A Rick in the Neck

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I woke with a rick in my neck – a term I thought was universal but which I now discover is a British colloquialism and so might be known to you as a crick in the neck, a wry neck (which seems odd to me because I do understand what wry means and the thought that my neck is actively taking the p*ss* is a little difficult to swallow) or, if you are more inclined towards the medical, torticollis.  As always, my level of comprehension ranking just below that of the average coffee table, I do not fully understand the cause of this condition.  I have been asleep, I cannot have been doing anything too strenuous.  I haven’t been involved in anything in bed that would require extreme neck mobility for years.  Mind you, I’ve just been reading about dust mites in pillows and that’s a real head turner.  I am burning my pillow as we speak.  (This is a slight exaggeration.  Having set all of the bedding to wash at a temperature that would cook crabs, I am currently spraying the pillow with something that smells like it should be used to dress a wound.)

I would currently be brilliant in a maze because I can only look to the left.  I am sitting at an angle of forty five degrees to the laptop screen, which eases the stress on my neck, but does nothing for my spine which is contorted into a ragged stack of vertebrae looking not entirely dissimilar to a corkscrew.  If I leave my feet on the floor, the swivel chair rotates at a speed that would have James Bond reaching for the sickbag.  When I stand, the top half of my body uncoils to the sound of popcorn cooking, yet when it stops, I still find myself looking back over my shoulder.  It’s very disconcerting.

The strange thing about a ricked neck is that as long as you remain conscious of it, it does not cause too much of a problem.  It is only when I forget that it is there that it reminds me, with a jolt not unlike a wet finger in the National Grid, resulting in a convulsion that leaves me doubled-up like a Kirby Grip.  I am a grown man: I handle pain with the stoicism of a three year old and the kind of shriek that was last heard when Ramses III dropped a pyramid on his foot.  Nevertheless, even with my neck so constrained, I can operate perfectly well without pain providing I do everything at the speed of a plumber on piece time.  If I am tempted to react to anything at a speed above stately – eg the moment when the end threatens to break away from a dunked biscuit – I am skewered.

I am a fully grown man – I have the benefit of a mirror to prove this, you will just have to take my word for it – and I realise that this pain (unlike my moaning) will not endure.  It will disappear just as quickly as it appeared, almost certainly overnight, but I have no idea how.  Does it perhaps, like some malignant spirit, leave me when it is bored and drop into another neck for a short spell of ricking in alternative surroundings?  If so, my wife will almost certainly spend the next couple of days looking the other way.  And what if she gets it at the same time as me, only on the other side?  Will we spend the whole time with our backs to one another?  How would I ever know?  We seldom look at one another these days – except in a very wry way…

*…and I’ve just realised that this, too, is a particularly British phrase meaning, in this sense (it has others) ‘making fun of me’…

I just found this in my ‘back catalogue’. Nothing new under the sun…


23 thoughts on “A Rick in the Neck

  1. We say a “crick in my neck” and if it is a pain in the hip that is similar we say, “I have a hitch in my giddyup.” I feel sorry for you, amigo. I was going to say, “But better you than me,” but I thought that might not sound very nice so I decided to refrain.

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  2. I’ve had a lot of spine issues. When I had something like the crick every time I forgot I would scream a lot of wicked words and then laugh like when you hit your funny bone…is that why it’s called funny bone?

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  3. I feel you. Not literally of course, but I’ve also reached the age where sleeping can feel like a contact sport. I wake with a cricked neck a few times a year and there’s never a good explanation why. Hope your pain passes quickly.

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  4. I’m starting to get early morning cramps in my legs most mornings… does that count? I know its not a competition, but as we seem to be comparing ailments, I thought I’d throw in my two penuth…

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    1. I have nothing to declare – other than raised cholesterol, hypertension and a prostate the size of a birthing ball – none of which appear to be able to put me off whisky or chocolate so, bugger it, I’m all good 😊

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