Wraps are a Scam

4 Mar

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Was getting a sandwich the other day and couldn’t decide what kind of bread to get it on. If I was purely going by taste, I’d go club or hero every time. To me, the more bread in a sandwich, the more sandwichy the sandwich, the better the sandwich. But, alas, I no longer posses the metabolism of a 17-year-old. Also, if I make it to the gym more than once in a week I consider that a success.

All this is a roundabout way of saying that taste is no longer all I care about when selecting what to eat.

I approached the counter and told them I wanted tuna on a whole wheat wrap. Lots of veggies. Lettuce, cucumbers, onions, pickles and sweet peppers (try adding them next time. They’re fantastic and bring a different flavor to the whole thing). I then patted myself on the back — metaphorically, of course — for going with the healthy, lighter option and resisting the urge to get hero bread. For sandwich lovers like me, that’s a tough feat to pull off, and one that deserves praise.

And then I glanced up at the board that listed how many calories each type of bread had. A whole wheat hero, it said, had 310 calories. Damn, I thought, that’s a lot of calories. Aren’t I glad that I showed some self control and went with the healthier option.

Curious as to how many calories I had saved by being awesome and healthy and going with a wrap, I continued to look at the board.

A whole wheat wrap, it said, was…

280 calories.

30 calories less than a hero. I had sacrificed the taste of my sandwich for an amount of calories that I could burn in one trip to the bathroom.

How is this even possible? How can a something as thin and flimsy as a wrap be similar from a calorie perspective to something as big and fluffy as a hero? Science is not exactly my thing, but I don’t really get how that happens. What am I missing? And why have I been told that wraps are healthy? What a load of crap. I don’t know who’s at fault here — the Whole Foods Crowd? Hipsters? Dr. Oz? Big Wrap? All of the above? But someone is peddling some B.S.

Oh, and next time I’m getting the biggest sandwich I possibly can.

Super In Depth Analysis of the NBA Trade Deadline

20 Feb

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As sports fans everywhere know, yesterday was the NBA trade deadline. ‘Twas a fun time to be on Twitter. A lot happened. Below I Break. It. Down!

Trade: Goran and Zoran Dragic to the Heat; John Salmons, Justin Hamilton, Danny Granger, 2017 and 2019 first-round picks to the Suns; Norris Cole and Shawne Williams to the Pelicans.

Analysis: 

  • John Salmons is still in the NBA? I honestly have no idea which of these teams traded him to the the Heat.
  • Goran and Zoran sounds like the name of a Key and Peele sketch.
  • Only Pat Riley could figure out a way to get an All-Star caliber point guard for a package that includes one player (Justin Hamilton) I’ve never heard of and a 12 year old (the 2019 draft pick). What an ass.

Trade: Brandon Knight to the Suns; Michael Carter-Williams, Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis to the Bucks; 2015 first-round pick via Lakers (top-5 protected) to the Sixers.

Analysis: I’m all for the “process,” but what’s the game-plan here with Philly? Who’s coming there? If they don’t hit big in the lottery no star player will ever sign with them. Also, they’re annoying.

Trade: Kevin Garnett to the Timberwolves; Thaddeus Young to the Nets.

Analysis: KG becomes the first person to ever move to Minnesota voluntarily.

Trade: Reggie Jackson to the Pistons; Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler, D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak to the Thunder; Kendrick Perkins, Grant Jerrett, future OKC first-round pick, future DET second-round pick to the Jazz.

Analysis: 

  • Reggie Jackson says he’s ecstatic about being traded to Detroit.
  • Any player who’s happy about being traded from a contender featuring Kevin Durant to a hapless team like the Pistons sounds like a real keeper.
  • Also, not sure the role player who thinks he’s a star is a guy you want to be bringing in. Jackson in the offseason   turned down a four-year, $48 contract extension in the offseason. If J.R. Smith did that we’d all laugh.
  • Wish Kendrick Perkins actually had to stay in Utah. Would love to see him walking the streets there.

