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My wife and daughter have begun a bedtime ritual that is a cross between amusing and wince-inducing, for me. My 11-year-old has started asking her mother to "pop" her back before going to sleep. My wife will have her cross her arms then stands behind her, lifts my daughter up and leans back and then an audible crack can be heard. My daughter says it feels fantastic and they both get a chuckle out of it.

To me, it seems like some form of primitive torture. I have had back issues most of my adult life. I can safely say my back has never been popped nor would I wish it to be. This image makes me wince inside imagining the pain I would experience if it happened to me.

This started me thinking about other everyday things that could be viewed as torturous or at least a little annoying. Take for instance, when something like your television comes unplugged for some reason and you have to try to maneuver your hand between the wall and the TV in order to plug it back into the outlet. You have to contort your wrist and hand in ways they were not designed to move. It smashes your hand and it always seems that the plug is just millimeters from lining up properly when the plug falls out of your hand and you have to start the entire process over again. We will not even discuss what this insidious treatment is doing to your shoulders and knees.

Next, let us discuss the molten lava that comes out of the microwave. Whether it is reheated chili, mashed potatoes or your morning coffee it always seems to cause the roof of your mouth to be fried. In addition, this device is so cunning that if you wait to let the stuff cool off before you eat it magically you always wait too long and the stuff is cold again. Thus, you must repeat the lava making and this time the burning will not be denied.

Finally, let us talk about the bloodletting that occurs when we open our mail. Invariably about once a month I slash, open my finger when trying to open the mail. What is it about paper cuts that make them so bloody? Moreover, why is the cut so sore for days and days after?

I believe some cruel companies design their mailings to draw blood. It is never junk mail it always seems to be the bills that have the sharpest edges. Not only do they want to siphon money from your wallet they also want a couple of ounces of blood on top of it.

It could always be worse I guess. We could be fed cardboard-like substances with little or no flavor and told to believe that it is good for us. Oh wait, I think I may have just touched on several folks' New Year's resolutions. Torture comes in many disguises, my friends.

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