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The Agony and the Apotheosis: A Christmas Story

On the first day of a recent Christmas past, my truelove gave to me… low frequency therapeutic equipment.

The product, also called the HBL-502, was “similar to as seen on TV,” according to the information on the box which also included this: “Broad and profound Chinese traditional medicine deducts infinite technological apotheosis.”

This could mean that the HBL-502 represented the pinnacle of technological achievement, was made by gods or, at the very least, could bestow divine properties.

I was intrigued.

I opened the box and pulled out the little square box that featured an on/off switch and six buttons: high, tapping, vibrating, massage, auto, and low. Wires dangled from the sides. Four slim plastic patch-like pads fell out of the box along with adhesive pads to secure them to my skin.

Ahh. A mini EKG machine!


Not exactly. The idea was to attach the pads to the ailing parts of my body —“shoulders fatigue” or where I was experiencing “pain from nerve endins (sic).”

“I saw one on TV but this one seemed just as good. It came with great reviews,” my husband told me with a smile that could only spring from love, not the desire to stop rubbing my feet or shoulders on demand.

It also came with a list of added benefits under the heading “tips for health preserving.” Strategic placement of the electrodes could improve “drunkenness, apoplexy, hemiparalysis, scapulohumeral periarthitis, impotence, hypertension, menoxenia, diabetes, and belly ache. It could even help me lose weight. The “Massage” setting, according to the user’s manual would bring “a desirable modulation to your muscle, a profound stimulus to your redundant fat. The product … applies pulse current on the muscle to change its function, to bring curve to your figure and to restore your confidence.”IMG_20151223_145148173


Well, what was I waiting for? I plunged deeper into the users’ manual which put a bit of a dent in my confidence. Before I could get started, I had to “Insert an electrode wire into the outgoing hole subordinate to a control unit with two lines on the other end of the wire attached to the healthy pad.”

No matter what I did, my new device refused to do what the manual described as “coming into the operating state.” Still, I kept at it if only because the manual itself proved a joy to read. A sort of “50-Shades of Gray” tone ran throughout, the punishment never described only implied if one violated the instructions in the “Precautions” and “Warnings” sections.

A sampling:

“No use is permitted to children or adults who have no perception or no ability to express his/her idea.”

“Any touch of the healthy pad with a strap or necklace is prohibited, failing to do so causes a strong stimulus.”

And my favorite warning:

“Any use of the product on heart, neck, head, mouth, pudendum, or any parts suffering dermatitis is prohibited.”

Such loving detail coupled with stern commands. Tingles!


Finally, I had the wires in the right place and the electrodes attached to the muscle in my neck that has a permanent knot in it. I looked at my mate. He smiled back, his eyes flickering uncertainly. I’d been reading the instructions out loud and either the tone or the typos had diminished his enthusiasm.

I shrugged. “What’s the worst that could happen?” and pressed the “Tapping” button. Nothing. I hit “High.” Nothing. I hit several more buttons, then the “Auto” button. Still, nothing. Then I hit “High” a few more times because, as the instructions informed, “there are ten shifts on both the High and Low keys.” Still nothing.

I hit it one more time. My shoulder went rigid and lightning seemed to travel from my knotted neck muscle down my arm. I lurched out of the chair.


My husband help rip the electrodes from my skin and we stood, panting like frightened kids. My was heart definitely aroused, it seemed to want to charge right out of my chest.

My thoughts ricocheted inside my skull. Among them: was my husband trying to kill me? Might someone really try to attach this device to his or her pudendum? Was this what cattle felt when stuck with one of those prods?

Or, had I just reached the apotheosis of my entire life?

By the time my body calmed to a dull throb, my husband had already stuffed the HBL-502 back into the box. The next day, it was on its way back to Amazon but I kept a memento: the instructions with all their typos, rich language and sexy insinuations. And this warning:

“An immediate cancel of the treatment processes is recommended at the occurrence of any unexpected events.”

To love, Christmas, and unexpected events that make you smile, not scream. Unless, of course, you’d like that.

(If any of this makes you want to buy one for your loved one, here is the link but be warned. The reviews are all missing and the “item is not currently available.” )


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