I was already a little bit nervous when a young lady in a smart benign coloured uniform called my name out in the waiting area. So of course I instantly forgot her name when she introduced herself – Kaye, or Caitlan, or Lane, or something.
‘I’ll be doing your scan today if that’s okay?’
Did it matter if I didn’t think this was okay? Well, no. I’m not allowed since I believe in sexual equality.
Did I feel deep down a little bit betrayed? Just a little bit.
Since I was made to declare during a rather public mobile phone call the area I was making an ultrasound appointment for was my jizz-bag I naively presumed discretion would be employed and a dude would be assigned to scan my balls.
Why did I think this? I have no idea.
Maybe there were no dude ultrasound technicians. I don’t even know why I would feel more comfortable having a dude scan my jewel-box, all I knew is that I would.
It possibly has something to do with getting a phantom boner – but wouldn’t a phantom boner in front of a female professional be way more acceptable?
Despite the neurotic banter in my head the young lady sonographer had a soft, soapy southern English accent I’ve always found reassuring. And this is not some crass American college comedy. A dude’s not going to crack a boner while thinking worst case scenario – testicular cancer.
I can’t stop imagining being told both conkers will have to go. Bob with his ‘bitch tits’ from Fightclub flashes before my mind.
That’s when I escape – fly to Europe of South American and have a euthanasia party. And my mates are… well, surprisingly agreeable to be fair.
It’s because cancers are like personalities – and divulging the diagnosis of different cancers elicit different responses. Breast cancer is a cataract of compassion and concern, leukaemia is tragedy, brain cancer is, well a bit passé, lung cancer is tepid sympathy until you hear the suffered never a smoked a cigarette in their life so a shit load of remorse joins the party, melanoma is a brutal shock and liver cancer is a bucketful of contrition cos you can’t help think, ‘shit dude-you’re fucked.’
But hearing about someone with testicular cancer is bitter-sweet – it’s pity and relief, like standing over a dead mate in the trenches. Tailgating the anguish is the self-admonishment, ‘better him, than me.’
That’s why all my mates are agreeable with their lament because it’s buoyed by a tacit recognition that they’d all do the same – slip quietly from this world, rather than live without their gonads.
As I follow the young British technologist down a long corridor of examination rooms I question what is the female equivalent to castration from testicular cancer.
I appreciate women’s ovaries are the counterpoint to a man’s testicles in manufacturing our respective primary hormones of oestrogen and testosterone. And mastectomies or cell mutations knocking up and down fallopian tubes are all harrowing prospects. To get into a debate about boobs and wombs versus bollocks is a wee bit facile and a rather obstructive digression. I love boobs and women’s bellies.
All I’m going to say is a dude’s balls are his mojo – We really need them.
As we enter an examination room I’m thinking of Michael Jackson and operatic castrati – what funny and ludicrious notions catch humanity in a specific time and place as a sound idea.
The lady gives me a white towel and tells me to pull my boxers down to my knees and lie on the table with the towel covering my little dave and dudes. She dims the ceiling lights and gets me to pull the towel up to expose my wank-tank like I’m examining my receding hairline.
But now with the lights low it suddenly feels intimate, like an aircraft cabin cruising above the benighted cirrostratus on a long haul flight.
And I start thinking weird thoughts.
I think what if I had shaved my baby-carrier – would it be considered presumptuous?
How would a lady sonographer know I don’t do that all the time? Maybe that’s just how I roll.
The viscous sensation of the lubricating gel is pleasant and her technique is affirming yet gentle. For some reason I wonder if diagnostic technologists are an unrealised profession of bedroom prowess. And my mind quickly concludes, ‘I bet she’d be dynamite in bed.’
Then I consider if it is at all conceivable to hit on a girl in this situation. Getting a boner might do it. But my dick’s saying, ‘Fuck you!’ And she’d probably respond in her summer cider voice,
‘Don’t worry-it happens all the time.’
I think of appalling jokes to bridge the whirr and ping of the machine, ‘I was going to shave but…’
Silence seems wiser.
I contemplate what the rules are if we meet again in public and recognise each other. Is there an unwritten code like the privileged pretermission between a prostitute and client at the local supermarket? Or would it be a coin-purse for an evening of scintillating conversation where we can always bridge an uncomfortable silence by making fun of my goolies.
Then she turns the lights back up and says, ‘Everything seems to be fine.’