Dave T’s Pros and Cons of Stuff Everyone Has: Pain

Big Wheel Blog: 

Go to your local gunnery and pick yourself up a gun. Nothing fancy, just a .22 or whatever. And buy bullets. Live rounds, no blanks.

When you get home, go sit in your tub buck naked and load your new gun. Aim the gun at either of your pinky toes, depending on which one you like less (or which one you stub more). Pull the trigger, blowing off said little piggy.

Feel that awful sensation that starts in your toe hole and works its way up to your brain? That’s PAIN.

Don’t know what it is?

The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as an "unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage." Basically, some sort of stimulus causes your nerves to send a signal to your brain that you’re sick or in danger. What your brain does with that information is up to you and your brain.

For the purposes of this article, I’m limiting myself mostly to physical pain. Sorry, emo kids.


• Pain sends a signal to your brain that what you’re doing or what’s happening to you is bad news. When little Mikey touches a hot plate, it’s pain that tells him to move his hand before he does permanent nerve damage.

• For some kinky-dinkies known as S & M fans ("S" stands for "sex" and "M" stands for "messed up"), pain causes great sexual pleasure that leads to the big O (not Oprah, the other big O). For hardcore Essenemmers™, this can involve covering your face in clothes pins, being dipped into ice water, having someone burn you with cigarettes, marathon sessions of the sitcom Cybil, etc. For the softer side of Sears, it's limited to Ricky Martin getting burned with candle wax in the video for “Livin' La Vida Loca.”

• I don’t mean to wax philosophical, but I don’t believe that pleasure would have meaning without pain. If life was nothing but bliss upon bliss, existence would become a tedious series of happy events that we all took for granted. It’s like eating your favorite candy: having it once in a while makes you happy, but if it were all you ever ate, you’d hate the sight of it, and die of a combination of malnutrition and obesity. (It’s funny ‘cause it’s true!)

• As much as it sucks to feel pain ourselves, it feels great to inflict pain on people we don’t like. When a guy sleeps with your girlfriend and you break his jaw with a hammer, you want him to be at least a little put out by it.

• I like it when the Method Man makes the rap about “I came to bring the pain, hardcore from the brain, let’s go inside my astral plane…” It’s so dope!

• Without pain, the medical profession would collapse. And people would collapse too, not knowing they had a softball-sized tumor behind their eyes because they never had a headache... Okay, not all people, but a bunch!

• Pain, or the lack thereof, lets you know you’re dreaming. When you’re not sure if you’re awake or dreaming, you pinch yourself and see if it hurts. Without this gauge of reality, people might waste their time trying hard to get work done in dreams, or doing really embarrassing and/or insane things while awake.

Total Pros: 7


• Pain hurts!

• Sometimes pain has no cause and never goes away. So it’s just useless, like someone eternally screaming “Fire!” at the top of her lungs in a building that’s not on fire. The worst case of this is phantom pains, where people experience pains in parts of their bodies that have been amputated. What’s worse than not having a left hand and not being able to play the friggin’ guitar? Getting a wicked cramp in that hand you don’t have and can’t use to play the friggin’ guitar.

• Pain often leads to addiction to painkillers, and that leads to awful things like Kurt Cobain’s death. (It’s NOT funny ‘cause it’s true! Sorry for the downer.)

• Yes, pain sends your brain a signal that you’re in danger and need to change course. But couldn’t there be a more fun way for your body to tell your brain what’s up? Like a funny Muppet voice that gleefully says “Hey, Mikey, your foot’s in a puddle of lava! Move it or lose it, Sillybones!”

• Without being able to pinch yourself to see if you’re awake, you’d have to do something really silly to know if you're dreaming, like pee in a cup and drink it and see if it tastes bad, or try to fly. The thought of seeing someone on a city street running ten feet, jumping, putting his arms up like Superman, rising two feet in the air, and landing with a chagrined expression makes me giddy.

Total Cons: 5

So, 7 pros, 5 cons, pain is here to stay. Next time you drop a bowling ball on your foot and it smarts like the dickens, you can blame me.

‘Til next time, Ciao!
Dave T

"Essenemmers" is a registered trademark of David Terruso.
If you use the term, you owe him a nickel.
Unnecessary phonetic spelling in general, however, is public domain.

Dave Terruso is half of the sketch comedy duo Animosity Pierre. Check them out at Helium Comedy Club on July 22.