Arriving in Moscow this time felt like a step into the past, but not the good past. If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that I lived in Russia from September to June of this year and that our snowy, gray winter lasted well into May. Somehow, I was just not ready for more winter quite yet. As soon as I saw the snow on the ground and the gray sky I was instantly transported back to the depressed gloom of earlier this year.
Some of that dissipated when I saw my dear friend Anya. We caught up, drank warm and delicious soup, and sipped on fruit-filled mulled wine. I thought maybe I’d make it through. But then I went to my apartment, tried to sleep, and was struck by a terrible back cramp, like a charley horse, but in my back. What the hell? I took a hot shower, and that helped for a while, but I was down for the count the next day.
Anya brought me a common Russian cure for back pain: Kuznetsov’s Ipplikator (or Applikator). Invented by one Ivan Kuznetsov, a music teacher, in the 1970s, it’s a small mat with a zillion little plastic spikes in it. Notably, Mr. Kuznetsov initially constructed the original version of his invention out of an old tire and some thumb-tacks from the office, so this is an improvement. I guess. Anyway, you’re supposed to lay on it and, eventually, it is supposed to make you feel better.
I think it’s pretty clear that this comes from a long line of Russian belief in a concept articulated by Dostoevsky as “Redemption Through Suffering.”
I was further discouraged when I watched a video on youtube entitled, “I apply Kuznetsov’s Applikator.” The video’s description says, “I use Applikator Kuznetsov to cure sore throat. Don’t let children see this. Too painful. And partial nudity.”
I did try this, dear reader, but I can’t say whether it worked or not because my treatment was interrupted when I began to read the medical device advertisements included with the Applikator/Ipplikator.
Right in the middle of the booklet of ads was this gem. Tell me if you can guess what this is.
Here’s a diagram of the interior of the apparatus, in case that should help you.
Gentle reader, this magic device reduces discomfort and painful sensations, improves bladder release, reduces the urge to urinate, and improves erectile dysfunction.
It is, excuse my terminology, a vibrating butt-plug.
Marquis de Saud school of medicine? Looks painful, but interesting…
You can have mine!
Apparently these are now marketed in the United States as acupressure mats.
Yup, I’ve seen them here (the ipplikator spikes of death, that is, not the err… clinically proven heated vibrating infrared prostate massagers). Must be pretty popular with wannabe Yogis.
And no, they are not quite Marquis De Sade material unless and until Zvezdochka balm is also applied (that would probably hold true for the massager as well).
Sorry about the weather. You do realize it’s not going to get any better any time soon, right?