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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Sometimes, simple solutions are beyond us

That sensation can be unbearable. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
That sensation can be unbearable. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Thanks to wintertime dry skin syndrome, this is the time of year when some of us experience itching in a spot we cannot reach.

Yes, I’m talking about that upper-middle part of the back. You know, the area just beyond the range of even the most flailing contortions.

It can be maddening. The surest way to get relief is to yank up your shirt or blouse and have a family member vigorously scratch with firm fingernail pressure.

To accurately describe how good that feels would test the boundaries of what is acceptable in a family newspaper.

When that hellfire itching strikes while you are at work, there’s not much you can do.

Oh, you can squirm against the back of your chair. You can lean on a wall and do an imitation of a bear rubbing against a tree. Or, if you have a long-handled back-scratcher, you can employ that.

Usually, though, you just have to endure. Because I’m guessing that at most Spokane-area workplaces, asking someone to scratch your back would be stepping over the line.

I suppose that if no shirt lifting or blouse raising were involved, a little therapeutic clawing among carefully selected co-workers would not be a big deal. But that would not be as effective as the bliss of fingernails on skin.

And touching someone’s bare back, well, that’s a bit personal for the office – even among well-established work pals.

Maybe two women could handle this, say, in the restroom. I can’t really see two guys engaging in this activity, though.

Perhaps a female co-worker could scratch a man’s back. Still, what if someone came upon them in the hall just as the guy was moaning?

I suspect most managers would term this “inappropriate.”

For a man implored to scratch a woman’s back, even if her blouse stays firmly tucked in, the whole issue of avoiding the bra-strap arises.

It’s too bad. This really isn’t something that ought to be sexualized. But you know how people are.

Maybe we all need to take yoga classes so we can reach that spot ourselves.

Just wondering: If you were going to give some of those little candy Valentine’s hearts to the biggest rat with whom you were ever involved, what short messages would you want to have stamped on them?

Saturday quiz: Can you identify “Miss Othmar” without a computer search?

Sometimes, when you refer to the color of your own eyes: People will look at you and suggest that they’re actually another color.

It says here: There are 2,500 guys around here who could be inserted into the Spokane Shock lineup as linemen for one set of downs without any fans being aware that they were not real players.

Today’s Slice question: What members of your household have the best/worst records when it comes to selecting movies?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@spokesman.com. French toast might be just the thing this weekend.

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