Other Thoughts: 

  • Some dude named Alexey Shved was sent to the Knicks for Pablo Prigioni Was time actually spent negotiating this?
  • Five of the following six names are real and represent players who were traded on Thursday. Can you pick out the fake on? Jonas Jerekbo, Luigi Datone, Daniel Johnson, Cenk Akyol, Victor Claver, Grant Jerrett
  • The answer was Daniel Johnson. If you’ve heard of the other five guys, well, you’re a better basketball fan than me.

Strange News

19 Feb

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This story, via the Times of India, came across my Twitter feed today. The headline: “Groom unwell, bride weds guest in fit of rage.”

Yeah, that got a click from me. I love strange news stories, the types that catch your attention even though they have no business being in a newspaper in the first place. I’m not talking about Kardashian soapy gossip or mawkish tales meant to tug on your heartstrings. What I mean is, well, stories like this:

All was going well at the wedding ceremony of 25-year-old Jugal Kishore, a resident of Moradabad, and his 23-year-old bride Indira from Rampur. That’s until the “varmala” ceremony, where the groom garlands his would-be wife, began.

That sort of lede is going to get me every time. Give me an “all was going well…until” and I’m in. That’s pretty much how I feel about all storytellings clichés. In my head there’s a graph. The horizontal axis represents how banal the cliché is. The vertical axis represents my level of enjoyment. If you were to plot a movie like Fast and the Furious or Taken on it, there would be a dot placed all the way to the right and all the way up. I’m a sucker for that stuff. The other night I stayed up until 3 a.m. watching the latest Liam Neeson film, Non-Stop. It was between that and 12 Years a Slave. I don’t regret my choice.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying that, by this point, I was hooked. And then things only got better.

Just as he extended his arms to do that, Kishore had an epileptic fit, falling to the ground in front of the whole gathering.

Go on…

The young bride, angry that her family had been kept in the dark about Kishore’s medical condition, promptly changed her mind and announced that she would happily marry at the same ceremony a guest at the wedding, a man called Harpal Singh. The latter, incidentally, turned out to be her sister’s brother-in-law.

Wait, what?

There’s just so much going on here. So many questions that need answering. First off, how could someone be such a… I’m not sure there’s even a word for it, or at least not one I want to use in this space. But forget that for the moment; if there’s anything mankind has taught us over the years it’s that one should never underestimate its capacity for cruelty. But there’s so much more to unpack here.

How can someone not know their fiancé suffers from epilepsy? And how could that be the deal-breaker? And, most puzzlingly, how could everyone else in attendance just stand around, seemingly nod in agreement with this woman, and allow the wedding with the second dude to take place. Oh, you want to marry someone else in this room because the man you were supposed to marry just have a seizure?. You know, that makes total sense! Who you going with? Did she have pre-prepared rankings on her in case something went wrong? Where there lots of choices for her, or did her callous dismissal of her previous groom dissuade most of eligible bachelors from volunteering to step in.

Maybe those answers are about to come.  Let’s continue.

Singh, caught unawares and dressed in jeans and a leather jacket, fumbled for a moment before declaring he would willingly take Indira as his wife. This time the “varmala” was exchanged between Singh and Indira, which went off without any hitch, with the pandit reciting the mantras and asking the new couple to take the seven “pheras”.

If not for those jeans and the leather jacket, though, he would have been totally prepared for this.

I think that’s my favorite line. My favorite part: that this shotgun wedding somehow “went off without any hitch.” Apparently the original groom having some epileptic episode and effectively getting sent down to the minors, while getting replaced within minutes, doesn’t count as a hitch.

Meanwhile, Kishore, who had been rushed to a doctor by his relatives, went back to the venue after he regained consciousness to see that his wife-to-be was now someone else’s.

Did his family not get the memo that his chance had been blown?

Kishore pleaded with Indira, telling her that he would not be able to face friends and neighbours if he returned without her. His relatives, too, tried to intervene on his behalf. 

