In last month’s column I wrote about the awkwardness that can ensue when getting a massage. Male or female masseuse? Clothed or unclothed?
After the preliminaries, they ask the inevitable pressure question: soft, medium, hard?
Well, let’s be honest. Soft is like high-fiving a hummingbird, and if you are going to do that, why pay $125? I can just capture one in my backyard and make it my small dog.
Medium? Well, different people have different definitions of “medium.” Medium could mean, like, a hummingbird with an attitude. Or medium could mean a piano falling out of a third-story window and landing squarely in the middle of your spinal cord. It’s a delicate decision.
Usually I opt for medium-hard, which is tough because if they go closer to the hummingbird route, then you are begging, like Luke Skywalker, for more force. And then Yoda comes into play, and the whole universe is whack. If they are the piano, you are struggling to even say, “Err, uhh, hey, Edward Scissorelbows, too deep.”
I once went for a massage in the woods at the summer camp we attend every year. I figured it couldn’t be more peaceful than that, right? Birds chirping. Wind blowing through the pines. Chipmunks stealing your Cheetos while you’re out of the tent and spreading them across your sleeping bag. Total relaxation.
But then I ended up getting a masseuse whose professional opinion was that I needed a deep-tissue rendering. She, of course, didn’t share this with me. For the first 10 minutes, The Rock would have been proud of my endurance. But when she hit a spot on the outside of my shoulder and dug in like she was working the last fossil fuel in a coal mine, my hand reflexively shot up and punched her in the face. Not kidding.
I apologized, but the deed was done and the message was sent. After, I told my wife it was like being in an MMA match. With a polar bear. And I lost.
The problem with a massage is that I think the masseuses probably get bored. Bad body after bad body comes rolling in, complaining about their various minor aches and pains, and the masseuses have to do something to spice up the place.
So I think they hold contests to see who they can make squirm the most, or who they annoy the most, or who they can put in the most pain. And they go to Masseuse.com, where you learn a secret handshake to join, and they share their stories of administering pain to unwitting dolts like myself, the same dolt who wants to believe that when they are giving you a finger massage and snap their fingers, they’ve actually done something. I think they saw that in “Now You See Me 2” and try to see how many dimwits will fall for it. I’m on to you. Snapping your fingers at the end of my finger doesn’t make my finger feel good.
So then after the massage, they’re all hanging around waiting for a tip.
Like, what is the standard tip for a massage?
What should I have given the chick I crushed in the face in the woods? A higher “sympathy” tip to help repair her lower jaw line, or a lower “you provoked me” tip? These decisions make my back tighten up. I need the decision-making taken out of it, like Uber for massages. Just remove the nonsense.
I have an idea. Massages are a sort of universal thing, right? I mean, some are more worldly than others, like the whole Robert Kraft parlor. But for the most part, massages are universal. So how about somebody comes up with a market standard for massage parlors, posts the rules on the door (underwear – no underwear) and then we’ll all be better off?