Thursday, June 16, 2005

...slap it up, flip it, rub it down...OH NOOooo

Last Christmas my in-laws got us an overnight stay at a spa in Calistoga. It included a room (duh), a mud bath, a blanket wrap and a 1 hour massage. I've never had a "real" massage so the idea was both appealing and scary as hell. See, I work with youngins in Calistoga and I have just the kind of luck that says I'll get one of the kids' parents as my masseuse. Or my masseur. "So, Billy tells me you don't let him play with Legoes any more {crack!} why is that..."

We checked in and went to our room which had a HUGE hot tub in the room. That was a nice start. Being six-foot four and 250 pounds, my usual routine of sitting in the tub with a 6pack of Coors Light tall boys isn't usually very satisfying. A big ole hot tub seemed pretty sweet so I already felt the trip was a success. After checking for the bible (none) and seeing what kind of coffee was available (crappy), we headed down for our mud bath.

Calistoga has a geyser and a natural hot springs. All the water in the place is powered by said hot springs. Pretty neat. However, such natural amenities are usually powered by sulfur which smells like a cow-shit/rotten egg milkshake. So as we stripped down and went into our private mud room, I saw what looked like a giant "L" shaped tub of shit with the accompanying smell. What the hell, you only live once so into the drink I went.

It was actually kind of neat and very hot. I closed my eyes and it felt like I was one with the mud. Very relaxing in a weird, everything-your-mom-said-not-to-ever-do kind of way. My wife however, couldn't quit squirming around and that was annoying. It's bad enough sitting in a tub of hot mud but when the person at your feet is like a 4 year old at a movie, it's a drag.

After we rinsed off, we got wrapped up in cozy blankets and they locked us in a dark room. It felt like preschool nap time and I conked out immediately. Although the back of my mind was plagued with who my massager would be. I decided it's not right to kill the massager (ohhh SNAP!) so I let it go. Soon our guide came in and said it was massage time.

As we waited in the hallway, a tall nurse looking gal and a short, portly, could be Ron Jeremy's brother guy in a pony tail approached. I looked at my wife and smiled. "Heh heh...your masseur looks freaky. Have fun!" But sure enough, per my usual luck, I get a chubby hand in mine and a nasally plugged voice says, "I'm Son-Bear, I'll be your masseur today." Perfect. We had asked for a female masseuse for me but...whatever.

The massage was O.K. I was pretty knotty (not naughty, dick) but as an eternally smart-assed guy, the sound of lotion being squeezed into a hand is cause for an automatic Beavis & Butthead type moment. I stifled my laugh and eventually realized *I'M* not rubbing on *HIM*, it's the other way around and I'm fairly certain that sucks more for him than for me. When it was all over I felt so-so and went to take a nap.

When I woke up my neck and shoulders were pinched to no end and they still are today...a day and a half later. Isn't that exactly what's NOT supposed to happen? I even sat in the hot tub watching Bruce Springsteen: Live in New York which was on PBS. That's a LONG show and my neck still hurts. Ugh, annoying. I can't say I'd never get another massage, but it wasn't everything I had hoped for. At least there was no happy ending from Ron-Bear.

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