Massage – it smells and there’s no happy ending

I was walking down the high-street when I found myself gagging on a sickly sweet fog that could only be the exhaust emissions from a Vauxhall Cavalier converted to run on fancy soap.

I was walking down the high-street when I found myself gagging on a sickly sweet fog that could only be the exhaust emissions from a Vauxhall Cavalier converted to run on fancy soap. Words like ‘subdue’ and ‘bewilder’ wafted past in a dreamy, undulating font then dissolved into the ether. Once I’d caught my breath and the haze had cleared I realised I was standing outside a spa offering synaesthesia therapy (the spa was, not me). The ambitious copy is about as believable as the legions of layabouts I’ve noticed with their knuckles wedged into their posterior, clumsily jerking their spines to and fro and bleating ‘oh, I need a massage’ despite not having lifted more than a Jäger-bomb since they got back from Magaluf. It reads along the lines of:

“Is your inner child suffering from musculoskeletal tension? Perhaps a vertebra or two may be misaligned from lifting a piano in a past life leaving you with lower back self-esteem. Our full out-of-body massage penetrates deep within the psyche, alleviating any aches and pains you may be imagining. Let our licenced professionals take you on a magical journey through the looking glass to pin point the exact moment in your childhood that caused trauma to the connective tissue between your lymphatic vessels and your inner happiness.”

A snap for £125, after all, we slouches love to be pampered: manicure, pedicure, nothing boosts sex appeal like having ones extremities eroded. Perhaps one might consider decapitation as a logical next step. Incidentally, for those of you considering the treatment I have devised one of my own which I think you would find equally beneficial. A CT scanner takes tomographic images which are used to diagnose infarctions, haemorrhage and trauma to the hypothalamus and frontal lobe. And if you’re not interested in that as an alternative then you need your head examined! Of course, I’ve never had either one done so this is wild speculation. Colour me the ignorant fool for saying so if I’m wrong but if you’re looking for a massage akin to happiness then I’d suggest you look for a place down Soho way. Tell Yung Wang, I sent you.

Again, file me under ‘O’ for oblivious but here’s my interpretation of what the experience of synaesthesia therapy must be like.

[Scene: A room lit by myriad candles. Vials of lotion named after emotions are displayed on kitsch Moroccan furniture. Enter Tom, ditching his book bag. A bell rings above the door and he is greeted by a burley Swede named Sven.]

TOM: Morning Sven
SVEN: It’s the afternoon.
TOM: So it is, I guess I’ve had a long day.
SVEN: You’re looking well.
TOM: Thanks, I can’t complain, how about you, business good?
SVEN: Booming, you wouldn’t believe how many of these orthopaedic candles I’ve sold; it’s a gold rush. Can I interest you in one?
TOM: Err… no thanks
SVEN: Can’t pull the wool over your eyes, ay?
TOM: That’s right.
SVEN: The usual I assume? Just lie back and put this natural Ovis fibre face mask on, I’ll be back with the relaxation crystals.
TOM: Great.
SVEN (starting to massage): How’s the whale music, too loud?
TOM: Yes, perfect.
SVEN: So where would you say you’re carrying most of your stress and anxiety? You know that’s what causes pain and discomfort in the body.
TOM: Sorry? I think I nodded off for second there.
SVEN: That’s okay. Would you like me to use more motivation oil, or perhaps a little self-actualisation cream to help with that acne?
TOM: Sure, thanks. Say? What’s in that bottle marked ‘swindle’?
SVEN: Never mind that, how about a happy ending.
TOM: Ha-ha, good one Sven, just an acceptance of my core misery will be fine.
SVEN: I’ll put the hot rocks on then.
TOM: actually, on second thoughts, how about just a couple of cold rocks and an ambivalent ending?
SVEN: What’s wrong, you got things to do?
TOM: Oh Sven, you crack me up. No, it’s the smell of those candles; it’s making me quite nauseous.
SVEN: I’ll wrap one up for you on your way out.
TOM: Thanks pal.