So let’s get this straight. This dude collapses at his wedding, receives no empathy from his wife-to-be, gets dumped by her without knowing it and for doing nothing wrong, returns to the wedding hall and finds the woman he was supposed to marry getting set to marry someone else, and after all that he…pleads for her to take him back? And his family was with him on this?

This girl must be REALLY hot.

Where persuasion failed, violence was used — spoons, plates and dishes became weapons as wedding guests tried to force the bride to change her mind. But all in vain. The young woman stood firm.

I’m picturing something along the lines of the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones crossed with the wedding scene from The Graduate. Only this time the woman is fighting off the grim.

Kishore and his relatives later filed an FIR at the Milak police station in Rampur district, which they eventually withdrew after elders intervened. SHO, Milak police station, RP Solanki said on Monday that cops had detained a few people who were there at the wedding.

“Both families have amicably resolved the matter,” Solanki said. “The complaints have been withdrawn. Kishore and his family have now returned in peace to Moradabad.”

And everyone lived happily ever after.

Someone needs to do a follow up here.

House of Cards is Not a Very Good Show

28 Jan

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I think my main problem with House of Cards is that the show is in denial. If, for example, it presented itself as a cartoon rather than a Important Show Trying To Teach Us Important Things, well that would be a show I’d like more. Think of 24, which is insane — and awesome because of it. Jack Bauer is not a three-dimensional character; he’s a superhero. When he (spoiler alert!) takes out 12 machine gun-wielding Russian goons with a single pistol, that’s something I don’t have a problem with, the same way I don’t mind when Batman goes one-on-forty without breaking a sweat. Neither Batman nor Jack Bauer are living in reality. They’re both comic book characters living in comic book worlds. Everyone understands this and is on the same page. That’s why they work.

House of Cards is a whole different story. On the one hand you have this show about the inner working of Washington D.C and how and why decisions get made. The thesis is that everyone is a prick and solely looking out for themselves. Not exactly an original thought — from what I remember from college, the basic premise of the Political Science field is that a politicians’ primary goal is to get elected and that it’s this desire that informs all his or her decisions — but still an important one. And House of Cards does do a good job of showing us how exactly that might look. It’s one thing to say you’re aware of how politicians think. But seeing this thought process put into action — like when one of the congressmen in House of Cards succumbs to blackmail and allows about 5,000 people in his district to lose their jobs — can be jarring. That’s the stuff House of Cards does well.

That’s also not really what the show is about. It’s not like The Wire, which illustrated the problem with institutions and how they affect society. It’s not like The Sopranos, which took us deep into the psyche of a powerful sociopath in a way that no other show had before. It’s not even like Game of Thrones, which isn’t really illustrating anything other than that good things rarely happen to good people. What makes Game of Thrones great, though, is that everyone is on a level playing field. You never know what’s going to happen or who even is winning The Game. The second you think you do the Red Wedding happens and you wind up staring at your TV screen in shock.

There’s very little that shocks in House of Cards (the first murder was easy to see coming; the second one is the outlier here). It takes about four episodes to realize that Kevin Spacey is not only the smartest person in the show, but also the only one in the House of Cards universe with a brain. The President of the United States is a dolt with the personality of a box and the charisma of a brick wall. He makes Mitt Romney look like Kevin Hart. How he got elected is beyond me. He is, by far, the worst fictional president I have ever seen. I’m not sure there’s ever been a less impressive TV character. He’s a moron and the worst.

Thankfully, most of the other characters on the show have a bit more to offer. None of them, however, appear, as they say, to playing with a full deck. Kevin Spacey is allowed to do what he wants, whenever he wants. Not only that, but no one else seems to be aware of what kind of person Frank Underwood (Spacey’s character) is, which would be cool and fine if he wasn’t pulling off the same moves over and over and over and over. At a certain point it gets boring watching him outmaneuver everyone else. And none of this even touches on the ludicrous plot twists, like the thing he does to the person in the subway, and how he apparently knows how to find the subway system’s trap doors and secret passageways. Or that scene that he and his wife have with that guard, which I’m still clueless as to what the point of it was.

