I Threw My Back Out This Morning by ... Waking Up. I Think I’m Officially Old Now


I realize that talking about the aches and pains of getting older is a pretty cliché thing to do. But since I try to be at least six or seven stereotypes a day—it really is empowering in an ironic way—I feel like being one age-appropriate cliché is OK.


With that being said, I’m feeling old as fuck. This morning, ce matin, esta mañana, I woke up and my back was like, “Gotcha, bitch.” I don’t know if you’ve ever had back pain—perhaps you’re too young and clubby to experience such debilitativeness—but it is THE most inconvenient pain ever, possibly more than having a sore throat. Turns out that you need your back for everything; who knew?

I don’t even know what happened. Seriously. All I did was wake up and my back hurt. I felt it at first, then it took me clean out while I was putting my chirrens in the car to take my daughter to school. As I picked up my son to place him in his car seat, I almost yelped. Now, I realized that I was outside, and even though it was 6:55 a.m. (yes, I was up, dressed and out of the door by 6:55 a.m. with children in tow—isn’t parenting awesome?), I was worried that somebody might hear me. And while the Tupac song “Holler if Ya Hear Me” goes hard in the paint, it’s not my ministry.

So I, in all of my infinite wisdom, carried on as if nothing was wrong while I cried on the inside like Reh Dogg. If it was dark, I’d cry like Michael Baisden. It’s not.

You know what’s frustrating about throwing my back out? I’ll tell you. It’s that I really have no idea what I did, so I can’t ensure that I don’t do it again. I mean, Lord willing, I’m going to keep on waking up. I expect that as one ages, things go the way of the dodo, so I’m under no illusions of being a superhuman for the rest of my life. It’s why I just buy Superman T-shirts even though I’m more of a Batman fan, personally.

I remember a few years ago, I tweaked my knee ... walking. Walking like Mary Mary be walking. That was a black sentence, by the way. I mean, we have gospel, the AAVE use of the word “be” and a group that named itself the same thing twice. That’s black in the Innanet James sense of the term.

I realize as I get older that the aches and pains associated with advancing in age are almost a rite of passage. It’s better than the alternative, as they say, and some are easier to deal with than others. But Lawd, I’ve come this far by faith, and I’d really love for my back to make it intact for the long haul. Or at least I’d prefer to hurt myself doing something that I have no business doing.


Like. let’s say I’m out here trying to lift a 75-inch 4K television by myself. I don’t have one, so I don’t know how, when or why that would be something I’d do, but let’s say that’s what I’ve decided to do with my day. Let’s say I decided to run by Best Buy to check on Lawrence (and pretend I have a time machine to take us to last season; there’s a lot going on here), and I decided to try to pick up a joint at Best Buy. I deserve to have my back go then.

But to wake up as the good Lord intended and to be in pain from doing nothing more than sleeping? That’s just unright. So I’m going to pop some of these Advil right quick—at the appropriate time-specific intervals—and hope that they work because right now, I’m losing big-time.


Because I need to get this win right back. Get it? That’s a ... pun. My bad. I’m old, so my jokes are getting worse, too. I’m losing all around today.

Um ... thanks, Obama?


King Beauregard

Pretty soon you won’t be able to do pepperoni pizza after 6pm either. It happens, sorry. The good news, it IS happening, which means you’ve made it this far.

New bed maybe? Your spine might not be able to tolerate poor support like it used to. (King Beauregard sleeps on the floor under a pile of blankets, because beds get too damn saggy. King Beauregard is a freak.)

Get a big bottle of ibuprofen, or my preference, naproxen sodium (Aleve). Get used to taking one every now and again to take the edge off pain. It will help tremendously with getting enough exercise. Also, in case you’re prone to kidney stones like me, the periodic use of anti-inflammatories helps your kidneys shed tiny mineral build-ups before they get big enough to be debilitating.

(DON’T get Tylenol (acetomenaphenamenaphenawhatever); that shit will wreck your liver. Seriously, the number one cause of needing liver transplants is overdoing Tylenol. There are no comparable risks to ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.)

Myself, I’d rather be 2017-me than 1992-me every time. When I was 25 I was dumb, emotionally immature, and incapable of tasks that I consider routine and mundane these days. I used to be able to run a mile and I could not these days, but it’s a skill that doesn’t come up that often, so no real problem there.