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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

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Afflicted by Arthur....

Afflicted by Arthur

I used to think my mother-in-law was crazy when she talked about her friend, Arthur. But I was young and that was before I met him for myself.  Arthur is quiet the character.  He loves to play pranks. He thinks he is hilarious, I suppose, but the objects of his little practical jokes do not always find him so amusing.

I first met Arthur several years ago when he hit me in the shoulder so hard that it hurt for a week.  That was when I first began to suspect that Arthur might be a problem if he stayed around very long. I rubbed some liniment on my sore spot and in a few days it felt a little better. Boy, I hoped I never saw Arthur again.  What kind of a prankster is he anyhow?

Well, Arthur just kept coming to visit whether he was welcome or not.  I had heard other people talking about him, how he jumped them when they were not expecting it, leaving them stiff and sore for days.
Arthur has become a terrible nuisance, but there doesn't seem to be a way to get rid of him. He just keeps nagging and nagging once he finds a target for his little gags.  The only way I can get any relief from his antics is by hiding in the shower. Of course, I can't stay in the shower forever, and as soon as I am out, he is ready to strike again. I wish I had a hot tub. I would drown that pest if he didn't leave me alone.

There are pills available that help with the soreness a little bit, and even cortisone shots for the really bad periods.  But they are only a temporary help.  Arthur always returns, and usually with a vengeance. He seems to especially like cold, damp and rainy weather, the times when you least feel like fooling with him.

Here lately, Arthur has taken a special interest in my knees. He ties my legs in knots when I'm asleep. Sometimes I can hardly walk in the mornings until I stretch my sore muscles. Arthur is falling all over the place, rolling on the floor laughing. Frankly, I do not find this sort of stuff funny at all.

People everywhere are suffering from Arthur's little tricks, some more severely than I am. One sweet lady told me that she used to love to dance, but now Arthur won't let her. Arthur has no mercy with his stunts. His favorite victims seemed to be older people. The more you hurt, the more hilarious he seems to think it is. What a creep he is.

Folks tell me that if you exercise on a regular basis, it will help build up your resistance so Arthur can't bother you as much. But it's hard to exercise when Arthur is constantly pulling on you, trying to do something to make you miserable.

He won't let tennis players play tennis, golfers golf, or runners run. The more agony he can spread around the happier it appears to make him.  He somehow affects the immune system of your body and makes it difficult for you to resist him.

Somebody needs to do something about Arthur. Maybe one of these days he will get slapped with a restraining order and thrown in jail. The world would be a better place if there was a magic drug that could make him disappear.

But until that happens, I guess we will just have to keep putting up with him. Arthur befriends a lot of people. We all know him well. I hope you never meet him, but if you do, keep smiling and try not to let him get to you.
One of these days maybe there will be a way to get rid of Arthur -- Arthritis, that is.

Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss

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