So then I looked up from the massage chair and I saw

This afternoon saw me with no office hours. A full 1.5 hour window with no claims on my time. Simple pleasure. My back had been hurting and because I am now a woman of a certain age, I am pretty much one ache away from walking with the Dowager Countess' cane unless I do beaucoup stretching or get a massage.


I sought out one of those chair massage places in the mall where you don't need an appointment.

A very brawny woman, presumably Chinese, smiled when I pointed to the 22 minute chair massage on their menu of services. She led me behind two Asian screens to an area where there were several very weathered looking massage chairs. She put a paper towel over the face pillow with the doughnut hole in the middle. My back hurt so much; this was no time for luxury. She told me to sit down and she put my purse on the rung of the massage chair.

The massage began well. Knots were starting to unravel. I was entering the happy place, forgetting that if someone wanted to steal my purse from right under my nose, they could literally do so.

At about minute 15, things started to get really awkward. The pressure started to get strong and then fierce. The massage therapist was punching me. She was punching my backside. She was punching like if you wanted to hurt somebody.

Then it was over. And, honestly, I was feeling rejuvenated and all-around better.

Until I opened my eyes and saw my massage therapist. It was Yao Ming.

Or at least his Tennessee doppelganger.

It was a bizarre bait and switch and I have no idea how it was achieved. I was certain a female therapist had started off the treatment. I have no idea when Yao Ming took over or who did rear-punching treatment but later when I was watching Little Man's gymnastics class, my toosh felt incredibly sore.

I have an appointment for another massage later this month. There is sure to be one massage table. One door. One masseuse. It's going to be so boring. And by boring, I mean awesome.