Quick, I Need Injury Stories To Tell People Instead of Telling Them I Pulled A Muscle Sneezing Too Hard

This glowing redness is NOT sneeze related, RIGHT? RIGHT.


I pulled or tweaked or otherwise injured a muscle in my back, like right in the middle on the left side of my back. This has made even the most menial leanings-over to get off the couch or bending over to pick up a slice of cheese that fell on the ground when I was making a sandwich. It hasn’t really hindered any sort of breathing yet, but I’m sure if I ever needed to run for a certain amount of time, it’d give me grief. And that’s the thing about getting mugged: You never know when you’re needing to sprint away.


I don’t think I broke a rib. I sneeze pretty freaking hard. Like HARD. You know how people will release an audible “guhh” when they release everything out of their nose? I sound like those soldiers from 300 when Leonidas asks them what their profession is. All 299 of them. Right here in my barrel chest. If I broke a rib, that’d be some weak, weak sauce. I’m embarrassed enough that it might be a tweaked muscle. Nothing sounds more feminine than anything something being “tweaked” unless you did it climbing a mountain, getting tackled playing football, or some other awesome story that will captivate people you want to forget that you had tweaked something.


I need a great story to tell people when I’m hobbling around with this injury mild pain of mine. Something that’s going to make me seem way more masculine than a snot-related hindrance would seem at first glance, which is, of course, not at all. I need something that commands respect instead of the indifferent scorn such an incident will evoke when I, ya know, try to stretch my back while I’m at the bar or something. Here were some of my preliminary thoughts:

Saving Baby From Burning Wreckage: So there’s a lot of snow today. Everyone’s assuming there’s going to be a lot of auto accidents, some of them QUITE POSSIBLY INVOLVING FIRE. And everyone knows babies can’t be driving themselves around to their numerous appointments and meetings. The calamity would be catastrophic.

I’m betting I can convince people that I strained my back pulling a baby out of the fiery wreckage of a wintry collision. “Well, the doors were bent shut, and I couldn’t just sit around and wait for the Jaws of Life to get there, I HAD TO ACT FOR GOD’S SAKE.” People might not believe that I could rip the doors off of a car, but if the doors were already well damaged, or partially ripped off already, or oh! Better yet! It was a SmartCar! I was able to rip the roof right off of it.

No one would believe that I’d escape that heroism without, at the very least, a slight injury to some part of my body. This isn’t that movie, Unbreakable.  I WOULD HAVE CERTAINLY TWEAKED SOMETHING, WOULDN’T I?

Some Sort of Lat Pull Down Working Out: So maybe I, AT FIRST GLIMPSE ONLY, don’t seem like the type of guy who would rush into an auto accident, putting myself in danger to save someone else from their own danger, or the type of guy who would be outside when it was so snowy. I get cold!

But I’m not in that bad of shape. I look like I could find my way around a gym alright. I used to be something in high school. Why, I could bench press roughly 315lbs during my senior year! Yeah, I might’ve lost a step or two, but when you see me, you see a person who isn’t out of the daylight of their physical peak just yet. Yes! Perhaps I decided to do YET ANOTHER set of lateral pull downs, flexing my dorsimus, upper dorsimus, and middle dorsimus to the point of utter exhastion and CONTINUING TO DO WORK. Clearly, I have the look of a man who, when he sets out to do something to better himself or others, by God, he finishes the job. Maybe the ole back got a little worn out. Wouldn’t be the first time. Working myself out so regularly for so long and so hard, I WOULD HAVE CERTAINLY TWEAKED SOMETHING AT SOME POINT, WOULDN’T I?!

Surgery To Remove Long Embedded Shrapnel: Maybe the tale can come from long ago. Perhaps my car broke down next to a city development or construction site of some sort. Maybe I was walking around it, looking to see if there were anyone still working, or perhaps had left a radio or walky talky behind. Yeah, and while walking around, I inadvertently set off one of the grinding machines or whatever construction workers use to…construct. This created a TREMENDOUS EXPLOSION setting the development of my tiny hometown in Arkansas back a few more years and sending rock, metal, and wooden shrapnel out of the machine and bringing the entire site down on me. Of course, I heroically rose from the wreckage like a Caucasian Phoenix, but not without sustaining HIDDEN INJURIES.

And many years later, in 2011, I had that hidden injury removed and the result was a slightly sore back for a few days, but nothing serious. THAT WOULD CERTAINLY RESEMBLE A MINOR TWEAK, WOULD IT NOT?! IT TOTALLY WOULD.

I dunno. Those are my best guesses. I can’t believe I sneezed so hard I injured myself. Is that masculine at all? I mean, I’VE GOT THE SINUS POWER TO INJURE MEN! No? Alright. Feed me stories, friends. Trying to salvage some dignity here after all.

Published by Zack Stovall

Writer living in New York, NY.

One thought on “Quick, I Need Injury Stories To Tell People Instead of Telling Them I Pulled A Muscle Sneezing Too Hard

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