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Never get a massage at a fair.

That's a lesson I learned the hard way at a fair in Seattle. It was already a weird place. There was no common theme between any of the stands. Some were advertising schools and universities, some offered career prospects, some sold food and others just had fun activities to do. It's like everyone received a letter inviting them to be a part of the Fair, but no one new what kind of Fair it was so everyone just showed with a stand. The result was a weird hodgepodge on a 10 metre stretch of road you could buy a hot dog, hear a pitch on a career in IT and go fishing for plastic ducks.

One of the stands there was hosted by a massage parlour, creatively named Seattle Massages. They had massage tables out and were offering free massages to passers-by. We passed it by and one of the attendants asked if I wanted a massage and for reasons I still don't understand to this day, I accepted. Maybe it was the adventurous spirit of travel that pushed me to say yes or maybe I had not yet developed all the anxiety and neuroses that I have now which would have made me say no but the thing I know for certain is that I immediately regretted my decision as soon as I sat on the massage table.

“Upper half or lower half?” he asked. I was taken off-guard by the question, I didn't realise he had different packages available. He was a buff guy, a V-shaped bod and the same hairstyle as Ivan Drago from Rocky IV. I opted for lower half in the end because I wanted to keep this strangers as far away from my genitals as I could. And then he got to work.

Now, if you are someone who is looking to learn how to give relaxing and reinvigorating massages, I would not recommend doing so at this particular parlour based on the massage I received. If however, you are looking to learn enhanced interrogation techniques to torture information out of your enemies, I cannot recommend Seattle Massages highly enough.

This man was putting my arms and neck into positions that nature never intended arms and necks to be in and pulled with all his strength. There was no rubbing, there was no gentle circular motion, there was just this man who appeared to be putting all his effort into pulling my arms off of my torso. I could actually hear him grunting with strain and effort.

I have no idea what he was going for. All I know is that it hurt. A lot. I'll give you a simile to help you understand. Imagine a man with same physique and hairstyle as Ivan Drago from Rocky IV tries pulling your limbs off. This went on for 5 minutes. I didn't try to stop him. I thought maybe it was one of things that hurt as you were receiving it but made you feel great after it was done. Nope. It hurt during and I was sore for the rest of the day. When we were finished, I got off the massage table and, slightly out of breath, he asked me how it was. I don't quite remember what I said but I'm pretty sure one of the words I used to describe it was “bold.”

I don't know why Seattle Massages picked this man to represent them at this fair. Maybe this massage was meant only for advanced appreciators of the massage.

In any case, I am never accepting a massage at a fair again.

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