Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Pain and How to Exploit It
This is the sort of thing, which, if applied judiciously, makes the world a living paradise: all nectar, ambrosia, and that sort of thing.
The first thing you need is to be able to pull a brave face. If you can't pull a brave face, you're not really going to derive the maximum benefit. The trick to the brave face is you must neither smile nor frown, it's all a matter of nuance. You can smile a little, but you must do it with clenched teeth and lips tightly pressed together, but not so tightly they begin to form a duck bill. There must be a hint of the sardonic, but only a hint. The face of a man who has known things that must not be spoken into the fortunate ear of inexperience. As I say, it's hard to pull off, but it's what really brings home the bacon.
Here's how it plays out in practice.
Self: Oh, let me do the dishes, darlin, you already made dinner. (Begins to rise from sofa. A surprised and muffled grunt of pain. Pulls BRAVE FACE. Returns to sofa.) I think maybe I'll sit here just a little longer. (Ruefully)
Nancy: No, honey, you just stay there. You need to keep off your leg.
Self: (BRAVE FACE passim) No, really it's nothing. (Lie back on couch. Sigh.)
Nancy: Do you want be to put a pillow under that?
Self: (Very BRAVE FACE at this point, so brave it'd make you sick to look at it.) Well, yes that might not be a bad idea. (Bravely cooperates with the placing of a pillow under knee.) And could you bring me a martini? Two olives
You get the idea. The injury is the necessary foundation, the roux, as it were, but you really can't get the full jambalaya without the brave face. I do not wish to brag, but the true expert can make such claims as being unable to watch any movie with Susan Sarandon except Rocky Horror for fear of doing damage to his leg. This sort of thing, however, should not be attempted by the beginner. Start small. You must be able to maintain your brave face without breaking into laughter. That's the key. It isn't easy, but well repays the effort.