We all know what it’s like when you can feel the dreaded itch coming on and its in that hard to reach part of the middle of your back. You become like a contortionist and bend backwards, but it doesn’t work. You are left with the dilemma of do you try to reach up from behind your back to find the target area or reach up and over your shoulder! Neither ever seems to get the exact spot so you resort to rubbing yourself against anything that is available, a chair, the wall even your partner if they are standing close enough. When you finally utter the words “Would you scratch my back for me, I can’t reach”.
Now we all know the irritation of having an itchy back but most of us have also been on the receiving end of the request and this writer, just like many others, really does not enjoy scratching another person’s skin. Scratching a pets fur I don’t mind but there is something about another person’s dead skin cells under my finger nails that makes my stomach turn. Of course, at least another human can ask for help as where we are often left guessing why our cat is rolling around on the floor or why or dog is reaching with its back leg up behind its ear or if you are in the horrible position of having a horse with sweet itch. For remedies that can help soothe itchy pets take a look at https://www.stinky-stuff.co.uk/sweet-itch/
Anyway, back to the itchy back dilemma. What better invention has there been than the back scratcher??
Many people point to the wheel, others the discovery of penicillin in hushed tones there is talk of the Hadron Collider at Cern in Switzerland but surely none of these things compare with the ability of humans to develop such a useful advice. They say that necessity is the mother of invention and this certainly fits the bill. Original scratchers were taken from pieces of wood. The longest with a decent hook on the end was obviously the way to go but this did not always appear in nature. Therefore, our ancestors took the natural wood pieces and shaped and whittled it with great skill to form the standard claw shape working on the position of fingers when a human scratches.
My Granny had one as gift brought back for her when her friend went on holiday. It was whittled from Bamboo which is a very good substance to use as the splinter rate is less. In the modern era the back scratcher has gone on to be redesigned and even features a telescopic option, so it can fit in a bag making it portable, the essence of human ingenuity.