Saturday, November 03, 2012

Further adventures with Tiger Balm

The last thing I did before I went to bed last night was to rub Tiger Balm into my aching thighs.

The last thing I did before going to sleep was to writhe for two hours, my thighs burning from the heat of the Tiger Balm.

After an hour of trying futilely to sleep through this, I got up and inspected my legs, which were as pasty as ever, except where I'd applied the Balm, where they were the same angry red you'd get from a bad case of sunburn. And there I was thinking that a "balm" was something that soothed.

I was appallingly tired, desperate to sleep, but stuck in a rehash of Harry Potter and the Burning Sensation. I thought about rinsing my legs with water, but there's a warning on the tube of Tiger Balm Extra Strength that you shouldn't shower an hour before or after application. Was that because I could provoke a pyroclastic reaction? Did I even know what a pyroclastic reaction was? Shouldn't I have learned that Extra Strength, whether it's attached to "Lager" or "Super Glue" or "Tiger Balm" is more of a warning than a recommendation?

Part of me wonders what is the mechanism behind the unholy and unrelenting heat of Tiger Balm. I still feel an unnatural warmth now, as if the Tiger has merged with my flesh. Some sort of vapour, I think, because at one point I was wearing baggy shorts to sleep in, and after a few minutes the heat spread from my thighs to my groin, and that really was rather upsetting, though removal of garments meant the cloud of weaponised Balm could dissipate and the burning went away again.

Still, the fire in my thighs blazed on. That's the sort of thing you expect to read in bad slashfic, not happen to you while you're training for a marathon. I rolled and I writhed and I whimpered (not so loud that I'd wake my wife) and finally reached blissful unconsciousness, waking at nine this morning to find I'd missed my run, my legs were working again and my back was completely screwed up. So that hasn't been the greatest Saturday.


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