Fri, 06 Feb 1998

Dear wondering man,

What determines a person's tolerance of physical, and separately, mental pain? Environment? Genes? Annoying spouses who keep calling you a Big Baby?

Please do tell, as I am in physical pain currently, and evidently "shouldn't" be.


Mrs. Rogers


Dear Madame Wuss,

Your problem is obviously that even though you are a broad-shouldered, six-foot-three, sandy-haired linebacker of a girl with arms like oiled clusters of ball pythons fighting for attention under a rubber tarpaulin, you have been possessed by the free-floating nervous system and memory emplants of Jessica Tandy.

You would be fine, were it not for “the Ghost Who Walkers" manipulating your pain centers and shooting phantom ailments directly into your brain. Your spouse is quite correct in assuming that you should not be in pain, but unfortunately your unwelcome Academy Award-winning guest is.

Under normal circumstances, the amount of pain you can take is measured by the size of your spleen, divided by the length of your instep. Complaints about any lesser amount are considered grounds for divorce in seven states.