by: Tom Rau
I need to tell you a story about my penis….
It’s called the waddle. The area of loose skin on the base of the wiener before it becomes full on testicle. Much like the taint, it is a place that hasn’t been explored much by modern science, only the curious traveler. But where the taint serves as a bridge connecting two very important destinations, the waddle is something that’s just kind of loitering there on our body, trying to decide if it’s dick or ball. Honestly, it is such an insignificant and rarely considered piece of the body that I had never even thought about it having a name until telling this story orally, and hearing it called that from my good friend Jason.
I found myself in the shower on a Saturday afternoon slightly drunk, minding my own business and washing my waddle. I possibly may have imagined the sound that alerted me of a problem, a little click that rattled through my head as my finger grazed across a strange bump near the base of my penis. It was like dragging your finger across a bug bite or a small scar. Do you know that feeling? Kind of like your finger gets stuck there? It does make a noise in your head, right? No matter, upon this potentially grave discovery my brain immediately scanned through all possible scenarios before settling a moment later on the simple mantra: Fuck me, Fuck me, Fuck me. I’m basically blind so I rinsed off and immediately headed to the nearest pair of glasses for closer examination.
At that time, it simply looked like a pimple. A pimple on my waddle. I contemplated even titling this story “A Pimple on My Waddle.” It actually turned out not to be a pimple though, but it does have a nice ring to it. Regardless, my mind was quickly moving towards some bad bad places: testicular cancer, dick cancer, STD’s, super-zit, baby alien, etc. There was a NASCAR race unfolding up in my mind and this little bump on my waddle was driving the fucking car. Regardless, it looked like a pimple, and I had had a few drinks so I was gonna treat it like a pimple and try and pop this motherfucker.
I started with a gentle squeeze, applying pressure with my two index fingers, the small white-head surging towards the surface. Instead of opening however, it swelled up like a stopped up volcano. I pushed harder, switching to a more severe thumb and index finger combination. I tried to slice into it with my fingernail which resulted in some minor bleeding beneath the surface but still no popping. I squeezed harder and harder, but the only thing increasing was the pain. When I finally gave up, I was left looking at a painful, quasi-blood blister looking bump on a log. I was not happy.
You know what the scariest part of this whole fucking story is — I could stop thinking about the woman in my life at the time. We hadn’t been together long at this point, but I was completely crazy about her. She was my consort. And I had no idea how to handle this. I mean, how the fuck do you tell someone you have only been seeing for a month that you have an open wound on your dick? Twenty minutes prior to this I could have said, “Hey, I found a bump, it’s kind of cute. I’m gonna get it checked out.” But now, after I had completely mangled my waddle, the conversation would have been more like, “Hey, check this out. It’s a third testicle! And it’s bleeding! Oh, you think it’s herpes? I really want to hang out, drinks, dinner tomorrow?” I should have just told her, but honestly I was scared that A.) My dick was going to fall off soon, and B.) This person I am falling in love with was going to leave me because of this unidentified object. I was like a bird that had accidentally flown into an enclosed space, overwhelmed by pure panic and blindly bouncing off of the walls. Also, I’m not going to lie…at this point, I’m was in an excruciating amount of pain.
I decided right then and there, I could no longer touch it. I decided to give it a few days, and continue to monitor it closely. If it started to get better, fantastic. If it started to get worse, I would call the doctor. Let the games begin…
I woke up the next day at 7:30am. It didn’t feel worse. And I think it actually looked a little better. Less angry. More willing to compromise. I went to work. We were like one of those old couples, we definitely didn’t like each other but we got through the day. After work I went to a rehearsal with a jazz band I’ve been working with. By the time I got home I was a scotch or two in the hole and feeling a touch out of my head. It was time for the nightly check-in.
So, what began with good intentions and an acceptance of my situation somehow rapidly devolved into me searching Google Image with keyword strings like “worst case ingrown hair scenario testicles” or “pimples on my penis.” Holy fucking shit. This is bad, I thought as the endless results scrolled past my screen. Five minutes later I was reading about self-surgeries at home for removing ingrown hairs by hand. I was going to need a safety pin, boiling water, alcohol, a clean cloth, and a shit-load of heart and determination. I had a safety pin and some boiling water. I had no idea about the heart and determination.
