Suggestion: Experience some pain in your legs.

Paul Wong
Uhl get nothing and like it

At first, it might seem like there”s no good reason to do this. At first, it might seem like the only possible effects would be an uncomfortable sensation in your lower appendages and an innate tendency to limp.

But you haven”t let me explain yet. Experiencing some pain in your legs will not be satisfying unless it”s done in a certain manner, so you have to let me get specific.

The precise amount of pain you”ll want to expose your legs to is not a slight matter. Bear in mind that I encourage experiencing some pain, which is quite different than if I were to have simply said “experience pain in your legs,” the amount of pain in that case being undefined and quite possibly large and more than acceptably unpleasant. When going about begetting your pain, remember that you”ll only need to gather some.

I should discuss just what type of pain is desirable to experience. There”s several types of pain, you know.

There”s the stabbing, darting, searing pain of some sharp or extremely hot foreign object penetrating the barriers of your flesh. There”s the gut-wrenching, tense and sweaty hot-flash pain of twenty minutes after eating a bacon-double cheeseburger too fast. There”s the shocking Did I Make a Big Mistake? psycho-guilt-trip anxiousness mental pain. There”s the pain that doesn”t stoooooooooooooooooooop.

Although it took a few thousand years before homo sapiens truly understood and started taking advantage of its possibilities (so I”ll give you a break for not having been aware of how painful your life has been), the field of pain has since been one of those really broad subjects that has been explored by every race and time period in history. The Middle Ages and World War I in Europe, I”m sure, were two of the most excitingly diverse times to have been alive and in the pursuit of pain.

I”m sure by now you can all identify and remember moments in your life that have been painful.

The type of pain you”ll want in your legs is a muscle-centered pain in your tendons. This pain should be sharp enough to be cumbersome, but mild enough to be alleviated with household painkillers.

Be careful if you choose to inflict this pain on yourself: Don”t start haphazardly hacking at your ankles with a sledgehammer it”s quite possible that you”ll inflict so much pain that you won”t be able to walk without the aid of crutches or a wheelchair. And, as you”ll soon see, being able to walk (poorly) is quite necessary for this activity.

I suggest causing the pain gradually by means of two to three months of general neglect. Acquire a pair of old shoes that have been worn through to their now-broken, jagged and formless plastic-structure-skeletons and wear them everywhere you go. Wear them when you go to sleep at night.

Then comes the fun part. Once you”re experiencing visible agony with every step, you”ll start receiving the fringe benefits. In essence, your injury will allow you to act like a child. Naturally, childishness isn”t as much fun unless you have someone else to indulge it. So you”ll need to find a target, someone who is willing to treat you like a child (preferably someone who likes children). Girlfriends and motherly sisters or friends work best, but if all else fails, you can always move back home with the folks. This may sound like a bad idea, but it”ll be worth it in the long run.

To understand why, it”s relevant to point out a few characteristics of childish behavior and what adopting them will enable you to do.

1) Petulance: Anyone with a condition such as yours can be expected to be impatient. “Screw this, I”m going out to play (in the bar)” is suddenly an acceptable way to resolve your conflicts again.

2) Immaturity: Start telling people that “Dumb & Dumber” is your favorite movie again and this time they won”t call you puerile.

3) Innocence: This could be your last chance to avoid embarrassment when asking your friends about the meaning of certain sexual words you”ve always pretended you understood. “Anyone know what felching is?”

4) Helplessness: This is the aspect of childishness that your injury will most allow you to take advantage of, thus warranting a brief amount of instruction.

First, invite your target to a small gathering of people and quickly inform everyone of your disability. When attempting to walk on your debilitated legs, be certain to make a big show out of it. Groan and curse with each movement and its accompanying burst of shooting pain.

It”s essential to actually be in pain for this (return to the aforementioned instructions on wounding oneself if you skimmed through them), because the difference between a real groan and a fabricated one is easily detectable through subtle variations of voice pitch.

You”re sure to draw lots of sympathetic “awws” and simpleminded “does that hurt?” type questions. And if everything goes according to plan, your target will volunteer to contribute helpful services in the name of you and your misfortune.

Soon your target will be doing outrageous favors for you on a regular basis, like driving you to class or fetching you beers from the basement refrigerator.

This charade can”t last forever, however, so in undertaking this activity realize that eventually people will catch on and suggest that “you”re just trying to rationalize laziness.” Tell these people to go to hell (see point #1 above).

If you know what felching is, please e-mail John at juhl@umich.edu because he still doesn”t know, but thinks it might have something to do with dead people.

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