Don’t get me wrong — House of Cards is, for the most part, entertaining, and watching Spacey play Frank Underwood is a ton of fun. But lots of entertaining shows and characters have made it on to TV. The difference with House of Cards was that I felt like I was missing out by not watching it; at least that’s how those who watched it made me feel.

Now that I’ve completed the show’s two season, I can’t help but disagree. House of Cards is good but not great, occasionally fun but not memorable. If you have some time to kill there are certainly worse things you can do than start a binge. But there are also at least ten shows I’d recommend before it.

Some Thoughts on Rex Ryan to the Bills

12 Jan

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According to reports, Rex Ryan is about to become the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. I find this interesting for a few reasons, which I felt like sharing (in a rambling manner) in this space because, well, I’m pretty sure that’s the point behind having a space like this. So, with that being said, here goes:

  • This is classic Rex, in good ways and bad. The good: he’s picking a team that he knows already has a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball. The Bills, according to Football Outsiders’ metrics, had the NFL’s best pass defense this year and the league’s second best defense overall.
  • That unit led the team to a 9-7 season, which is pretty impressive when you consider the fact that Kyle Orton was the team’s starting quarterback, and that he signed like a week before the regular season because the incumbent, E.J. Manual, stunk in the preseason. The Bills, with Jerry Hughes and Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus, have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. They have talent in the secondary, too. All of this is to say that, with Rex in the fold next year, I’d be shocked in Buffalo’s defense isn’t regarded as the AFC’s best.
  • This, no doubt, is what drew Rex to the job. Defense is what matters to him and so he picked the spot where the defense was the best.
  • That said team also happens to play in the same division as the franchise that just fired Rex for sure played a role as well. That’s just how Rex thinks. To him life is about finding those people that don’t agree with you, and then giving them one giant middle finger. That’s what this is. Next year’s Bills-Jets game, and the Ryan quotes that come after his team holds the Jets’ offense to 87 yards, will be great. The decision to take the Bills’ job pretty much puts all of the good of Rex Ryan on display: the confidence, the swagger, the refusal to roll over.
  • It also shows all the bad stuff: the short-sightedness, the ability to let his emotions get the best of him, the belief that defense is all that matters. Ryan is essentially walking into the same situation that he had when he took the Jets job in 2009. A talented defense, but no quarterback, which a team trying to take out Tom Brady and the Patriots needs.
  • Yeah, Sammy Watkins might be the most talented offensive player Ryan’s ever had, but if EJ Manuel is throwing to him it won’t matter. That Ryan is brining over Vic Fangio from San Francisco to be his offensive coordinator is good, but Fangio can’t make a QB appear out of the air. Also, it’s not like the Bills are going to get a QB in this year’s draft. You know who might be Ryan’s starting quarterback this year?
  • Mark Sanchez.
  • That’s right, Mark Sanchez.
  • Let that sink in for a second.
  • If I were advising Rex, I would have told him to hold out for the Atlanta Falcons job. The team already has a good quarterback in Matt Ryan; he and Rex could have been a perfect match.
  • That being said, Rex in Buffalo will be fun. The city and fans will love him, and I do think he’ll be pretty successful. The problem is that in the NFL, having some success is not enough. For a head coach to keep his job he needs to make the Super Bowl. That’s not happening for a team with no quarterback. The Bills will be good the next few years, but in five I expect Ryan to be looking for a new job once again.

The Most Jewish Christmas Eve Movie Experience Ever

24 Dec

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‘Tis the season, which means for me and my fellow Hebrews, it’s movie time. As of this writing I got about three hours to decide what I want to see. Part of me is considering downloading The Interview, just to see what all the fuss is about, but I’m also pretty sure that’s it’s not going to be a good movie and I really don’t want to blow my annual Christmas Eve movie watching experience.

