Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Low pain threshold

I seem to have an extremely low pain threshold. The slightest hint of an ache or pain sends me scampering for my bed clutching a hot water bottle and demanding tea and sympathy.

There is, apparently, a scientific test to measure pain thresholds. They put your thumb in thumb-screw device and measure the pressure they can apply before you can’t bear any more. They are allowed to do this because the men are wearing white coats and are in a laboratory. If they are wearing balaclavas and are in a dungeon it would be called torture, and this is NOT generally acceptable – don’t be fooled.

Nick and I have attempted to recreate this experiment at home because he really can’t believe how much little things hurt me, like being whipped across the arse with a tea towel during washing-up disagreements.

The thumb squeezing experiment, far from being conclusive proof of pain thresholds only serves to highlight our inequalities in strength. He presses down on my thumb until I shriek, and then pronounces that he was barely squeezing at all. I press down on his as hard as I can, using both hands, and he doesn’t flinch. This does NOT mean that I am a wimp. It merely concludes that he is stronger than me, doesn’t get period pains, and is more adept with a tea towel whip.

3 Comments:

Blogger OboeJane said...

why don't you shut each other's thumbs in the hinge of the door - that way, you can chalk onto the floor how far the door moved for each of you (and you may get a strategic advantage from having thinner thumbs)

5:59 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Love it jane - you've clearly done this kind of thing before?

11:40 AM  
Blogger rach said...

I'm liking this idea. For true scientific authenticity we could pad out my thumb with something non-compressible to ensure that both thumbs start at the same pressure. Vernier calipers (remember them from school?) could be used to accurately measure the starting thickness of thumbs.

Floor markings could be graded by degrees, so
10 degrees = wimp,
20 degrees = normal human,
45 = superhuman,
60 = extra manly and brave,
90 degrees = abnormal and should see a doctor to get thumb sewn back on.

Any visitor to our house could be invited to partake in this fun game. We'd be inundated with guests I'm sure!

12:36 PM  

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