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Friday, 6 December 2013

Ball game II

Al  has had more than his fair share of ailments in the past 30 years, so it's easier to list those that haven't afflicted him than those that have. He's avoided measles, mastitis, nappy rash and period pains. That's about it.

Pretty much everything else you can think of he's had. Frozen shoulder, runner's knee, collapsed lung, tennis elbow, coxsackie virus, myalgic encephalomyelitis, colds, flu, pneumonia and hospital superbugs that damn near killed him. Oh yeah and depression.

But his latest malady, which I notice when we're changing at the gym for our Wednesday workout, is bigger than any of those.

It's bad form, of course, to show an interest in people's tackle in a male changing-room. A fleeting glance is acceptable, even expected, but repeated peeks or a prolonged stare with raised eyebrows will get you complained about. Or propositioned.

So normally I wouldn't dream of doing a double-take and a sharp intake of breath. But I can't help it. Al's equipment is a magnet for my eyes. I get away with it because there's no one else in the room, we've seen each other naked loads of times, neither of us is gay and there's a good reason for my current fascination with his testicles.

"You've noticed," he says.

"Hard to miss," I say.

"I'm up here," he says.

"Sorry," I say. "Can't take my eyes off it. What happened? You catch it in a door?"

"Nope. It gradually went that way over a couple of weeks. I didn't notice at first. Then it became obvious. One testicle much bigger than the other."

"You going to the doc's or will you buy a wheelbarrow for it?"

"I've been. He gave me antibiotics and said it would shrink back down again."

"You should have asked for something to make its mates grow big as well."

"I did. Stony-faced pill-pusher never cracked a smile."

"Probably hear stuff like that all the time when you're a balls doctor."

"I guess," he says, pulling his shorts on. "He also sent me for an ultrasound scan, just to be safe. I got a letter the following week warning me, in bold letters, that it might be done by a female. That got me worried."

"I can see why. How long is it since a woman saw you naked? Twenty years?"

"More like fifty," he says. "So I kept my fingers crossed that nothing would come up during the examination."

"Did it?" I say, as we head out the door towards the gym.

"Not a twitch," he says. "Which was a relief and a disappointment. There were two females doing the examination. One rubbing jelly on my genitals and moving them around to get a better view. The other studying it all on the screen above my head." 

"Must have felt exposed," I say.

"And then some," he says. "'I can't see a thing to worry about,' the female at the screen says. 'Me neither,' says her friend down below, and I catch a wee smile on her stupid face."

"Embarrassing," I say, giving him a comforting slap on the shoulder.

"Humiliating," Al says. "It's the last time I let a woman look at my tackle, I can tell you."

I glance down. "That's what you think, son," I say. "You're going to need a bigger pair of shorts."

"Bugger," he says and turns on his heel and heads back to the changing-room.

Some science of swollen testicles 
1.  Orchitis is the term for inflammation and swelling of one or both testicles, caused by infection.
2. Men with smaller testicles are more likely to feed and bath the baby. 

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