Right now I’m choosing between The Hobbit, Birdman (Jeff Pearlman‘s Christmas Ever recommendation) and Top-Five. I’ll decide later. But as I was thinking about this over the past few days, I was reminded of a previous Christmas Eve movie going experience of mine, one that, dare I say, might be the single most Jewish movie experience (not counting actual Jewish films) anyone has ever had outside of Israel.

First off, the location: the movie theater in Lincoln Square, perhaps the most Jewish movie theater in the land. Now Manhattan’s Upper West Side might not be home to as many Jews as a place like, say, Borough park. But most of the Jews who live there don’t really see movies (and yes, I’m generalizing here), whereas the Jews on the Upper West kinda-sorta live for “cinema.” There are genres of film (hello, Woody Allen) that are seemingly made just for this audience. And where does this group usually go to see a movie? Yep, Lincoln Square.

So that’s where I was. And as if that wasn’t enough, the movie I was seeing was Munich (plus one Jew Point!), a film about the eleven Israeli Olympian who were killed by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. It was directed by Steven Spielberg (plus another Jew Point!). And remember, I’m in the Lincoln Square theater (one more Jew Point!). As we say on Passover, dayenu.

And then the previews started. Eventually one came on about some sort of ancient civilization. It was called Apocalypto. I don’t remember much from the trailer but I certainly remember the reaction — boos, as loud as the ones you hear Jets fans make at MetLife Stadium when Bill Belichick is announced — once the following words popped up on the screen:

FROM MEL GIBSON

All that was missing was a Mel Brooks joke.

Every Man’s Worst Nightmare

7 Oct

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2:00 p.m.: The pain starts out of nowhere. You’re just sitting on the couch and watching football when suddenly the throbbing begins. It feels like someone lightly tapped you down there. Every man knows this feeling, every man dreads it. Only you weren’t hit—you have no idea where the pain came from or why it started. It’s mostly on the left side. You worry a bit but figure it’s just one of those things, something that will pass, like when your back aches or hamstring feels tight. And anyway, you’ve got the great Scott Hanson and the glorious RedZone channel to help take your mind off the pain. You adjust yourself a bit, sit back, find a position that you think works, and direct your focus back towards the TV.

3:47: You’re starting to worry a bit as the pain has yet to subside. It hasn’t moved either. Still the left side, a bit towards the back. You think. It’s kind of vague and hard to pin down. You stand up and take a trip towards the full-length mirror hanging on the bathroom door. Yep, everything looks OK. You then sit down and open your computer. You know you shouldn’t go to WebMD but it’s also so hard to resist. You need to know what you’re dealing with. This is, after all, kind of an important body part. But first, you open an “incognito window.” You’re not sure what Facebook and Google could do with a search of “left testicle pain” but you know you don’t want to find out.

3:49: Regret going to WedMd. Awful decision. You’re now convinced that you have a mixture of cancer and an STD and also something called torsion, which you never heard of until a minute ago. Torsion, apparently, is the twisting of the testicles. Apparently testicles can twist. Apparently this is really bad. Apparently you can lose a testicle because of torsion. WebMD never fails. You send your girlfriend a text telling her you’re bugging out.

3:53: The ice is working. You saw on one of those nutty Yahoo Questions message boards that applying some could help so you gave it a shot. You have the perfect ice pack, too—one of those thin sort-of bendable ones, which you mostly use for your head. You sometimes get migraines and once read that ice could help. But now you’re not worried about the head, only one body part currently matters. At first having ice in your shorts feels strange, then you start to feel some relief. Hey, maybe it’s working, you think to yourself. Also, a mental note: buy new ice pack for head.

4:19: RedZone channel out of control as the 1 p.m. games come to an end. No time to think about your balls, which, at this moment, are extremely cold. Maybe that’s why you can’t think about them—you can’t feel them.

5:23: Wake up from an hour nap—football Sundays can be draining—hoping that you’ll feel better. And for a minute you do. Just for a minute. After that the pain comes back. It probably never left, it just took a minute for the brain to process that it was still there. More worrying, wondering what it could be. Testicles are not supposed to hurt this long. You’re no doctor but that you know. You decide it’s cancer. That’s the only possible explanation. You’re going to either die or spend the rest of your life walking around with one ball. FUCKKKK! You need a doctor. NOW! 

