While I’m in the shower this morning I recall Mr Fox telling us stories from his dad Doctor Fox – a heart specialist who described himself as “a glorified plumber.” Dr Fox had stories because human beings, or at least one subset of them, have a propensity to insert objects into their major orifices – candlesticks, wine bottles, rolled-up phone books, Volkswagen Golfs, I even heard one about entire lightbulbs. So, pretty much anything longer than it is wide. And with the design of the human form as it is, with one orifice in particular, those objects don’t always want to come out again. Which means most doctors can recount cases of having to retrieve lost items from their patients’ internal workings. (Rest assured that if this happens to you, your doctor-patient confidentiality only extends as far as suppressing your identity. The tale itself is public domain.) The patients invariably say that they slipped and fell on the item in question. And often they say it happened in the shower, which is where this train of thought commenced its run down my mental rails. The doctors nod politely and never ask just why the gentleman thought it was a good idea to take a 12-inch candle into the shower with him, nor if he was concerned that this locale might interfere with the object’s intended purpose. I think it’d be more embarrassing to go and tell the doctor a story that you both know isn’t true, and have him nod and smile and play the little charade, than it would be to say, “Well, I stuck a candle up my arse because I thought it’d feel good. It doesn’t any more.” You’d be more likely to salvage at least some shred of dignity by playing straight down the line.
But what comes to my mind this morning is that, surely, surely, in all the history of rectal-object interaction, there is at least one man out there who genuinely did fall and unfortunately end up with an unwanted novelty item wedged in a very personal cavity. And when that man fell, and realised he had internalised not only his feelings for all these years, but also much more recently a GI Joe or a can of Doctor Pepper or an ARIA award, what did he decide to do? He would know, sure as the burning pain within, that if he told the doctor he fell on it, the doctor would say “Of course you did,” and never even come close to believing a word. And the more he insisted, the less the doctor would believe him. But he did fall, he really did. So what does he do? What does he do?