Fifteen minutes later I was bleeding again and there was a recently boiled safety pin sticking to the outside of my overly manhandled apparatus. It was quickly apparent that no matter how hard I jabbed and taunted it, squeezed, scraped, and mangled, it just wasn’t happening. I would have had a better chance sawing my newfound swelling off with a serrated steak knife. That night, as I lay in bed, unable to sleep, my eyes locked onto the ceiling with a criminal focus, my thoughts were working overtime, running circles around my sight at the speed of light as I wrestled with what to do next.
I wouldn’t call it sleep. I would call it more of a self-served purgatory that took place in a bed. I didn’t know what to do. My thoughts were frantically split between that which hung below me and this fear that my new girlfriend was going to leave me, which in my mind would have been a perfectly valid response from her. I finally decided at 6:45am that I needed to see a doctor. At 8:03am I called a dermatologist. They could book me in September or October, about five months out. I will have a softball between my legs by September at this pace, I thought. I called a family doctor that showed up on my insurance company’s website. They could see me at 2:45pm. The last thing the lady on the phone said to me before she hung up was, “You’ll be seeing our Nurse Practitioner, Jennifer.” Fuck.
At 10:07am I arrived at work. I was far from well. I moved throughout the day like I had walked into a Mike Tyson punch. Dizzied and completely oblivious to my surroundings, I muttered answers to questions that were asked to me from five minutes in the past. Time scraped across the universe like a caterpillar traversing a giant lawn. Eventually, when I had given up trying to mark segments of time, 2pm showed up out of the blue like Uncle Eddie from National Lampoon’s.
I parked. I was early so I walked around the complex that housed the doctor’s office for a few minutes in an attempt to clear my head. A few of the building’s offices were vacant and one of them was under construction. It seemed like a pretty shoddy office complex to be honest. I wasn’t impressed. That said, nothing on my body was screaming pamper me right now. I just wanted someone to tell me my dick wasn’t going to fall off. I’d have probably settled for a homeless person saying this to me.
I walked into the doctor’s office. It was typical of most doctor’s offices that you have probably been to in that there was a receptionist behind a plastic or glass window and there was a waiting room, with lots of copies of Time magazine. In addition to myself, there was one other woman on my side of the glass. She was wearing a classy blue business dress and was leaning over the counter talking to the portly receptionist. From her appearance and report with the receptionist, I assumed she was not a patient. Before I had uttered a word to the receptionist the woman turned around and looked at me quizzically. I was frozen in time. What seemed like days, but was most certainly no more than seconds, passed as she studied me intently. Finally, her lips began moving. I was stuck in a thought. Why is this attractive woman staring at me like this? What the fuck is going on here? How paranoid am I right now? Is my waddle somehow on my face?
I eventually snapped to and comprehended her words long after they had passed, like they were echoing off the walls of another universe. “What is your last name?” I could only imagine the look on my face at that moment. Why is she asking me these things? What the fuck is going on here? Where am I? I stammered, “Uhh, umm, well…Rrrraaau?” I’m pretty sure I definitely ended my last name just like that, with a question mark. Because honestly, at that instant, I’m not sure what the fuck I was. Her face immediately lit up “Oh my god, I knew it was you. I recognized your eyes behind those glasses and through that big beard. Tommy Rau. Holy shit! It’s me, Kimmie Housh. How are you? We should totally hang out sometime!”
At this point, time froze once again. I was the only one able to move. Kimmie fucking Housh, I thought. She and I went to high school together. She was two years older than me, and was kind of the shit. She was smart, cool, one of the best athletes in school, and at one point, when I was 16, I obsessed over the way her ass looked in her volleyball uniform. It’s strange the shit you remember. She would have eaten me for lunch.
Everything was wrong. I wondered if Kimmie knew. She couldn’t. But she must. They were probably talking about my waddle when I got there. Where the hell am I and what the hell is happening? Unbeknownst to me, time had begun moving again…
“….sales rep for this pharmaceutical company. I’m here practically every other day. I have two kids. I’m divorced though. I live in Cary,” Kimmie was saying. Finally, I managed, “Oh my fucking god. This is insane.” The receptionist finally piped in. “How cute, you guys know each other. We love Kimberly. She practically works here. I guess you are Thomas Rau. Can you fill out this paperwork? Someone will be out to get you in a few minutes.”
Kimberly jumped back in. “Let me get you one of my cards,” she eagerly said. After fumbling through her purse for a few moments, she realized she didn’t have them on her. “I’ll bring one to you in a few minutes,” she offered with a warm smile. Please god no!, I was almost screaming. I considered briefly diving through a window. Can I kill everyone here and get away with it? What will I do with this heavy one’s body? Instead, my mouth unwittingly opened, “That sounds great. It’s great to see you too. Yes, let’s hang out soon.” I took the clipboard and waddled off to an open chair. Kimberly sauntered through the door that lead to the patient rooms.
A few minutes later the door to the back opened and a nurse rolled out looking like some kind of gelatinous cube. She had short red hair, blue bottom scrubs, and a sort of reddish-pink moo moo like-top that resembled the sunset of a Monet painting. She looked like a slightly more jellied version of Red, from Orange is the New Black. I began to refer to her in my mind as “Red Cube.”
To ease the awkwardness of the situation I thought Sweet. I can do this. It’s barely human. It won’t mind looking at my mangled waddle. Red Cube held my chart in her right hand. It could talk, “Mr. Rau, you can follow me. Are you ready?” I have never not been so ready for anything in my life. The real question was: Are you ready Red Cube?
Once in the patient room Red Cube asked me a series of general health questions: When was I last at the Doctor? Am I on anything? How often do I exercise? Do I use drugs recreationally? Do I smoke? How often do I drink alcohol? Am I allergic to anything? This sick and twisted foreplay was lasting way too long. Certainly we were close to the inevitable question: “Do you have a finger-sized open wound on your cock?”
But no, it never quite came to that. Finally she looked up and said, “So what’s the problem today?” Did I really have to say it? Was Red Cube going to make me say it? Clearly it was right there on the paper? Why would she do this to me? Maybe, I should I just pull it out? “I uh, have a thing, on my uh….well, it’s kind of between my umm, you know, umm pa-pa penis and my umm baaa…testicles,” I began. “I think maybe it’s an ingrown hair? But it’s enormous and uhh, kind of an open, well wound at this point. I don’t even know anymore.” Red Cube looked down at the paper and then back up at me and said, “Well, Ok. Jennifer will be in in a few minutes to take a look.” I think my jaw fell so fast it almost hit my waddle on the way down. How many fucking people do I have to go through before someone will take a look at my dick?
Big Red Cube flowed back out through the door the same way she came, leaving me alone with chorus of a billion little neurotic voices yelling in my head. And then out of the sea of neurotic caroling sprang a truly terrifying sound, a text message, signaling to me that a text was incoming. It was my girlfriend. I wanted to die. How’s your day <3?
The words slammed into me with the urgency of a message from the President. Hmm…my day, I replied with a gross understatement, I’m kind of freaking out right now. Super stressful day. I was about to expound on the situation, or possibly lie and tell her not to worry and that we’d talk about it later, when the door opened and Jennifer walked in.
Jennifer was in her mid-to-late 20’s. She had long brown hair that was pulled into a ponytail with the utmost care. Her nearly perfect smile gave up the kind of small gap in her teeth that is more beautiful than fucked up. Underneath a simple dark blue sweater lay, without a doubt, a trim and nimble body. She reeked of a kind of warm wholesomeness, not the kind that makes you sick to your stomach, but the kind that heals you in her presence. In essence, she was the last person in the known universe I wanted to show my dick to.
She smiled, introduced herself, and read my chart in one swift combo move. She flipped the page and laughed out loud repeating my own written words back to me, “So you have a large open wound-like thing on your nether region?” Caught off guard I replied, “Uh, yeah, I don’t know what happened. It’s pretty bad.”
“So what happened?”
I vaulted into my story like a drunk driver barreling home after last call. “Well, like, I found this bump in the shower on my, well, I don’t know what it’s on exactly, it’s on my,” I said while pointing to my gentials with the index fingers of both hands. “Uhh, like I said, nether region. And I tried to remove it.” Her eyebrows immediately shot up. I quickly changed directions. “Well, two weeks ago I removed a planters-wart on my foot. I was pretty drunk, but I’m pretty sure it was a resounding success.” Her eyebrows attempted to jump off of her head now. “So, I have a new girlfriend and I really really like her, and now I have this thing on my dick. I don’t know what to say to her. I mean, we just started sleeping together and now there is this goitery thing. Anyway, she just started her period and I figured I had a few days to recover so I went for it.”
Jennifer just looked at me like I was mad. At this point I was all in, pedal to the fucking metal. “So yeah, I was scared, but I was also coming off a big win with the planters-wart and all, and I thought just maybe I could do it. Anyway, I failed and then the next morning it was bad, bad news. So, I did some research on the internet. That was really scary Jennifer. Have you seen the pictures of peoples malformed units on the internet and the things that have grown out of them? Shit, it had me thinking it was going to turn into some fucked up mutant like Quattro from Total Recall. I had no choice but to go back in.
The surgery went something like this. I poured a little bit of rubbing alcohol on my waddle and then jabbed it fiercely three or four times with the freshly boiled safety pin. Now this Gremlin thing was bleeding fairly liberally, but it was so big that I couldn’t imagine I would be able to actually remove it unless I just cut it straight off. I was angry and I was panicking. So then, I guess I just decided to stab it really hard one last time and call it day. It was a massacre. I massacred myself Jennifer. Then, I poured some alcohol on it and basically cried myself to sleep. That was last night. This morning I woke up in a full-on panic, with a pain that is somehow both throbbing and piercing at the same time, with something that looks like a sun dried tomato growing out of my dick. I clearly need professional help.”
Jennifer was kind of laughing but also horrified when she began to speak, “Let’s go ahead and get ready to check this out. I’m going to leave for a minute. Take off your pants and underwear and I’ll be back.”
I said something casual like, “Yeah okay, great. See you in a minute!” but all I could think about was the fact that this thing on my dick was the gift that just didn’t stop giving. I mean, what’s next? My Mom walks in? Or maybe all my friends bound through the door and yell SURPRISE! while I’m sitting there wearing a dress shirt and no pants?
I was in some sort of shock. I’m not even sure how I got my pants off, suddenly I was just holding them in my hands. I looked down between my legs and dropped them on ground next to the examination table. Something that was once the size of a pimple on the underside of my penis was now large enough that it jutted out like a broken branch from the side of a tree. But what concerned me most wasn’t even this heinous thing. It was that my dick had shrunken to the most minimal of states. Why this consumed me at that moment in time, I did not know, but I can say with full authority that I was freaking out about it. I was not in performance-ready condition. And I had wanted my dick to be in its most pristine form when it came time to share it with the world. I wanted this, because at that moment in time, I was completely and utterly out of my friggin’ mind.
Maybe I could just give it a little rub real quick and the turtle would come back out of it’s shell?, I thought as I reached down and touched my penis gingerly a few times. However, as I touched myself, my thoughts quickly split into two factions. The “What if there is a camera in here?” group, and the “What if Jennifer walks in and not only does it look like I’m jerking off like a fucking lunatic in the doctor’s office, but it looks like I’m jerking off like a lunatic in the doctor’s office with a dick that resembles two dollars in quarters?”
I resigned to a state of neurosis until a minute or two later when the door flew open and Jennifer walked in. “Well, let’s take a look,” she said. I pulled the blue paper cover off of my groin, hesitated for a split second while deciding whether or not to make a joke about my shrunken penis and then, not knowing what else to do, grabbed what was left of my member and flipped it over so she could see the massacre. Jennifer leaned in for a closer look, her trained eyes scanning the length of my afflicted area, before finally exclaiming, “Well, you really did a number on it!” Then she took her right index finger and gently prodded on and around my waddle-wound while simultaneously scolding me and laughing at me, “You really shouldn’t do surgery on your testicles or penis. This is what happens. You know this right?”
“Yeah, I know. I kind of freaked out. Bad move. Lesson learned.”
“Don’t do it again, ok?”
“Just come see us.”
“I will. So what’s the deal exactly?”
She shook her head and chuckled, “I’m going to give you a prescription for some antibiotics and this ingrown hair is going to go away pretty fast. You have a infection because you massacred your….uh, nether region.”
“That’s amazing!” I shouted, almost jumping up to give her a sweaty bear hug sans pants. Ultimately, on my better judgement, I chose a more subdued path, “This was super embarrassing. Thanks a ton. I’ll be good from now on. I promise.”
She told me I could put my pants back on and we chatted about a future visit. I then wondered if Kimmie Housh already had heard the whole story. When we were finished I started to head back into the waiting room. Jennifer stopped me before I left, smiled slyly and said, “Oh one last thing, just for future reference. I know this occurred in a kind of grey area, but I think I would consider this a testicle situation.”
“Thanks,” I replied as I walked into the waiting room floating squarely, albeit still painfully, on air.
As I practically skipped to my car, I got out my phone and texted my girlfriend, “I need to tell you a story about my penis…”