By W.T. Wimpy Hiroto


After getting a writer’s vacation due to Veterans Day last week you might think CR2S would be in a rambunctious, gung ho state of being. Au contraire. I sit here naked before thee (in mind, not body) without an idea of how to fulfill my regular weekly Rafu slot. If a reader I don’t think I would want to hear excuses. Action, bro, forget the e-wa-kes and fulfill your duty, man. Boot straps and all that stuff.

Okay. Gaman/shimbo. Suck it up.

I was once told Japanese Ameri­can males are more prone to suffer back problems than any other ethnicity. This piece of medical information was passed along to me while being prepped for an eight-hour surgery to correct a lower lumbar 3-4 problem. Maybe it was 4-5. It was ten years ago so excuse the guess work. It has something to do with the curvature of the spinal column and a tapering of the surrounding protective area in the lower back. A Jappo with an out of kilter protuberance spells trouble with a capital T. Just as women don’t have an Adam’s apple, apparently they have also been spared of spinal woes.

The above is not cited in any AMA journal and it appears today only as an introduction to a 10th anniversary reminder that ole Wimpo was apparently not made whole by the earlier surgery. Sunday last, without cause or warning, “it” returned with a ven­geance and has rendered your communicator painfully useless.

Over the years I’ve talked to dozens of sufferers. The locales and severity vary but all are in agreement the pain level is excruciating at times. Maybe it is a get-even proposition since we don’t experience child birth.

But all are in agreement it’s like getting shot. [Even though you don’t find many people who have actually experienced being wounded.]

An example is picking up the morning newspaper. You don’t/can’t simply lean over. You have to bend your knees and sink down, leaning against a wall to maintain balance. Even morning teeth brushing becomes a challenge; you have to find the exact body position to forestall an unwelcome reminder you’re not in proper alignment. Multiply by 2 if you have to shave.

Sleeping? Why bother with further explanations of suffering. I’ve found a reason to set aside my aversion to pain and sleeping pills. Once shunned they are now welcomed. As far as getting out of bed in the morning is concerned, just imagine a human stick man taking 60 seconds to maneuver all of the moving parts one at a careful time.

So what does the future hold? Well, the perils of WTH continue unabated. My doctor of yore is no longer practicing cutting people up, unfortunately, so I can’t get my hands on past medical records and Daniel Freeman is no help today. I have to find somebody willing to take a retread; not an easy task I’m informed, especially since I have two titanium bars snuggled together down there someplace probably in rebellion and causing the belated uprising.

I’ve got a couple of important luncheons on the docket that I can’t afford to miss. And I’ll be darned if I have to be seen in public with a cane! On second thought even though a walking stick does nothing to alleviate distress, it does help with a balance problem, no? Ah, shoot. Who cares. Did I not warn you all not to get old? Or decrepit? And most important, not become a complainer?

My last column offering—“A Companion: Canine or Human” (Rafu/11/04/09)—was really not meant as a polling vehicle but a surpris­ing number of responders voiced the same answer: “Why not both!”

I guess my CR2S readers are both dog lovers and romantics at heart. Not a bad combination when you stop to think about it. One wondered aloud what I might have against cats. (No prejudice. Just a preference.)

The near *unanimous agreers endorsing both dog and dogette extolled the virtues of a loyal, loving pet while equally in favor of a compatible female to fulfill the remaining voids. If only it were that simple. [*The only fly in the shoyu was (an obvious male) reader who took me to task for ‘making fun’ of canines and women! I would repeat his lecture in his own words but I genuinely feel sorry for the guy and choose not to add to his own suffering. I gather he has a dog but no human companionship. I envy his possession and truly hope he is successful in finding a partner.]

So now I promise to put the question to rest for the time being. At least in print. I have yet to visit a dog pound for fear I will not return home empty handed.

And if truth be told, which sometimes shouldn’t be, I think in a sense I’ve already been rejected on the human(e) side of the equation as well.

We’ll see. No. I’ll see.


W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.


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