5:24: Peyton Manning is driving on the Seahawks’ D. Big game, a Super Bowl rematch. The doctor can wait. It’s probably not cancer anyway. Decide you need to stop being such a pessimistic drama queen. Body parts hurt. That’s what happens.

6:15: “Groin problems” is the reason you give as you walk into the CityMD Urgent Care clinic. Saying, “because my left testicle is killing” just doesn’t seem like something a gentleman would say out loud in a waiting room.

6:59: A man wearing a kippah is now fondling your balls. You didn’t go to Yeshiva University, but you now know what that experience would have been like. Nice guy, this doctor, though you wouldn’t mind if the nurse sitting behind him didn’t look like a person tuning into a special on National Geographic. Around 30 seconds pass and the doctor tells you to have a seat. He asks you a bunch of questions. You answer them. No, it doesn’t burn when you pee, no, there’s no way you can have an STD, no, there’s no was no blood in your “stool,” though you don’t normally make a habit of analyzing your—or anyone else’s— stool, so you can’t be sure. He then tells you that he’s about 95 percent sure you’re OK. Normally this is a good and comforting number but when it comes to your testicles anything below 217% seems like something worth worrying about. He says it’s “probably” something called, well, you’re not really sure. You think he said some sort of inflammation, something that starts with an and ends with an itis. You forgot that part of what the doctor said because, immediately after, he told you that you need to go to the ER to get an ultra sound. That, he says, is the only way to rule out torsion, the twisting of the testicles WebMD told you about before, the diagnosis that leads either to surgery on your balls or loss of one of them, which is kind of like being told that your options are either hell or having your eyes poked out by a wolverine. The doctor says normally they’d send you to a radiologist, but because it’s a Sunday night and none are open you have to go to the ER. Oh, and immediately. If torsion is discovered you’d be rushed into emergency surgery.

7:00: Doctor and nurse give you paperwork, ask if you have any more questions, then you leave the room.

7:01: WHAT THE FUCKKKKKKKK?!!!!!!!!!!

7:20: Discharged from urgent care.

7:21: Broncos have almost erased a 14-point deficit and are driving late in the 4th quarter. The game is on in the waiting room of the urgent care center. Ball surgery can wait—Peyton Manning is doing his thing. He then throws an interception. You walk back to your apartment to get some magazines and a phone charger to take to the ER. During that walk you call your mom and girlfriend to tell them what’s going on. Mom says she’ll get in touch with a urologist she knows and says to take a cab to the ER where he works.

7:40: Get in cab.

7:45: Mom calls, says the urologists said he’ll have someone meet you at the ER. She also tells you that he said that you shouldn’t be eating or drinking anything. She tells you this in a calm voice but you’re no novice and the message is clear: the chances of you requiring surgery are high enough that this doctor felt it was necessary to have you start prepping for it, just in case. Bug out commences.

7:53: You’ve decided that you’d trade your left testicle for a new cab driver who didn’t drive as if he had a 100-pound boot attached to his right foot.

8:05: Arrive at ER and sign in. Nurse asks you what’s wrong. You show her the paper that the Urgent Care center gave you. Her eyes open big. “Are you in a lot of pain,” she asks, her eyes alarmingly wide. This doesn’t make you feel very calm. You tell her you’re in pain, but it’s not so bad. Afterwards you realize this was dumb, a rookie move. You always say it’s an emergency when they ask. Oh well. You find a seat, take out your charger and sit back. If there wasn’t a possibility that one of your testicles could be dead you’d be really comfortable.

8:20: Some weird ABC show with witches is on TV. You wish football was on, but also don’t want to be the person to change the channel. What if the person watching the witch show has cancer? You don’t want to be the person who prevented the person with cancer from watching his or her witch show. 

