After completing all the necessary Christmas-related decorating, shopping, travel, and cultural crap, we had only one small thing left to do. We were to host a small dinner party. Everything had been timed perfectly, and I was just about ready to serve. As I pulled the Roast Beast from the oven, I threw out my back. So I suffered through dinner and after-dinner conversation trying my damnedest to grin through clenched teeth. On the rare occasion when this happens, I am reminded that old age is going to suck. Getting into and out of bed (or, for that matter, the car) can take minutes. I went to work yesterday, but the pain kept me from doing much. I went for a run after work, hoping it would provide a reprieve from the pain. It worked. Of course, after I had stopped running and sat down, the pain returned with a vengeance. So now I am laying prone on the living room floor, burning off a day of sick leave without enjoying it. On the plus side, we all survived Christmas without a hitch.