).
Grin n’ bear it. If you have back pain from a wallet and aren’t rich (making implants an impossibility), are style conscious (obviating a wallet double) or have a girlfriend (making weight gain unadvisable), you may want to consider this last option. Men who are concerned about nerve health need only add a few pounds and let the resulting adipose do the protecting. When a man using the grin n’ bear it strategy feels nerve damage coming on, he tunes into the FCN hit “Ima Victim!” and continues sitting. It works every time.
Without meaning to, this post has turned an otherwise decent webpage into a disseminator of medical advice. For this we apologize profusely and ask that you follow none of it.
Unless, of course, you have wallet-induced back pain.