8:55: Finally taken inside. Some guy, you think he’s the floor manager or head nurse or whatever that person is called, brings you into a room and asks you to fill him in. You do so, and then he tells you to stand up and drop your pants. He becomes the second man to fondle you that evening. It’s a new personal record. He then hands you a cup, points you towards the bathroom and instructs you to do your thing.

8:56: “Sit tight,” he tells you, “we’ll bring you back for the ultra sound in a few minutes.” He then leaves the room. A minute later the urology resident comes in. He’s also wearing a Kippah. Apparently lots of Jews become doctors. He introduces himself and extends his hand. You shake it, though reluctantly since he is a urologist. He then asks you what’s going on. You tell him. You also know what’s next.

8:57: Your balls are now being fondled by a yarmulka-wearing man for the second time this evening.

9:00: You meet the radiologist. He tells you that this is his domain and so he needs to know all the details of what’s going on. He asks you, you tell him. You also know what’s next.

9:01: Your balls have now been fondled by four men this evening. This time you started dropping your pants before he could even finish asking. You’re also standing straight up with your hands behind you back, whereas before you there was a bit of a hunch to you while the men were cupping. Having male hands on your testicles is no longer a strange feeling.

9:05: Turns out, the guy who you just met isn’t the one doing the ultra sound. That honor belongs to another woman in the room, who tells you to take everything off below your waste, cover yourself up with a blanket and lie down. She then gives you a bunch of directions. Push this part up and move those parts down and squeeze this in. It’s a lot of choreography for a part of the body more accustomed to just sort of flopping around and doing it’s own thing. It’s all kind of like trying to get a break dancer to do ballet. She then rubs some sort of cold goo all over you and gets to work. Usually you have to pay extra for that kind of action, Cotton.

9:06: Your legs are shaking and you can’t get them stop. You’ve been laughing at the situation all night but now none of this seems funny. It’s certainly not to any of the doctors or nurses who have seen you tonight, each of whom has greeted you with a serious expression. You start going through the what ifs? What if it is cancer? What if it’s a tumor? What if it’s torsion? What if I have to lose one of my boys? What if I need ball surgery? The leg is still shaking, especially the right one. The radiologist asks, nicely, if you can try to keep it still. You tell her you’ll try. She asks you to contract or something like that. She’s been going at it for about ten minutes now. Her face is very stern. So is that of the resident looking over her left shoulder. The room has bad lighting. Why won’t they say anything, you wonder. What is going on? The legs start moving even faster.

9:09: “You don’t see anything, right?” says the resident. Finally! “No,” she says. You’re told you have nothing to worry about and that there’s definitely not torsion. For the first time all day you feel at ease. The sense of relief passes through you, from your brain all the way down to the legs which are no longer shaking.

9:10: More complicated instructions. We’re now in the “crossing the ts and dotting the is” phase. Extra goo has been applied.

9:20: What did men who had testicle pain do before we knew what torsion was? Your mind starts to wander when you lie on a doctor’s table for 20 minutes. These are the things you think about—how many men in the 1800s were walking around with dead testicles because no one knew what torsion was, or how to check for it. Boy, are we lucky.

9:50: Still waiting for test results. Ten minutes ago you had to pee into a cup again because your original sample was lost. No worries—an hour ago you thought you might be losing one of your best friends. At this point you feel so at ease that you’re willing to offer your pee to anyone who wants some.

10:00: There is now a yarmulke-wearing man with his hand up your ass. You didn’t know it was possible to reach that far. “Lean further forward,” he says. “Move your elbows toward the edge.” The head-doctor dude apparently thought it was necessary to have a rectal exam administered, in order to check the prostate, too.

10:01: “Does that hurt?” the resident asks as his hand pokes around inside you. It came in one end and you now feel his fist in your stomach. If his question is not a rhetorical one, then it’s a real silly one.

10:03: Thank the resident for all his help. No hand-shake.

10:40: Discharged. Finally. Final count: four men fondled you, and one of them put his hand up your ass. Also, there was the female radiologist. All told, a pretty eventful Sunday night. Next stop: CVS. In desperate need of a pack of baby wipes.

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