Bulging Wallet Syndrome

bulging walletNo, this blog is not about reducing wallet size by giving away your cash. A writer friend recently shared that he had been diagnosed with “Wallet Sciatica,” intense pain caused by his large wallet. It reminded me of something from my past. Maybe this blog will save you or someone you know from some pain. But for me, it just makes me smile remembering like it was yesterday the story my dad, a tavern owner, told me when I was a kid and first started carrying a wallet:

Arthur Alcorn with Lance and Randy

I had horrible back pain for years. It got to the point that I would twist around while driving trying to get relief. I couldn’t do heavy lifting, could hardly bend over any more. I went to the doctor and he couldn’t figure out what was causing it, and just gave me pain killers, with no hope of ever getting better. So one night a guy was sitting at the bar at my tavern. He was drunk, and getting drunker. He saw me wincing in pain and said, “What’s wrong?” I told him about my back problem. He said, “Show me your wallet.” I wasn’t going to pull out my wallet for a drunk, but he was a customer so finally I showed him my thick wallet. He said, “That’s your problem. Put it in your front pocket and in a few months you’ll be fine.” So I did. And it was. Haven’t had a backache since.

This was probably the most Proverb-like advice my unbelieving father ever gave me (he finally came to Christ at age 85). So I’ve always carried my wallet in my front pocket. It also comes in handy when you’re in crowded areas with pickpockets. And it goes to show that you can sometimes get good advice (without a doctor’s bill) from someone who’s drunk. But I wouldn’t count on it. :)

By the way, my dad never gave up his huge wallet, full of notes and newspaper clippings. It continued to bulge, but in a pocket where it no longer hurt him. As his son, I’ve carried on the tradition, occasionally finding in my wallet expired coupons and business cards given to me three years ago.


Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries