*wincing in pain while hunched over the iMac's keyboard* From time to time, usually once or twice a year, my lower back malfunctions. In 1972, I was in a serious traffic accident, when a 16-year-old girl who had just received her driver's license made a u-turn in front of me while I was riding my just-paid-off Honda CB750K2. For the next two years I was out of commission. I was lucky to keep my right leg. As it was, I lost length in that leg due to a series of operations (and lots of removed bone). I didn't respond well to a built-up heel, and opted to wear regular shoes. The doctors said that doing so would catch up with me eventually. Which is true. If I lift a heavy object incorrectly, there will be hell to pay. Or if I walk in such a fashion as to put too much stress on my right leg, the muscles in my lower back will communicate clearly the error of my ways and I will suffer for the better part of a week. Or I can even sleep in an awkward manner and wake up in spectacular pain. And that, apparently, is what I did two nights ago. One time, when calling my physician in agony, asking if there were anything he could do, he responded by saying yes, I could come into the office and he could tell me in person that I pulled a muscle. Maybe he might even prescribe a pain killer for my effort. Whatever. So here I am again, in agony. Getting out of a chair is a production fraught with searing pain. My legs are numb much of the time. And all I can do is ride this mess out. I can't brush my cat. Sitting in my rocking chair is okay for a while, but pain eventually sets in. And screening DVDs is a chore. Sleep seems like the only respite. Basically, today I am a shut-in. I can't even make a beer run. Tylenol Extra-Strength is all I have. Help ... me ... this ... is ... agony. Sing me a lullaby. Or point me to sweet relief. Gotta go.