After a certain age, learning is usually as a result of something going wrong. You learn about cars when yours develops a mysterious puddle in the footwell, and you learn about your body when stuff starts dropping off.
The results of my MRI scan are in, and while my lower spine is in many ways a picture of loveliness, it seems age has withered it rather.
A spinal disc is a complicated beast that does two jobs: it flexibly connects two vertebrae together and it acts a shock-absorber.
It looks like a doughnut ("mmmm ... doughnut ...") with a jelly-like substance in the middle ("mmmm ... jelly in the middle ...")
With age, one of my low-down discs known as L5-S1 ("the lumbosacral joint" to its friends) has lost water. This dried-out disc has compressed, which has resulted in the jelly squidging out of the doughnut, causing havoc with my sciatic nerve.
You wonder whether there's any way of rubbing some moisturising cream into the disc. This would "reduce the signs of ageing" "because I'm worth it".
It seems it's a Clan Stan design fault because Father Stan is a fellow sufferer.
Feels good to know what the problem is, especially since it definitely isn't one of the really nasty spinal problems it could have been.
Quick : finish with joke :-
There's a rumour that Tampax will be the new sponsors of Bolton Wanderers. It's appropriate, because the club is going through a really bad period.